Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Corvallis Half Marathon 2016 ~ Race Review

Sunday April 17th I ran the Corvallis Half Marathon for the first time.  It was a beautiful Oregon morning, almost too beautiful (hot) for a race! High 70's makes for a HOT run!  

I arrived at Gill Coliseum  early to meet up with friends, pick up my race bib and walk around the wellness expo.  There were lots of booths to check out with plenty of fun drawings going on. Some of the booths I visited were: Running Princess
and many many more!

We soon headed out to the starting line.  There were lots and lots of port-a-potties, so the lines were short. A nice bonus when racing! The OSU Band was playing and making the atmosphere fun. 
Great job OSU Band...super fun to see Jordan playing the flute 
 As we were moved into the gated area, we quickly found our pace group.  The sun was already out and I was glad I got a free sample of sunscreen at the wellness expo.  I knew it was a "sunburn" day.
We started promptly at 9:30
Ready to race!
 on the corner of 26th and Washington St.  This was a chip timed race, so I wasn't worried about being in the front.  Some of my friends and I started back with the 9:00 minute mile group. 
I had decided ahead of time to run with my friend Olivia.  Today she was running her very first half marathon and I wanted to stick with her!  
The course was fairly flat but there was a couple small inclines with a couple small declines.  It was a big loop.  Check out the interactive map here.  
There was lots and lots of volunteers out on the course giving us directions, cheering for us and handing out water.  It was wonderful.  
Around mile five, when heading into the Bald Hill Natural Area, two running friends came up behind Oliva and I.  What a fun surprise to see Alyssa and Susan.  All four of us ran together for many miles, talking about Boston, how horrible the heat was that morning. How great running is and how it brings us together.  It was really a fun running the middle miles with these awesome women.
The miles became a little bit of a struggle due to the heat.  Our pace had dropped but we were all still running strong.  As we ran down
 27th and then 26th street, Olivia kept telling me "it's hot."  I knew she just had a few more miles left, so I tried to think of things to talk about to keep her mind off the heat.  I don't think it was working! 

She stayed strong and soon we were at mile 13.  I told Olivia her finish line was right there and she took off for a nice strong finish.  It was beautiful! 
Olivia was right, it was hot out! 

A quick brag about Olivia.
  "She was hospitalized back in 2009 and almost died. In 2012 she had cancer.  After her cancer, she decides to reclaim her health.  She lost 70 lbs and started exercising. 

Olivia's before and now photo! 
 I currently go to her fitness
classes Fitness with Studio Fuego.  She decided to train for a half marathon because it was hard, and she wanted to challenge herself."

Check out her before and after photo to the right!  

After we crossed the finish line, we meet up with Olivia's family.  A few tears were shed and then we went over to the nice finish area for some food and water.  A journalist from the Democrat Herald came over and did a quick interview with Olivia. Check it out here.  

There was a nice beer garden area but I decided to head home.  I walked around Gill Coliseum to my car.  It was a perfect cool down.  
I really enjoyed running the Corvallis Half.  I plan on running it again next year! I am hoping for cooler weather for 2017! 

Read my Pre Race Preview for register information and more here.

Fun to see Susan! 

Katie, Lindsay and Sheila

My Soxy Feet ambassador and Corvallis Half Finisher.

Erica and Olivia finish their half marathon!

Find me on facebook at ZaoFit.  I would love to hear your story! Hope you can join me for next years Corvallis Half!


  1. What a great day with great friends and a great half!! Thank you for sharing this part of my journey Julie and for all your support!

  2. What a great day with great friends and a great half!! Thank you for sharing this part of my journey Julie and for all your support!

  3. Hey Julie! Happy Mother's Day! It was great seeing you yesterday. I am really bad at replying to blog posts and Instagram posts in my head. :-) I thought I replied to this one. I love your friend Olivia's story and I love that you ran her half with her. There is nothing more enjoyable than helping someone else reach their goal. So awesome!

  4. Congratulations to race organizers for helping to perpetuate the participation of the vast majority of middle and high school kids. The more than reasonable cost of $40 to run 3 miles should be no problem for at least 10% of the 100's of kids who might otherwise participate. I can almost guarantee that between the HOTV running club and the area middle and hs xc teams the numbers would increase exponentially. I have no doubt that a middle to low income family with 3 kids would jump at the opportunity to shell out
    $160 to fight obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. Kudos for thinking out of the box.
    Larry Olsen
    Retired HS teacher / xc & track coach