Great Half Marathon, very fast course Sep 9, 2019 | Half Marathon Overall Rating: thestudadam FIRST-TIMER '14 Follow I set my Half Marathon PR on this course by several minutes. It is really well set up for running fast. EXPO: This was a well put together EXPO although … MORE I set my Half Marathon PR on this course by several minutes. It is really well set up for running fast. EXPO: This was a well put together EXPO although parking an access was a bit difficult which can be expected in most major cities when the EXPO is downtown. As with most Rock and Roll races the EXPO is really well done and large with numerous vendors and things to do. Parking/Access: Parking in any major city especially near an event is going to be terrible. We took the MAX light rail system which made things a breeze. Plenty of parking at those locations and easy train access in and out of the event. SWAG: I love my Portland Rock and Roll shirt, several of the shirts I have from the R&R series are a bit hit and miss but i loved the big block Portland letters with scenes from the city inside the letters and the little series name and city logo down around your hip on your back. Very unique. Most Rock and Roll series medals are nice but I especially love my Portland one, the Lanyard/Ribbon that goes around your neck is plaid (very Portland) then in the middle of the medal the shape of Oregon is punched out as a hole and the hole even has a bottle opener on it. I don’t even drink and I think that feature is amazing and unlike anything I have on any of my other medals in my collection. Course/Elevation/Aid Stations: The course started with a quick out and back covering the first 3 miles on the west side of the river before going up an overpass then across a bridge to the east side of the river, and few quick turns and then a slow gentle up hill heading east for the next 3-4 miles. While a long uphill sounds terrible when it is gentle like this is doesn’t break up your stride where you are running on the balls of your feet. Also after a mile heading north at the top you turn back towards the river for 3-4 miles of gentle downhill. This was perfect for the 2nd half of a race and really helped you keep your pace as you began to tire. We crossed another bridge over the river then turned south for the final mile along the river. This course took my PR from a 1:35 to a 1:31, a large jump which i attribute to the course and the cool overcast conditions. The aid stations were well stocked and well spaced. They gave out GU at the halfway point. Race Management: As with any R&R event the management is well done. They have pacing groups of all speeds and abilities and do a good job managing corrals so that people are spread out with people of similar abilities. The bands on the course are actually quite entertaining and really break up the monotony of a long run/race. I highly recommend this race, sadly it has been discontinued though 🙁 DIFFICULTY 2 PRODUCTION 5 SCENERY 3 SWAG 5 Please login to reply to this review.