Location: Portland, Michigan
Fifty-five runners eagerly stood awaiting the signal. The sun barely peeked above the horizon. The countdown began, and with the sound of a horn, we were off. The Portland St. Patrick’s Fall Festival Half Marathon was underway.
The race started at the Portland High School and followed along the Portland River trail, looping back and finishing back at the high school.
This was one of the prettiest race routes that I have ran. It was entirely paved, not a true trail route, and offered scenic views of the grand river and the looking glass river almost the entire way. There were hills mixed in with flat terrain, which kept it interesting.
The route was well marked with pink arrows and had volunteers sitting at several locations. There were also a handful of water stations set up every few miles.
At $35 this is one of the cheaper half marathons that I came across. Included in the race cost is a long-sleeved t-shirt and finisher medal.
Additional medals are given for overall male and female, as well as individual medals for the top 3 places in each age group.
One thing I really liked about how this race was set up is that the 5k run/walk started 20 minutes after the half. I ran a 10k earlier this year where the 5k, 10k, and half marathon all started at the same time. It was a bit confusing on the route as to who is going which way when the groups separated. This removes that confusion.
Proceeds from the event go to the St. Patrick’s athletic program. This program is completely self-supported. The athletic association raises money through fundraising and events like this to support the program.
This race is part of the Governor’s Council Endorsement & Michigan Fitness Foundation Challenge.
For more information, visit Portland St. Patrick Fall Festival Half Marathon and 5k Run/Walk.