Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Revel Mt. Hood Marathon Race Recap 6/29/19

Revel Mt. Hood Marathon Race Recap
I ran Revel Mt. Hood Marathon last month and what a race! Another fast downhill course that came with a surprising fast PR and Boston qualifying time for me! I still can't believe the time I ran on this beautiful course that started at Timberline lodge right on Mt. Hood in Oregon and finished at the Rainbow Trout Farm.

PACKET PICKUP: The expo was the Friday before the race and at the Oregon Convention Center in downtown Portland. It was open from 10am-6pm and we were there when it opened. Pickup was fast and easy especially since we were there early. I had also wanted to see if I could change my wave since I knew a couple of others that were going to be in an earlier wave. Lucky for me it was easy to change and not a hassle. 
It was fun to browse some of the booths they had along with the merchandise that was offered. Loved that they had free tattoos! They also had some good photo opportunities that we took advantage of. 

Here is the shirt. I also loved that we got a free pair of goodr sunglasses! 
Revel Mt. Hood shirt & Goodr glasses
After the expo, we had lunch in Portland and walked a bit by the waterfront before heading to Mt. Hood. I managed to reserve the Timberline Lodge to stay the night and it was the best decision I made (need to reserve early because rooms go fast). 
View of Mt. Hood from the lodge
It's pricey but definitely worth the views and extra hours of sleep since the drive from Portland to Sandy (where the buses pick you up) is 45 minutes and from Sandy to the start is about another 45 minutes. I believe you had to be at the buses in Sandy anywhere between 3am-4:15am depending on your wave. There was also an option for those in Portland to purchase a ticket that bussed people from the Doubletree hotel to the start line for $30. I really enjoyed staying at the lodge. The kids did too!
The boys enjoyed the pool at the lodge.
RACE DAY: I woke up around 4:15am. I wanted some time to eat my usual pre-race breakfast, a bagel with peanut butter and time to go to the bathroom. I took my UCAN about 35 minutes before the start. I jogged/walked down from Timberline lodge around 25 minutes before my wave that started at 5:15am.  I was really excited at the start. My adrenaline I think was off the charts as I wasn’t even cold and I think the temps were in the low 40s. I think staying at the lodge gave me a huge advantage as my friends that I saw were clearly very cold. Here are pics with IG friends Nikki and Myrna. 

My goal for this race was to get 3:35 so my plan was to stick with the 3:35 pacer. The race started a couple of minutes late and then we were off! 
Revel Mt. Hood start line
It was such a beautiful morning! Perfect running weather for me!
Revel Mt. Hood course
I felt really good and of course we headed straight downhill from the start. It was pretty effortless to go fast with the downhills and I knew this from running both Yosemite and Rock Tahoe earlier in the training cycle. Both had some nice downhills on the course. I went with the thinking that I’ll just let the hills and gravity do it’s thing so if I was going fast I’ll take it as long as I wasn’t using much effort. I knew the pacer would be going effort based so he was going fast as well down the hills. 
Revel Mt. Hood course
I actually passed the pacer at one point and then he passed me but he was going too fast so I let him. I was surprised he was going so fast but I didn’t let it bother me because I knew I was already going fast. According to my Strava my first mile came in at 7:26 pace! From my pace band that I got from the expo I knew that I just needed 8:07 pace for the first 15 miles or so to get 3:35 and I knew I was well below that. The first 5 miles of the course loses 1,645' of elevation.
Revel Mt. Hood course
I think I passed the pacer later and then never saw him again. No one was with him as I think everyone else that started with him probably thought he was too fast. I figure everyone’s effort can be different. The downhill was amazing and I felt really good and strong.
Revel Mt. Hood course
Revel Mt. Hood course
I had the mentality that I will just let gravity take me down till about mile 16 when I knew from looking at the course map and listening to the video from Revel’s FB page that was where I needed to change my effort level and actually work a little bit but not till the last 10k was where I would need to work the hardest. By mile 13 I was still feeling great. Per Strava my half marathon time was 1:39:38 a PR for the half for me!
Revel Mt. Hood 13 mile mark
It was fun seeing signs like these along the course. 
Fun signs on the course
I had it that the early miles I would bank as much time without working too hard and then use my energy the most in the last 10k since I knew it would flatten out and there would be the rolling hills. I think that the Rock Tahoe Half trained me well for this part because the so called hills weren’t much of a hill compared to the Tahoe hills. I kept thinking I would crash or hit a wall but surprisingly I never did so I just kept at it trying to keep a fast pace. 
I knew I was already doing awesome by mile 23 because I was like 6-7 minutes under the pace band time. My watch was off from the mile markers so I had to look at the times on the band when I passed the mile marker. I knew I just had to maintain a good pace till the finish. It was so awesome to see Hubby and the fam along with my sister right before the finish. I actually almost cried at that point because I was so happy and knew I had it. They were cheering so loudly! I had a strong finish after I saw them. 
I was so happy when I crossed that finish line!
Revel Mt. Hood finish photo

My time ended up being 3:29:03.95! A 14 minute marathon PR and a Boston Qualifying time with an 11 minute buffer!
My splits, per Strava.
All of those early morning pre dawn runs, speed work, and training runs paid off. I did it! This shot was shortly after I crossed the finish. Thanks for the shot Sherry! I was still so happy and quite shocked on how well the run went for me.
There was the usual water, bananas, and some snacks right at the finish. I grabbed a chocolate milk. They also had donuts and pizza along with beer! So much good stuff!
beer at the finish!
Congrats to both Nikki and Myrna on great races! They both PR'd and Nikki also qualified for Boston with a huge buffer.
As to to my fueling for the race, I took UCAN 35 minutes before the race and then at around mile 17 I took UCAN again (made my own gel). I hydrated with Nuun (tried to drink every 15 minutes) and filled up my Simple hydration bottle twice on the course. In the later miles I think around 21-22 I took Hylands cramp relief tablets because I felt an inkling in my calf and didn’t want to chance anything. It all worked out! 

Huge thanks to Coach Dawn for getting me to where I am at! She has gotten me to improve so much this year. Thanks also to Hubby and the boys for their continuous support. It means so much! 

Overall, Revel put on an awesome race! It's definitely a fast one! The course loses over 4,750' of elevation from start to finish and you will surely surprise yourself with your pace times especially early on in the downhill segments. Just be prepared the last 10k for the course to really flatten out and come across some rolling hills. This is the course to do if you are on the cusp of a BQ time or just want to PR! I would definitely do this course again! I can't believe I am going to Boston!!!
Revel Mt. Hood 2019 medal
Happy running!

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