Posted by: Joe English | June 15, 2009

Races — Helvetia Half-marathon fun, challenging event

running-advice-bugHILLSBORO, OR — If you’re wondering what llamas, rolling hills and Porta-Potties have in common, you might not have been among the 4,000+ runners in the Helvetia Half-marathon and Drop Top 10K this weekend. For the throngs of runners and walkers that descended on this rural community on the outskirts of Portland, they have witnessed what brings those things together first-hand.

The Helvetia Half-marathon went off under cloudy skies and perfect temperatures in the low 60s this past Saturday. In its 9th year, the event has gained attention as a growing race that brings together the best of larger races with a smaller race feel.

Helvetia is a mostly agricultural community just north of the town of Hillsboro about a half-marathon outside the city of Portland itself. The race starts from the Hillsboro Stadium, heads north for a few miles over mostly flat road and then takes a north-westerly bend up into a low set of foothills. Participants in the race might take exception to the term “low”, in that almost three miles of the course is then run on a serious of ever more challenging uphill segments. Upon reaching the summit of a large hill, the course bombs back downhill for about two miles before resuming its rolling and flat terrain back toward town.

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