Monday, June 1, 2015

Newport Marathon 2015 Review and Personal Blog

Newport Marathon 2015 was my 8th marathon, 4th time running Newport!
2015 was Newport's 17th annual Marathon.  It was held on Saturday May 30th on Oregon's beautiful central coast.  They offered a half marathon and a full marathon, both selling out well before May 30th.  I had five friends who were planning on running either the half or full who waited too long and were greatly disappointed.  This is one you need to register early to ensure your spot.

Newport Marathon registration fees:
Before March 1st ~ $85.00
Before April 1st ~ $95.00
Until it fills up ~ $105.00

Half Marathon registration fees:
Before March 1st ~ $75.00
Before April 1st ~ $80.00
Until it fills up ~ $85.00

The course starts for all walkers and runners up at Yaquina State Park.  6:00 am early start for walkers, 7:00 am for the marathoners and 7:45 for the half marathon.  We went North along the ocean, through some of Newport's neighborhoods. There are some rolling hills and lots of people out cheering for this part of the race.  About mile three we headed back to the starting area, then down under the Yaquina Bay Bridge to the Bay.  Going under the bridge is spectacular.  There are people everywhere.  There was a school band playing as we ran by.  As you go down along the bay, you get the fresh smell of fish and hold your breath for a second! This year the air was clear and the temperature was just about right.  A nice 53 degrees! About mile four, we ran by the Embarcadero Resort Hotel, right across the street from the finish line.  From there, we ran up a small 40 foot hill and then it leveled out.  We ran along the Yaquina River to mile 15 and then turned around and ran back to the finish!  At mile 26, we got a downhill strait into the finish line!

Newport's Course is USATF certified and is a perfect first time marathon course or a great pick for a PR or Boston Qualifier.  All four years I've run this course, I have walked away with a PR.  It's one of my favorite courses.

Newport Marathon offers aid stations about every two miles.  Each station has portable toilet facilities along with water and CLIF SHOT Electrolyte Hydration Drink.  Selected stations also had fruit and energy gels.  At mile 11 and 19 there were Oyster Shooters.  I had to pass, but many did stop for a shot including my friend Kim!  She is brave!

This year Newport offered pace groups.  They had pacers for a 3:05, 3:35, 4:00, 4:30, and 5:00 hour marathon.  Pacers were easily visible with pace signs held up above their heads and on their backs.

Newport made watching friends and family members easy by offering shuttle rides.  Some of my friends rode the shuttle out onto the course this year.  It was fun to see the shuttle bus go by with hands sticking out and yells coming from people cheering for us runners.

At the finish line, we were given a finishers medal and checked to make sure no aid was needed.  Several runners were sitting under the aid tent resting and getting help.  The staff and volunteers were wonderful!

Down around the corner was the "finishers area." We were given our finishers shirt, fruit, bread, etc. Our goody bag including a ticket for chowder and a drink outside in the grassy area.  There were covering's set up, music playing and lots of people enjoying being "done!"

I highly recommend this marathon for your 2016 race list.  Just remember, it will fill up fast, so don't put off registering.

Past results can be found here.
Race photos can be found here.
General information can be found here.
Questions for the race director? Contact Tom Swinford at


My marathon, the good, the bad and the ugly of it all! 

At the start! 
For the last two years I have had a dream of qualifying for Boston.  In order to do this for my age and gender I need to run a sub-3:40 marathon.  I adjusted my training for Newport 2015 and focused in. My training went so well, I knew I would walk away from Newport with my first ever BQ (Boston Qualifier).  My goals included, A goal; 3:35 (this time would get me into Boston).  B goad; Sub 3:40 (this is my qualifying time).  C goal; Sub 3:53:52 (this would be a marathon PR).  

I was excited to be running as a blogger and with my husband who was running his 3rd marathon.  Also, my two friends Eric and Erika, running their very first marathons.  It was an exciting day! 

We took off promptly at 7:00 am, heading to some neighborhoods in Newport, I knew this part would be easy and fun.  I was with lots of people and on fresh legs.  The rolling hills didn't scare me one bit!  I got to see the ocean, the weather felt a bit warm for me, but really about perfect.  It felt a bit humid but not enough to worry.  It was a beautiful 53 degrees.  I was all smiles and off to a great start.  As I went around one of the little loops, I heard my friend Erika shout out my name as she ran by. It was about mile two and I could tell she was loving the moment as much as I was! 

Soon we were back by where we started, the Yaquina Bay State Park!  There were tons of people watching friends and family go by.  Also runners waiting for the half marathon to start.  A lady yelled out, "Hi, Julie."  Must of been someone from Dallas, but I didn't catch who it was!  I saw a Hood to Coast friend, Tim as he waited to start running the half.  I saw my friend Eric's parents just before heading under the Newport Bridge.  This is my favorite part of the course.  It's about mile 3.5 miles into the race.  Still feeling good, get a small down hill, a school band is playing and there are people everywhere! I was soaking it all in!

As I ran down by the bay I smelled the "fresh fish" smell.  This year I didn't hold my breath.  I let it be part of the experience.  I ran onto the wooden sidewalk and just as the sidewalk was ending I heard, "go Mom!"  I looked up and saw my daughter Raelee, and my friends Jeanne and Chris.  I was really excited to see they were able to all meet up.  

Down the street I went, going by the Embarcadero about mile four.  I knew my friend Kim would be there waiting to run with me for a good chuck of the marathon.  There she was, excited and ready to go!  She told me my husband Jerry was doing great and so was Eric.  I wasn't worried about Erika because I had seen her and she looked fantastic. 

I was running a little ahead of pace and feeling good as Kim and I heading out along the river.  Miles went by quickly as Kim told me some stories about her life I had been wanting to hear about.  She made me laugh, want to cry and gave me joy out there on the course.  Just four week earlier, Kim qualified for Boston at the Inaugural Pacific Northwest Marathon. Now she was there, wanting to make sure I did too!  From mile 4 to 11 she ran with me.  She then took a break, but would be back about mile 20.  

I ran on, feeling overall good but getting a little tired.  Kim and I had been busy chatting so I had decided to just have some down time by myself and settle into a nice tempo pace.  As soon as Kim left, one of the guys running around us decided he was going to talk to me now.  He started asking me questions, what's your goal time, how many marathons have you run?  Normally I love chatting with other runners during a race, but I wanted some time to myself now.  I ran a little with him, then slowed down just enough for him to go on ahead of me.  I needed a breather, I knew it was going to get hard. 

I knew, Chris, Jeanne, and Raelee would be seen out on course very soon. Sure enough, about mile 13 there was Jeanne and Raelee cheering away!  Jeanne let me know Chris was just ahead waiting to run a few miles with me.  I was glad, I was in need of some good words from my coach!  

I went up around the corner and there was Chris waiting.  He let me know Jerry was doing great, Eric looked good and Erika was doing better than all of us!  She was locked into her tempo pace and running like a pro!  

I was feeling the stress of the marathon but holding on for dear life.  I knew I still had a chance but I had to hold on to a 8:20 pace.  I had been running a 8:10 pace.

Chris told me to to hang on to the anchor man (man with the blue anchor shirt on).  He said, "he's running nice a steady, don't let him get too far ahead, just stay with him."  The turn-a-round (mile 15) was coming and Chris was dropping off to go run with Jerry for a few miles.

The turn-a-round is a fun part of the race.  As you get close to the turn-a-round you see the fast runners going back to the finish.  As you go around the turn-a-round you see everyone behind you!  I got to see all my friends!  Everyone looked great. There were people all along the road cheering.  I thought to myself, less than 11 miles! Just run back to town and into the finish line.  Basically that's just a tempo run.  I did tempo runs over and over again.  I can do one more!!!

I knew Kim would be waiting around mile 20, so I just had a short 5 mile run to get to her.  At one of the aid stations (about mile 17) the volunteers were like, "you want splashed?"  I tend to run overheated and so I said, "yes, splash me!"  Well they didn't splash me, they drenched me.  I was soaked.  I felt my core temperate drop.  It was a very odd feeling.  I've had this happen after a long run but it was always after, when I can shower and get changed into warm clothing.  I was running in wet clothing and there was nothing I could do about it.  I ran on but felt sick to my stomach.  Kim was waiting for my about mile 19.5.  I was dry by then but still felt like crap.  I threw up and kept going.  Kim was ready to run with the second half of her awesome life story. 

 I was slowing down by quite a bit by mile 20.  She wanted this so badly for me.  She gave me all the encouragement a person could ever hope for out there on the course. 

At mile 22 or so I told her it wasn't gonna happen.  She stayed with me anyways, giving me water when needed and just being a friend, even though I was failing, failing hard!  

As we ran up the incline that felt like a mountain at mile 25 I told Kim, "we are running up a hill!!!" She said, "this is nothing, come on!!!!" I just love her, that totally sounds like something I would say on a good day!  At mile 26 she ran ahead so I could run down the hill into the finish shoot by myself.  As I went across the finish line I saw my Dad, Kim and Raelee.  All of them waiting with love and encouragement for me.  

I didn't see Jerry anywhere but knew he was most likely over in the recovery tent.  I stood there talking with them for a few minutes and a volunteer came over and told me I didn't look well and led me over to the recovery tent and told me to stay there awhile so I could be monitored. It felt so good to sit down.  I didn't want to ever get up. I felt like throwing up but couldn't make myself do it.  I saw Jerry sitting in the tent.  I could tell he was ok.  I waited for Eric and Erika to come in so we could all go get finishers shirts together.  Soon they were in along with Stacy and Michael, two other Dallas runners. We were all pretty spent!  After what seemed forever, we made out way down to the finishers area, got our chowder and shirt and laid in the grass for a long time.  We weren't in any hurry.  Just enjoying the moment, enjoying being done!

The aftermath!  I finished Newport 2015 with a time of 3:52:17 (8:55 pace).  This was my "C" goal to PR. I PRed by 35 sec.  The day of the marathon, and even the day after, I was ok with this.  As sore as I was Saturday night and Sunday morning, I knew I ran my hardest.  Monday morning I was back home and had time to process the race.  When I'm really honest with myself, I am heartbroken.  I trained better then ever.  My speed work and tempo runs were A+ on course for a sub 3:40 marathon! I know I can do it!  When it comes down to it, I know the water was an excuse to slow down.  It did affect me, but it shouldn't have!  I am looking for a Fall marathon. I'm too close to give up on a BQer.  When completely honest with myself, I know I have to stop slacking on my 20 miler runs.  I give myself too much freedom to slow them down too much.  They are suppose to be slower runs, but sometimes run them too slow, giving myself a break I didn't need.  It's all part of the beauty of the marathon!  It takes work!  It's hard to get it right, but when you get it right, it's amazing!

Bragging moments on my friends!  I'm so proud of these people!

My husband Jerry!  Two years ago he ran his first marathon at a Sub 4:00, today was his 3rd marathon, running a Sub 3:30 (3:29:51)

 My friend Erika,  running her very first marathon today finishing at a 4:05:30.  She ran the most beautiful splits for Newport.  When I meet her a year ago she was running 10k's and struggling with getting faster.  Now she runs half marathons and now marathons and has a goal of a Sub-4!  I know she will do that!

Eric ran his first marathon today too.  He ran a 4:10:28.  I don't know if he will try to break 4 hours or not.  I now he is really excited to do some triathlon's.  I know one things for sure, he ran a killer first marathon and nobody can ever take that away from him whether he chooses to run another or not! Great job today Eric!

A special thanks to Chris and Kim who ran and encouraged me during the good and the bad parts of the marathon Saturday!  What you two did was an incredible act of friendship.  Thanks for your coaching Chris.  Thanks for your kindness Kim. I have enjoyed getting to know you over the last few months of training together.

Also thanks too, Erika for keeping me going.  I could always count on you to meet on the corner at 5:30 am or on the track or wherever our run for the day was.  You kept me accountable over the last five months!  Accountability is so important!  
Thank you Jerry (my husband) who, when I would be crying in the kitchen before a tempo run because I was stressed out or scared of failing would calmly say, "this is important, you need to go do your run!"  I would go run and then the stress would go away and I would feel better!  Thanks for believing in me Jerry!
  For Jeanne who often crewed our group long runs.  Joining us for food at the end with a ride home.  Bringing us water on a hot day, or sitting in a cold garage with food waiting for us at the end of a 20 miler! You made our group fun!
  Thank you Kim, Betsy, Emily and Kristi for running some of my long runs with me.  You girls are simply amazing to me.   Thank you Susan B. and Becky M. for your encouraging words as I trained over that last year!  You are an amazing runners and I really look up to you!

So, I will choose to move on!  I still will qualify for Boston!  I am currently shopping for a Fall Marathon! 

Other races I'm doing in 2015:
August 15th Albany Half Marathon
September 12th Uberthons Fall Half
October 17th Runaway Pumpkin Half

Follow me at ZaoFit 


  1. You're very welcome! I am looking forward to many more runs with you!

    1. I'm looking forward to the day you break 4 hours Erika!

  2. Sorry that your BQ didn't go as planned :/ and thank you very much for the Marathon Review. I plan on running this race as my first marathon and BQ attempt. I'll be at Runaway Pumpkin this October also :)

  3. thank you for sharing your experience. I will be running newport marathon this year 2016...and looking forward to the experience after reading your blog...:) good luck to ya in your journey!