The Newport Half Marathon
On June 5th, Dave and I traveled to the Oregon coast to participate in the Newport Half Marathon, our second virtual race. Oregon was state number 43 on our list of 50 states to complete our run in. We signed up for the race back in October after learning that they cap the half marathon at 250 runners and the race almost always sells out. The Half Marathon and Marathon is put on by the Newport Booster Club and at $80 a person the proceeds are used to support school athletics, specifically track and field at the local high schools.
On March 3rd we received an email informing us that the race had gone virtual. The race organizers were unable to obtain the permits due to the covid-19 restrictions. The option to run virtually, request a refund or donate the entry fee was given. We opted to run virtually but, just like the Indy Mini last month we traveled to the actual location instead of running from home. Prior to leaving for the West Coast our bib, race t-shirt and medal were all mailed to us. That particular area in Oregon is known for its glass blowing and glass fusing art so it was to no surprise that our medal was not made of medal but of glass with a simple "13.1" fused into it.
The closest airport was Eugene which was a little less then a two hour drive to Newport. Since it's a small airport we had to fly into Seattle and then take a short commuter flight to Eugene. We stayed in a most unique and beautiful bed and breakfast on a paddle boat, The Newport Belle. Had the race been an in-person race there would have been shuttle buses picking us up at our hotel to bring us to the race start. But since we did it on our own we started our run directly from the dock of our B&B. The day before we scouted out a 13.1 mile route and discovered that there are actually permanent mile markers for the annual race along the perimeter road to the Yaquina Bay. Without the necessary road closures we came to the conclusion that it would be too dangerous for us to run that route. Instead we ran over the Yaquina Bridge, through the Yaquina Bay State Park, pass the historic lighthouse, though some local roads, down the South Beach State Park jetty and paved trail, to the Newport public fishing pier and then back to The Newport Belle.
Now that our race course was decided we needed to carb up and find an Italian Restaurant. We found Sorella, which was close by in Nye Beach. We started off with an order of fried calamari followed by the meatball lasagna for Dave and the shrimp arrabbiata for me. And, of course we finished it up with tiramisu. We also took back an order of spaghetti and meatballs for after the race.
After a good night sleep and a hearty breakfast we started our virtual race around 8:15am. The weather was great! In the high 40's and cloudy. The Yaquina Bay Bridge was a long and steady incline. At mile 11 it rained a little on us but not too bad. We also passed by a few public restrooms which helped out a lot. Our course and miles were tracked on the Under Armour Map my Run app which is what the picture of our route is from. We took a bunch of selfies and finished at 2hrs 30mins and 3secs. After the race we imputed our times along with two of our selfies to the race website to prove that we actually completed it. Out of the 188 runners who signed up for the virtual run 32 completed it and entered their results for the half marathon. In our picture below you can see the Yaquina Bay Bridge in the back along with our paddleboat B&B.
Race #43 Completed!!