In August I completed the Bridge of the Gods Half Marathon. It was an event I’d heard about and thought about doing. So, when my friend, Molly, asked if I would do it with her for her first half marathon, I said, “Of course!”
The actual Bridge of the Gods spans the Columbia River connecting Washington & Oregon. Recently the bridge has gained popularity due to Cheryl Strayed ending her Pacific Crest Trail journey here as she describes in her book, Wild.
Parking for the event was on the Oregon side of the Columbia River. However, the start line was on the Washington side. Near the parking areas were buses to shuttle us across the bridge.
The start line, in Washington. We met Molly’s cousin there and gave our well wishes and awesome race vibes to each other.
This was a first sight for me. There was a drone taking pics at the start line.
And, we’re off.
The openness of the metal grates while running across the bridge was an odd feeling. It was my favorite part of the race.
That small island off to the left is the finish line location.
Running past the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead along the Pacific Crest Trail.
I wasn’t aware there was such a nice trail along this section of the Columbia River. It was great.
We made it to the Stairway of Heaven. Not gonna lie, this was about the point where the fun ended.
The trail was well marked and well maintained. But, I was just not feeling it that day. Well… I should say I was feeling it too much. I’d been hill training, but those elevation changes hit me hard. I didn’t sleep well the night before. I didn’t eat quite as many calories that morning as I typically do on race days. I started my period that day. Possibly a combination of all these things contributed to the rougher than normal race. I’m not sure. But after the first few miles, it sucked and my body was paying for it.
The view of the Columbia Gorge was beautiful. The weather was perfect.
In the top photo you can see I-84 & the powerhouse at Bonneville Dam.
Oh, thank goodness we made it to the half way mark! I’m smiling, but cringing inside.
I did/do love the new tank I bought from Sparkle Athletic. I don’t often run in tanks, but I kinda liked it.
I didn’t take any photos on the way back to Cascade Locks. I was too busy struggling to get myself up and back down those damn hills.
Once, though, we saw the bridge it was such a beautiful sight I had to snap a pic.
This place has the best ice cream cones. It’s a must to stop and enjoy one anytime you travel through Cascade Locks. I absolutely thought about getting one and continuing the race with it. I wasn’t going to get a PR. I might as well have enjoyed some ice cream. But, I didn’t.
Crossing the pedestrian bridge to Marine Park and the finish line!
I always run across the finish line, but this time I was too tired to even care.
It was a challenge, but we did it!
This event goes down as my worst half ever. I felt horrible and my finish time was slower than even my first half at Disney.
The good news is that we never gave up and we finished.
I’m so ticked off at my performance that I want to go back and kick this course in the ass next year.