Best Race Of The Year!
It’s never too early to start training and visualizing the fun I have each year, running in the most scenic, beautiful, challenging country race course in the Northwest. Of course, I’m talking about the Helvetia Half Marathon! The motivation and inspiration I derive as a runner, from being amongst a few thousand like-minded peers who know about this gem of a race, find ourselves eerily enthusiastic to wake up early on a bright Saturday morning. Fueling up with coffee and gathering at the iconic Hillsboro Ballpark to then traverse onto rural roads, breathing in the fresh cut grass fields and tree farm air is simply idyllic. After this “warm up,” my compatriots and I charge our way up the ever ascending hills, past Helvetia Tavern (who’s famous, mouth-watering burgers I devour at the Finish), past century old homes and historic country churches, to the peak and mid-point of the half marathon race. Finally reward and respite. Soft rolling terrain and downhill all the way now! After a beautifully scenic but challenging first half, I need all of the decline I can get, in order to push myself to the eventual finish and a great time. Local high schoolers cheer me on with great enthusiasm –how do they do that with such zeal for all of us participants?! I love the feel of community that brings the people of this area, both runner and non-runner alike together. As I push myself down the home-stretch, the Finish Line Ballpark comes into clear view. Pushing the pace and gliding into the Ballpark Finish, I’m surrounded by an effervescent buzz of cheer and positivity. We all made it, having pushed ourselves out of our everyday hum-drum comfortable pace, and into inspiring heights we had imagined but not yet attained. Thank you water, sports drinks, delicious free Helvetia Burger, and rockin’ music to sit back and enjoy post-race. You will see me again.