Jan 15

Race Report: Portland Winter Run

Jennie and I ran the Portland Winter Run this morning.  My friend Carrie got me hooked on the race 3 years ago and I couldn’t break tradition.  This is the first year that Jennie has joined me on this frozen endeavor though.  This run is ALWAYS cold.  Yes, I know it is winter time, but for some reason this race is always colder than the rest of the week.  So, to me, this race is a test of character rather than of speed.  Portland is about 45 minutes away from Grand Rapids, but the race doesn’t start until 10:00 so it has never been a problem to get there on time.


After picking up our packets, we huddled in the car* for as long as possible because we knew what was awaiting us.


Yep. Snow, cold, slush, and even some ice.  That’s just how we roll in Michigan.  We don’t wuss out.**

There wasn’t many sets bare legs, but I was one of them.  I hate racing in long pants.  So, shorts and compression sleeves it was.  It really wasn’t that bad.

I went out a bit fast with a 6:11 first mile, but I had the wind at my back and a couple of younger runners in front of me that I didn’t want to lose track of.

The second mile was a bit slower at 6:42 which was to be expected because it had two decent hills on it.  I actually passed a couple of the younger runners on the hills.

I picked it up slightly on the final mile, but it was a little slower than I wanted because I now had the wind in my face.  I managed 6:38 for the final mile and a 5:13 pace for the final .1.

My official time was 19:57 which isn’t a PR, but is only the second time I have been officially under 20 minutes so I am super happy with the time.  With weather like this, you really can’t expect to log a PR because the slushy roads really slow you down.  There were multiple times where I was switching sides of the road to find the best footing.


I ended up earning 1st in my age group (out of 4) and 14th overall (out of 220-ish).

Jennie had a great race too.  She ended up 5th in her age group missing out of a medal by less than 2 seconds. 


Look at that, charging into the finish with a smile on her face!

Now, the real reason for running this race – the food!  The Honolulu Marathon needs to take notice.  All I got there was water, apples, and cookies.  Keep in mind, this is only a 5k.  Despite a short race, you get their Famous Homemade Vegetarian Chili, cookies, donuts, Great Harvest Bread Company bread, oranges, and bananas.  I am a huge fan of the chili – last year I had 4 helpings.  This year, I restrained and only had a single serving. 



Official Results

Total Time: 19:57
Overall Place: 14/220-ish
Gender Place: ?
Age Group Place: 1/4
Run Pace: 6:29 min/mile

*Yes, I am a sticker whore as evidenced by the back window.
**No names mentioned.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2011/01/15/race-report-portland-winter-run-3


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  1. Jon

    The one thing in this post that is absolutely KILLING me right now is that donut on your wife’s plate…

    Nice time! Breaking 20 mins is always an accomplishment!

  2. Scott

    Congrats to both of you

    She is still smiling

  3. Jeff

    Going sub-20 in that slush/cold is freaking amazing Kevin. This race would have been a DNS for me!

    Jennie looks like she was having a blast – before you know it she’ll be getting that marathon bug.

    Nice stickers – did you get a “3.1” to commerate this race? (yes I know I am an ass)

  4. Lisa

    Good job getting out in the frigid cold weather for that race. Tell Jennie I love her hat! It looks cozy, soft, and warm and the color is great!

  5. lindsay

    jennie looks like she has great footstrike. **i know you are not referencing me.

  6. Morgan

    How fun!!! Great job going sub-20!!! Save some of that for our relay next week killer! Way to go to Jennie, love that smile on her face!!!

  7. Matt

    I have a feeling I missed something the first time I read this…


  1. 2011 In Pictures » Ironman By Thirty

    […] Started off the year with the cold, cold, cold Portland Winter Run. […]

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