- 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
- Road Race
- Event Website
This is the second year that I have ran the Portage Winter Blast Half Marathon and the course is the same as last year. The event also holds a 5k and new this year, a 10k. The 5k started at 8:00 (a little further up the road than the half and 10k) and the half and 10k started together at 8:10. Both races started on time. The half marathon and 10k run along the roads for the first 3 miles, then on bike trails for the next two miles. The first 5 miles have a couple of small hills but nothing to worry too much about. Soon after the 5th mile, the 10k runners and half runners split off.
The Half marathon course resumes on the bike path after the split. This is the section where the tougher hills come in. After mile 7, you are running back on the roads again. The city of Portage does a great job of ensuring that the runners have a lane of the road to run on. Right before mile 9 came the first challenging hill, on an overpass. Right after mile 9, it was back onto the bike path for basically the rest of the race. The head wind, plus a log of twists and turns between miles 10 and 11, and 2 more challenging hills at 10.5 and 12.5 miles really tests you. The finish is located in the local high school parking lot where the race began. I measured 13.1 miles exactly.
The shirts for the half marathon and 5k were great. For some reason for the 10k runners, they were a different material. You can read more about that in my blog: Why My Wife Hates Her 2016 Winter Blast 10k Shirt (with good reason) – Daddy, Did You Win?
But really, the half shirts were great.
Also, free race photos will be available later in the week.
Finishers medals were awarded to all half marathon finishers. Also plaques/coasters were awarded to top 3 in each age division. Looks like they were designed by an elementary student. Pretty cool!
I believe on the course there were 5 or 6 aid stations with water or Gatoraid. All of which were staffed well and also very loud and encouraging.
Post Race Food
Wide variety of drinks (non-alcoholic) including chocolate milk, as well as cookies, chips, granola bars, and doughnut holes (my personal favorite was the red velvet doughnut holes).
For the price of this race (it was one of the cheaper half marathons I have races), it is worth the money. Very well run event.