2019 Girlfriends Run for a Cure Pre-Race Instructions
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The 13th Annual Girlfriends Run is approaching quickly and we are getting so excited!
There is a lot of important information in this email for you to review – especially for you rookies! We put the important information for everyone at the top so you veterans can focus there, and if you’re a newbie read the whole thing. It’s a long email but we want to answer all your questions so you can enjoy a stress-free event. So sometime before race weekend, grab a coffee, tea, Kombucha or a glass of red ;), take a seat, relax, review the material and start to get excited for event day!
First, for those of you who have never done this race before, we wanted to give you a little insight into how special this event is and our motives for organizing Girlfriends. We created this event to honor our very good friend, Joleen Skarberg, who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 13.5 years ago. Joleen is one of those women who everybody absolutely loves – she is kind, caring, positive, upbeat and just the most incredible mother, wife, grandma and friend. When we found out she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, it just didn’t feel fair. Why would someone as wonderful as Joleen be dealt these cards?! Well, she’s the kind of woman who inspires you and so we decided to organize this event so we could honor her while raising funds for other local women who are navigating Breast Cancer. Treatment options and recovery for Breast Cancer Survivors has improved so much over the years and we owe this to the funds that have been raised from events like this to support research, diagnosis and treatment. Joleen continues to run and workout with us regularly, proof that events like this are so important. In years past, a woman like Joleen would not be doing as well as she is today. You’ll see her running again this year – look for #1 so you can cheer her on. We will also be remembering and honoring one of our very special Girlfriends and WHY’s former marketing director Jaime Miller, who we lost to Breast Cancer last year. We will support the survivors and honor those who were taken from all of us far too early. We dedicate this event to Joleen, Jaime and to every other woman, man, and child whose life has been impacted by Cancer. Kudos to each of you for recognizing that collectively we can all make a huge difference! You all rock!
Note: Online Registration is still open so tell all your girlfriends they can still participate. If they aren’t doing a ton of running, let them know half of our gals walk, and also make sure they know about the three distances so they can choose an option that is more manageable for them! Note the 5K is actually closer to a 6K this year – we’ll explain below! Forward them this email and maybe you will inspire them and they will join us. Have them register here before prices go up. Remember to sign your kids up for the Kids Mini-Marathon. The look of joy on their faces is priceless! If you kids want a greater challenge, they can also race the 6K for FREE! You can register them at the same link above!
Our second motive for organizing this event is for all of you. We want to make sure each of you has the most unbelievable experience and feel a huge sense of accomplishment when you cross the finish line. We want you all to feel pampered, appreciated and loved. We hope you love the Girlfriends SWAG! Wait until you see the BLING! It’s pretty awesome and will make all the miles worth it. Did you know it will get handed to you by a Vancouver Firefighter?! Oh yeah, baby! That’s worth the entry fee right there! You’ll receive an awesome technical runner’s shirt, special goody bag courtesy of Seattle Cancer Alliance, Girlfriends running gloves thanks to Kick-EEZ, a commemorative Girlfriends wine glass courtesy of When the Shoe Fits, and more. You’ll also enjoy brunch catered by Warehouse 23, Mimosas, sweet treats, coffee and so much more! Make sure you don’t throw away the coupons in your bag. There is a Tour de Vancouver Dining Card with all kinds of great specials at local restaurants and a Buy 1 Get 1 Wine Tasting at Maryhill which will easily return the cost of registration! If that isn’t enough, on the back of your Bib is a 25% off coupon from Willows Boutique! What you get is so much more than the price of admission plus you can feel so good knowing that you are helping to raise so much money for such an important cause! We have raised over $577,000 so far because of Girlfriends like YOU! We get so much joy knowing that we are providing an opportunity for women to get together and do something great for themselves and for our community. We are so excited and honored to be completing this journey with all of you for the 13th year in a row – we started with 400 women and now it’s one of the most popular events in the Northwest. That’s the power of women!
PACKET PICKUP: Remember to bring your ID and if you are picking up packages for Girlfriends, remember to have them complete and print the authorization form and have them send it with you and a copy of their ID. This is a requirement since we are sanctioned by USATF.
Packet Pickup on Saturday October 12th from 10am-6pm
Foot Traffic Vancouver, 305 SE Chkalov Dr., Vancouver, WA 98683
Please pick up your SWAG bags, bib #, and shirt at the Saturday time slot listed above. Note, if it is absolutely impossible for you to pick up on Saturday we will accommodate you on Sunday. It’s always so busy on Sunday morning and it makes it easier on everyone, yourself included, if you take care of this on Saturday. We will definitely take care of you though so don’t stress if you can’t make it on Saturday.
START/FINISH LINE: Warehouse 23 at the Waterfront park. The address is 100 Columbia Street, #102, Vancouver WA 98660
WHEN TO ARRIVE ON RACE DAY: We suggest you plan to arrive at the start/finish by 8:00am at the latest to allow enough time to get situated, take a potty break, and get yourself mentally and physically prepared. Pre-race announcements will begin at 8:30am, with the high energy and fun warm-up at around 8:45, and the Half Marathon/10K officially starting at 9:00am and the 6K starting at 9:10am.
We also want to do a special acknowledgement to all of our Cancer Survivors who will be participating, so please gather around the stage at 8:25am so we can take photos. We also have a little gift for each of you to thank you for participating and being such strong and inspirational women!
PARKING: Parking is no longer free on the waterfront so expect to pay for parking if you want to park in any of the closer parking lots along the new waterfront. However, parking is still free in downtown Vancouver on weekends, so park downtown and walk a few blocks and count it as your warmup. There is plenty of free parking available downtown. Better yet, try carpooling with your gals or taking the Bus with C-Tran.
SELF-SEED: This is an important initiative to create an experience that is more enjoyable and safe for all of you. If you are a fast runner, line up right behind the start/finish line arch. If you are an intermediate runner, position yourself mid-way back in the corral. If you are a walker, please start at the rear. Please be sure to start in the correct area, otherwise it’s very frustrating for the runners/walkers behind you. Plus you will have a much better experience rather than getting tripped up by someone trying to get around you. Parents, if your kids are doing the 6K with you, unless you know they will be one of the top finishers, please have them start at the back. Kids are notorious for starting at the front, sprinting for 100 meters and then stopping abruptly posing a safety risk for themselves and others.
COURSE: We believe this is one of the prettiest courses in the Northwest! We’ve designed the course to take you through some of the most scenic areas of Vancouver and it really highlights our wonderful community! There will be a few lead cyclists and plenty of course marshals and signage to ensure you know exactly where you are going. There are a few sections that are tight and will require you to run both directions past each other. There are some areas where you are required so stay to the left or to the right so be sure to pay attention so there are no collisions! Please always listen to the course marshals – they are there for your safety. When on any road-way, be sure to watch for cars and if you have the option, use the sidewalks/paths. We will also have a designated ‘sweeper’ to be the last walker (so you don’t have to worry about being last!). The course will be marked at each mile. For those of you who would like to study the courses in detail, you can visit the online course maps here.
IMPORTANT COURSE CHANGE: Due to ongoing waterfront construction and development, we have had to alter our start/finish line and the initial route over the last years and we need to do that again last year. Soon, we will have a permanent start/finish line which will be AMAZING once all the waterfront development is completed in this area. Due to these changes, our 5K course is actually closer to a 6K course so leave a little extra at the end. This year, the start/finish line is in the Warehouse 23 parking lot. We will do our announcements and warmup in this area. Our initial route will take us from the parking lot and zig zag until we can enter the new waterfront path which is absolutely beautiful as you travel past the Grant street Pier and all of our new Waterfront restaurants. The rest of the route is similar to past years and will take you through downtown, along historical Officer’s Row, around Fort Vancouver and over the Confluence Land-bridge. Our Half Marathon and 10K athletes will also travel along the Columbia River with our Half Marathoners’ route extending all the way to Marine and Wintler park. As you are nearing the finish line, you will be directed through a narrow, zig-zag “Path of Hope” to get you back into the parking lot and the finish line. You will need to go single-file and be careful through this section. Be patient through this section – the firemen and mimosas will still be waiting for you!
COURSE SPLITS: There are 3 very important splits on the course that you will want to pay attention to. At about 2 miles at the bottom of Fort Vancouver hill, Half Marathoners and 10K athletes will turn Left while 6K athletes will turn Right. Go the correct way based on how you have registered. The 2nd course split is after the Confluence Land-bridge with the Half Marathon and 10K athletes again going Left and the 6K athletes going Right. The 3rd course split is when the 10K athletes turnaround along the Columbia River trail and the Half Marathon athletes continue straight to Wintler park. You don’t have to memorize this as there will be signage and volunteers instructing you however, you will need to pay attention and follow the instructions. Note, please don’t decide to change the event you registered for or cut the course without officially letting us know or else it significantly affects result reports for everyone. If you have to change distances, you must let us know so we can adjust in the results.
SPECTATORS: Send the above course details link to your supporters so they know the course and can plan out their cheering locations. Good spots for your loved ones are as follows:
6K – Start/Finish at Warehouse 23, Officer’s Row, Fort Vancouver
10K – Start/Finish at Warehouse 23, Officer’s Row, Fort Vancouver
Half Marathon – Start/Finish at Warehouse 23, Officer’s Row, Fort Vancouver, Beaches, Marine Park, Wintler Park
Please remind them to be careful if they are going to drive along the course to cheer you on at various locations. Also remind them to make awesome signs for you, bring their cowbells to help keep your energy up and flowers for the finish line! Here’s a link to some awesome and fun sign ideas. Don’t assume they know to do this – sometimes you’ve got to give family a little direction!
BATHROOM FACILITIES AT THE START/FINISH LINE: We’ve ordered plenty of Porta Potties for the start/finish! Hopefully, the lines will be minimal! Warehouse 23 will also be open and there are plenty of bathrooms inside there too.
PORTA-POTTIES ON COURSE: Fortunately, there are plenty of bathroom opportunities along the course at Marine Park, Wintler Park and Beaches restaurant. We have also placed additional porta potties at the bottom of Fort Vancouver and along the waterfront trail.
GEAR BAG CHECK: If you would like to leave items at the start/finish area, there will be a Gear Bag Check area inside Warehouse 23. We ask that you place your belongings in a bag with your first and last name and Bib # clearly taped to the outside of the bag so we can easily identify it for you after the race. We will ask you to show your Bib # when you pick up your bag at the finish. Please understand that we can’t be responsible for your valuables, so anything of value, please lock in your car.
FREE PHOTOS COURTESY OF IQ CREDIT UNION: Remember to smile on course and if you do a fun pose/beautiful smile, it may just become your Facebook profile shot! Remember to post your photos to social media and tag #GIRLFRIENDSRUN, #WHYracing, #WHYA2, #WHYTOYOTA and #THANKSIQ to be entered to win awesome prizes!
CHANGING FACILITIES: Please be sure to bring a change of clothes so you can enjoy the post-event festivities and vendors sampling their products and services. Feel free to use Warehouse 23 bathroom facilities to change.
SHIRT SWAP: If the size of the shirt you ordered does not fit, we will be hosting a Shirt Swap at the T-shirt area in Warehouse 23 after the race. We cannot guarantee you can switch but will do our best to accommodate your need.
LOST & FOUND: Any lost items will be returned to the main stage during the event. After the event, we will take to the Why Racing office and you can contact us to locate. Please come to the event with all personal belongings well marked with your name.
- There will be so much going on after you finish your run, so plan to stick around until the last gal finishes and enjoy a fun, pampering girly day! We’ve planned lots of cool activities to encourage you to stay!
- Warehouse 23 is catering our brunch in their ballroom and it’s going to be amazing!
- Veggie Scramble
- Scallop Potatoes
- Waffles with Mixed Berries & Whipped Cream
- Yogurt Parfaits
- Fresh Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
- Assorted Bagels, Donuts & Pastries from Franz Bakery
- Chocolate Cupcakes
- KIND Snack Bars
- Deschutes Brewery Beer
- Portland Cider
- Pampering Station inside of Warehouse 23 – We will have trainers from Northwest Personal Training ready to stretch you out to help ease any of your tired muscles. We will also have numerous local therapists and chiropractors on hand to help with any aches and pains. Be sure to spend some time in this room – Your body will thank you for it! You can enjoy time with your girlfriends and get a massage while we wait for everyone to finish. Can it get any better than that?
RACING BIB: All Runners will wear a Bib that includes a Disposable Chip. Just be sure to wear your Bib Number visible on the front of your body. There will be 1 Beer Ticket, 1 Mimosa/Cider ticket and your Meal Ticket that you can redeem at Warehouse 23 after you cross the finish line. There is also a Foot Traffic 10% off coupon that you can use at Packet Pickup or on your next shopping trip. Also remember that on the back of your bib is a 25% off coupon at Willows Boutique – a local favorite amongst all of our girlfriends!
AWARDS: For you competitive gals, we’ve got some really cool Girlfriends awards for Top 3 Women and Masters Champion for the Half, 10K & 6K and Top 3 in each age category – so go hard! Awards Ceremony will start at approximately 10:30am for the 6K, 11:00am for the 10K and 11:30 for the Half inside Warehouse 23 in the Brunch Ballroom. If you are one of the Overall or Age Group Champions, please be inside the ballroom based on the schedule above. We will also do a drawing for all kinds of prizes during the awards ceremony so even if you didn’t place overall or in your age group, you still might win!
FACEBOOK: Can we be friends?! If you haven’t yet, please like our Why Racing Events Facebook pages for all event updates, tips and inspiration. https://www.facebook.com/WhyRacingEvents Please also join the GIRLFRIENDS Event Page because this is where we will post results, photos and any last minute updates.
RESULTS: Cascadia Sports Timing will be timing our event. You will be able to find results post-event here. If you click on your personal results link, you will be able to find a video of you crossing the finish line and view and print a Finishers’ Certificates that will list your time, pace and placement – a great reminder of your accomplishment! There will also be Kiosks set up right at the finish line so you can immediately view your results and take a photo of the screen shot so you can post as soon as you finish. If there are any issues with your results, go to the timing van immediately so we can correct before the Awards Ceremony. There is also a results app available for android and apple phones. Here are the links:
OFFICIAL GIRLFRIENDS MERCHANDISE: Remember your accomplishment. Remember your Girlfriends. Remember your contribution to the mission. It’s what every Girlfriend wants! 10% of all sales will go to Jaime Wyatt Miller Cancer Compassion Fund. There are hoodies, long sleeve shirts, arm warmers, bras, hats and more and they make a perfect gift for your girlfriend or yourself. Purchases can be made at Packet Pickup at Foot Traffic on Saturday Oct 12th – first come, first serve. Any items left over will be sold on race day at the expo.
BENEFICIARIES: Our main Girlfriends Beneficiaries include Pink Lemonade Project and the Jaime Miller Cancer Compassion Fund. In addition, there will be schools, teams, and non-profits at the event and on course volunteering to raise funds for their cause. We want to thank all of you for participating in this event and allowing us the opportunity to support our community.
PINK BRIGADE GUYS – Be sure to thank the awesome Pink Brigade Guys for agreeing to raise $500+ each for Pink Lemonade Project. These are some brave guys to be able to handle all that estrogen! Please make them feel welcomed – this will be an experience they will never forget! We will call them up to the stage during pre-race announcements so we will all have the opportunity to show our love for their support and extra efforts!
WILLOWS WONDER WOMEN – The Willows Wonder Women have each agreed to also raise $500 for the Jaime Miller Cancer Compassion Fund and we’re excited to see whether the Gals or Guys win the top Fundraising title! We’ll also call them to the stage to thank them for their extra efforts. You’ll notice the WWW & PBG have a special designation on their bibs so give them some extra love!
VOLUNTEERS: If you have family and friends who are coming to support you, ask them if they’d like to volunteer and get front row seats to all the action. Have them email firstname.lastname@example.org if they are willing to help out. There is no way we could put on this event without the help and support of our volunteer team. Many have dedicated so much time to this event. So be extra-nice to our course marshals, aid station helpers, Fire-fighters and anyone helping out. Thank them as often as possible and show them the love because we want them to all come back next year!
There is absolutely no way we could pull this event together without the support from our fantastic Partners, Sponsors & Vendors! Many of these companies have been involved with Girlfriends for years, some from the beginning. They have been a large part of our ability to raise over $577,000! The best way to thank these companies is to do business with them and let them know you appreciate their support of Girlfriends!
Thank you to our Partners who support our WHY Racing events year-round!
PEACEHEALTH Foot Traffic IQ Credit Union
COVA Northwest Personal Training
Deschutes Brewery Franz Bakery
McCords Vancouver Toyota
XTERRA RUDY XXi2 Whimsy Chocolates Kind Snacks
Thank you to our sponsors who support Girlfriends!
Warehouse 23, Corwin, Seattle Cancer Alliance,
AMR, KICK-EEZ, When the Shoe Fits, Willows
We will have over 30 vendors sampling products and services! The expo will enhance your race experience. Be sure to make a full loop through so you don’t miss any of the sweets, treats & pampering! Be sure to thank them for being at Girlfriends!
Foot Traffic, Franz, Kind Bar, Vata Salon, A List Limo, When the Shoe Fits, Field N Floral, Sweet Spots, PeaceHealth, Women’s Clinic, Be Well Juice Bar, Pink Lemonade Project, Ameriprise, Cupcakes by Ardara, RoadNoise, Willows, CBD Now, Henna Tattoo, Corwin Beverage, Hello Fresh, Northwest Personal Training, Life Force, Power Crunch and many more
Last, a huge thank you to the City of Vancouver including the Special Events Office, Transportation, C-Tran, the Vancouver Fire and Police Department and so many others. I’m sure I’ve forgotten somebody and if I have, may all the volunteers, sponsors and supporters be blessed for your generosity.
REMEMBER YOUR WHY & BE A BFF: You are all racing for different reasons. Some of you are super competitive and are racing to win overall or in your age group or division. Some of you will just be ecstatic to cross the finish. Some of you are racing to reach for your personal best or to get into great shape. Some of you race to be able to eat whatever you want. Some of you do it for energy, to help you look and feel better, some do it for fun or to meet new people. Some of you are racing because you are passionate about the cause or to honor someone who has been impacted by Breast Cancer. Regardless of your WHY, let us congratulate you on pushing your limits and by doing so remember that you will inspire so many others! One of the best things you can do to help all the girlfriends on course have an enjoyable experience is to offer lots of support and praise to the rest of the gals completing this event. So as you pass a gal, tell her how great she is doing. As you’re getting passed, tell the gal how strong she looks. Cheer each other on, it makes the time pass by quickly and empowers you and every gal on the course!
HAVE FUN! As you travel to the race, repeat some positive self-statements about how well you feel and how excited you are about the event. Remember to enjoy the experience. Try your best but remember to pace yourself! You’ve already won just by showing up!
This is my favorite event to host and I feel so honored to count you all as my girlfriends on this very important mission!
Sherri McMillan & your WHY Racing Crew
ps. IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR OUR ROOKIES: If you are new to this type of event, you probably have lots of questions. We’ve placed information regarding what to wear, what to eat, how to taper and other helpful tips at this link. Also on our main event page, there is a FAQ section that should be helpful for you.