- 13.1/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Road Race
This is a tricky review because a lot about the race doesn't fit into normally race review categories. But, here goes!
First off - this is a track half marathon (with a full marathon option), which means 52.5 laps (105 for the full). OK, that might sound boring, but it was actually a lot of fun. Because you were on a track with about 20 other runners, you were able to get a regular sense for how everyone was feeling that day, and it was cool to watch each runner's race progress through each lap. There was an aid station and table where you could grab your own water/energy drink bottle, Nuun provided on course, and an easy place for people to cheer and take pics. And because it was 52.5 laps, dropping an extra layer if you got too hot was obviously quite simple.
Elevation - quite manageable.
Scenery: This might be counterintuitive, but I actually really liked the scenery of this race. The track is right next to one of the biggest hills in Portland (Terwilliger), which also hosts a ton of huge trees and greenery. So you have what looks to be a large, green mountain of sorts right next to the track and that provides some great views on each lap.
SWAG - Even though there was no t-shirt or medal at this race, I still gave it 5 stars for SAWG because that was exactly what we all expected - the race was FREE!! They did have some magnificent trophies for the top three place finishers though, and due to a string of injuries, maladies, absences and probably oversights, I was able to grab a 3rd place finish. There was also an amazing spread of "Optional Finisher Tacos" from Taco Bell, which was a phenomenal touch. Not sure if that was provided by the RD or by an employee from one of the local semi conductor companies, but as a runner I didn't care. There were tacos.
Parking and access was super easy, and we got a lot of encouragement from other runners who just showed up to do their own workout or cheer us on!
Race management - BATH stands for the Bill Aronson Track Half, and Bill does a great job building excitement for the race all year. He definitely delivered on race day, and he was also one of the unfortunate souls who completed the marathon distance. More on the history of the BATH here - http://runoregonblog.com/2015/12/16/one-runners-quest-to-run-an-accurate-half-marathon-the-bath/
Overall, this race really over-performed in my estimation. I expected a quite, solitary slough. Instead I got a jovial group of Portland runners all thrilled to be running around and around... and around.