Check out how much fun we have! Such an inspirational day!
General Event Details:
10/15/2017 @ 9:00am sharp - Please show up at 8:30 at the latest to get organized and ensure we start on time.
The Girlfriends and Pink Brigade have raised over $450,000 over the last 10 years!
Girlfriends, please read these IMPORTANT PRE-RACE INSTRUCTIONS
The 11th Annual Girlfriends Run for a Cure is a Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles) and Half Marathon (13.1 miles) designed specifically for women to get together to do something good for themselves and to help support a very important women's cause.
We started this event to honor and support one of our BFFs, Joleen Skarberg, who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and continues to run it every year with her daughters, sisters, nieces, cousins and girlfriends! Watch for her - she'll be wearing #1!
About half the gals run, half walk and many do a combination of running and walking. It doesn't matter how you get to the finish line, as long as you get there! 🙂
So tell all your girlfriends, recruit & inspire them and together have fun and help raise funds for Breast Cancer Research, Care, Treatment & a Cure. This Half and Quarter Marathon walking and running event is designed specifically for women including awesome women’s technical shirts, cool medals, chocolate, cupcakes, massage and firemen waiting for you at the finish line! It's a fabulous Girl's weekend plus the more people who participate, the more money we can raise!
How do you describe your best girlfriend? You love to hang with her – no matter what you’re doing. You can tell her anything without judgment. She inspires you to do and be better. She lifts you up and empowers you. She helps you to see the bright side when you’re going through a tough time. You can laugh and cry and sometimes just do nothing with her. So who is your best girlfriend? Is it your mom, your sis, your daughter, someone you’ve known for years or someone you just met recently? One thing is consistent – it’s someone you connect with on a deep level, a soul sister. And bottom line - when girlfriends get together they can accomplish anything! There’s nothing better, more beautiful than a bunch of strong, powerful, passionate women on a mission! And that’s why collectively, as a group of determined gals, we can make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. Plus when you cross the finish line, you can’t imagine how that positively impacts YOUR entire life. The sense of accomplishment you will feel is unbelievable and it will provide you with the strength and confidence to conquer anything in your life. So – “Go Girlfriend Go Girlfriend Go!”
Warehouse 23/Vancouver Waterfront Landing 100 Columbia St #102 Vancouver, WA 98660
Parking is FREE in downtown Vancouver on the weekends. To avoid any parking delays, park on the roads a few blocks away from the Start/Finish and walk in to warm-up.
Post-event Girly Perks & Festivities on Sunday October 15th: We’re working hard to make this event as women-friendly as possible. For example,
Enjoy chocolate and savory treats at the finish line
Mimosas & Deschutes Brewery! Time to celebrate!
Be treated to a massage, chiropractic treatment, stretching session or acupuncture treatment after you conquer the event. Sit and relax and chat with other cool women like yourself after you finish – that’s what girlfriends do best!
Get an amazing finishers medal /wine opener placed around your neck by a Vancouver Fire Department FIREMAN!
Receive a beautiful women's (gender specific) running shirt that will remind you of your accomplishment.
Awards & Celebrations:
Every woman is a winner in our eyes! But to reward those gals who are speedy, kick-butt athletes, here’s what we’ve come up with:
Awards Ceremony for the Quarter Marathon at approximately 11:00am and approximately 11:15am for the Half Marathon.
Awards for the Top Overall Three Champions and Masters Champion for the Quarter & Half Marathoners
Awards for Top 3 Women in the Half & Quarter Marathon in the following Age Groups: 15 and under, 16-19yrs, 20-24yrs, 25-29yrs, 30-34yrs, 35-39yrs, 40-44yrs, 45-49yrs, 50-54yrs, 55-59yrs, 60-64yrs, 65-69yrs, 70-74, 75-79, 80+ You get a winners’ ribbon just for showing up!!
Please stick around if you can for awards, door prizes and to see the last girlfriend finish and cheer her on.
Note: We will not be able to provide awards for walkers due to the inability to control adherence to walking only during the event.
If you choose to race in the Athena (165+ pounds) category, you are not eligible for Age Group awards. You must choose one or the other.
GIRLFRIENDS RUN FOR A CURE FEES
By Dec 31
Jan 1 - April 30
May 1-Oct 13
QUARTER & HALF MARATHON
MINI GIRLFRIENDS 17 and under
KIDS MINI MARATHON 1.1 miles
16 and under
PINK BRIGADE GUY
Agree to raise or donate $500
Shirts guaranteed only to those participants that have registered a month before race day. Quantities/sizes limited for those registering after that date. There will be no post-race shirt orders.
Technical Women's shirt
Post-event brunch and drink hosted at Warehouse 23!
Sense of accomplishment – Feels so good!
Giving back to the Community - Priceless!
A great price for a fun event, technical shirt, medal, music, food & so much more! Plus you'll feel great knowing that your entry in this event has raised over $450,000!
What to do to be Prepared:
Girlfriend – how do you finish a Quarter and Half Marathon? You can run, jog, walk or crawl. We don’t care as long as you get there. Be sure to train so you can be in the best shape of your life and cross the finish line no problem. Northwest Personal Training, one of our partners, will be hosting Training clinics to help ensure you get to the finish line! Call 360.574.7292 for more details. Also, if you go to our Home Page under the navigation link "Training Programs" we have listed a number of local running clinicis that will help you stay on track with your training.
For our out of town guests, if you are flying, you will need to schedule your flight arriving into Portland Oregon. The event start and finish and local hotels are a 20 minute cab ride from the airport.
What to Bring:
Bring the obvious - running/walking shoes & gear, & your bib number. Watch the weather closely. The show goes on no matter what the weather is doing. Fortunately, if you're dressed correctly, it shouldn't matter. If it's raining, you may want to layer with a water-proof running jacket. If it's cold, wear some running gloves. Vaseline is always a good idea on any spots that might rub (underarms, under the 'girls' aka breast area, inner thighs, feet). Be sure to have your Bib # on the front of your shirt/jacket before you start the race and be sure to step over the timing mats at the start and finish. And watch for the cameras en route and give us a big cheesy smile!
Plus remember to bring a warm, clean change of clothing, your ID and some cash so you can enjoy the post-event festivities.
As a reminder, if your family is going to be cheering you along en route, remind them to bring cowbells, music and pom poms to help keep your energy up along the course. Drop subtle hints to your family and loved ones about how much you’d love for them to have flowers and balloons for you at the finish line. And be sure they make signs for you. Some of our favorites are “Go Mommy Go” or “My Grandma’s a rock-star!”. Or maybe get them a white shirt that they can decorate with encouraging words like “I bet my Mom can run faster than your Mom!” 😉
Contact Me About This Event:
Click here if you would like us to contact you regarding general event information or registration, if applicable.
We believe this is one of the prettiest courses in the Northwest! We've designed the Quarter Marathon (6.55 mile) and Half Marathon (13.1 mile) courses to take you through some of the most scenic areas of Vancouver and it really highlights our wonderful community including Fort Vancouver, the Columbian Riverfront and more. The course is mostly flat with a couple of short hills so save a little energy. As you're climbing those hills just remember 'that which does not kill you, only makes you stronger'! 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 very important splits on the course that you will want to pay attention to. At about 2 miles into the race at the bottom of Fort Vancouver, Quarter Marathoners will turn around a little sooner than the Half Marathoners. The second split at about 4 miles at Beaches restaurant, the Quarter Marathoners will stay along the waterfront for a quick out and back and the Half Marathoners will head through the parking lot towards Wintler Park and back. Go the correct way based on how you have registered. 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 without officially letting us know or else it significantly affects result reports for everyone.
NOTE: Since we are now starting/finishing at Warehouse 23 along the Columbia Waterfront (amazing NEW VENUE), we are doing the traditional Girlfriends course in reverse compared to the last 10 years. This means you will be going DOWN the Fort Vancouver Hill instead of up it! That should be a nice change! There are 2 changes compared to prior years.
Here's some more footage of how much fun we have at Girlfriends...
Pink Lemonade Project, Susan G. Komen for the Cure & Children's Center
Note different Packet Pickup Locations and Times - We want to give an option for Vancouver and Portland athletes to make it easy for you to pick up your materials. Remember your ID!
Pick up Location and Times:
Friday, October 13th from 11am-6pm Fleet Feet Sports Vancouver 16020 SE Mill Plain Blvd. #113 Vancouver, WA 98684 360.885.4556
Saturday, October 14th from 1pm-5pm Fleet Feet Sports PDX 2258 NW Raleigh Street Portland, OR 97210 503.525.2122
Please pick up your goody bags, bib #, and shirt at the Friday and Saturday time slots listed above. Note, we do not have packet pick-up scheduled for Sunday but if it is absolutely impossible for you to pick up on Friday or Saturday we will accommodate you. It's always so busy on Sunday morning and it makes it easier on everyone, yourself included, if you take care of this on Friday or Saturday.
Travel & Accommodations:
There is so much to do in our beautiful city of Vancouver WA. Make it a full weekend and enjoy so much of what our city and the surrounding area has to offer. Plus Portland OR is literally right across the river so come for the weekend or stay a week or more and soak it all in!
Here's a glimpse of what Vancouver USA has to offer. Bring your family or make it a Girlfriends Active Retreat!
For our out of town guests, if you are flying, you will need to schedule your flight arriving into Portland Oregon. Hotels listed below are 20 minutes from airport.
Book your accommodations at one of the following hotels:
Comfort Inn Downtown Vancouver, 401 E. 13th Street 360-696-0411
$79- room with 2 double beds $84.99- room with 2 queen beds $89.00- king suit.
General Running Program Design: If you are going to attempt this on your own or would like a better understanding of proper training protocol, here are a few general guidelines for designing your training program.
If you are not running consistently right now, start with a Learn to Run program that will start with 1 minute of running and 4 minutes of walking and gradually progress adding 1 minute of running per session per week and reduce walking until you can comfortably run non-stop.
As you progress your weekly long runs, do not increase your volume any more than 10-20% every 1-2 weeks. Be more conservative if you are more prone to injury.
Try not to run 2 days in a row if possible. Running exposes your body to a lot of impact and it is helpful to allow your body time to recover in between running workouts, especially if you are prone to injury.
Allow for one full recovery day per week. It doesn’t mean you have to lay around watching TV and eating bon bons all day but it’s a good idea to have one day a week when you aren’t concerned about getting into your training zone and instead, allow your body a day’s rest from impact and intensity.
If possible, run on packed, level dirt, trails, or grass, which are a lot easier on your body. If running through the city, paved roads (asphalt) are easier on your legs than concrete sidewalks (cement). Just watch for traffic and always run in the opposite direction of cars so you can react if needed.
Implement muscle strength and endurance training into your program. As you run, the muscles of your lower body absorb the forces. As your muscles fatigue, they lose their shock absorbing abilities and the forces are absorbed more through your bones and joints. If you strength train, your muscles become stronger, are better able to absorb impact, take longer to fatigue and are better able to generate greater force leading to faster running speeds. The ability of a muscle to resist fatigue helps reduce the incidence of injury. Research has shown the areas that suffer the largest amount of stress include the feet, the shins, the back, knees and the hip. Therefore, a specific program that addresses these areas must be followed if long-term running is a goal. Luckily you don't need to spend a great deal of time in the weight room to experience these benefits. All you'll need to do is 1 set of 8-20 reps of a variety of exercises two times per week. This equates to about 30-60 minutes a few times a week. We're hoping that those of you who want to minimize your risk for injury and enhance your running performance, will be able to find the motivation and time to fit these short workouts in. If you do not have a personalized weight training program, we strongly encourage you to invest in a few sessions with a trainer, so they can design a program for you. This will ensure you’re not wasting any time during your workouts.
Incorporate cross training into your program. We'd rather see a runner run 3x/week and compliment their program with swimming, cycling, resistance training and fitness classes rather than run 6x/week. Cross training will maintain a greater balance to your program and your body and keep your program exciting.
Consider how you run. Seems easy enough right? Right foot, left foot. But there is actually a science to it. Go to the following link for a blog about Effective Running Technique. http://www.shapeupwithsherri.com/2014/09/29/running-program-week-8/ In fact, there is an 11 week Running Program series chock full of great information for those of you who are starting your running career! 🙂
Before you begin any run or run/walk workout, start with a 6-12 minute walk. This will allow your heart rate and breathing rate to increase gradually, your body temperature to rise and prepare your muscles for the workout. Once you've completed your warm-up, complete the following dynamic joint movements to take your lower body joints through their full range of motion in a slow, controlled fashion.
Start with one leg in front of the other.
Raise the back heel up onto your toes and contract the calf. Repeat 10-15x.
Now lift the entire back foot off the floor and contract the glute (buttock). Repeat 10-15x
Now lift the back heel towards the buttocks and contract the hamstrings (back of the thigh). Repeat 10-15x.
Now lift the knee forwards and contract the quads (front of thigh). Repeat 10-15x.
Now hold your knee up and balance while doing 10 ankle circles one way and then the other way. Repeat this sequence on the other leg. Then perform a 20 fast toe taps on each leg and 20 heel raises. You're now ready to start your workout. Ease into your training zone.
Once you have completed each workout including warm-up and cool-down, be sure you save enough time to lengthen and release. This is one of the most important things you can do to reduce your chances of experiencing injuries and to aid in the recovery process. If you don’t foam roll regularly, please call us at 360.574.7292 so we can schedule you in to show you a few critical release techniques.
What to Wear: Watch the weather closely. The show goes on no matter what the weather is doing. Fortunately, if you're dressed correctly, it shouldn't matter. If it's raining, you may want to layer with a water-proof running jacket. If it's cold, wear some running gloves. Vaseline is always a good idea on any spots that might rub (underarms, under the 'girls' aka breast area, inner thighs, feet). Also notice we're using a Disposable Chip Timing piece within your racing Bib to more accurately track your pace and placement. Wear your Bib Number on the front of your shirt/jacket. And watch for the cameras en route and give us a big cheesy smile!
Tapering: At about 1-2 weeks from race day, it's time to back off on your training mileage to allow your body enough time to recover and repair before event day. Focus more on quality versus quantity. This is more important for the longer distances.
Nutrition: What to Eat Before, During & After the event:
Eat well the week before the event. Drink lots of water to ensure you're well hydrated and stock up on healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources. Dinner on Friday and Saturday night should be a balanced diet of carbs, protein and fat to provide you with sustainable energy. For example, a chicken/tofu and vegetable pasta with half marinara/cream is a nice option. Or a Vegetable, Meat/Tofu stir-fry with brown rice is a good option. If you know a certain meal has worked in the past, stick with it! And get plenty of rest!
On Sunday morning, your pre-race meal should contain easily digestible carbohydrates (ie. bread, cereal, bagel, fruit, energy bar) and should be eaten 1-4 hours before the event. Don't eat anything new. You don't want any unexpected surprises or digestive upsets.
During the event, take water at each of the aid stations - approximately every 2 miles on course. Even just a few sips will help. When you take your water cup, try squeezing the top of your cup together to create a narrow opening, so as you drink, you don't inhale and choke on too much water. If you feel you may require more water or fuel than this, please be sure to carry it with you. Some runners/walkers like to have a little bit of sugar for a longer race- we'll have PowerBar Gels and Fluid Replacement Drink at all the aid stations to give you that last little push to the finish.
Post event - Congratulations! Be sure to get some fluids - especially the energy drink with electrolytes - into your system right away. Definitely consume some of the fruit and energy bars that we will provide within 1 hour of finishing the event. This will help you recover much more quickly and replenish those depleted carbs in your muscles. Then later in the day - eat what you want (within reason). You deserve it! 🙂
Race Day Mental Prep: 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. Smile and get yourself in a good frame of mind. Remember to enjoy the experience. Try your best but remember to pace yourself! You've already won just by showing up!
Be a good Girlfriend: One of the best things you can do during the race to help others 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. And 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!
Can I register on Race Day? Can my friend pick up my packet? Can I get a refund? Can I transfer my registration to another race or athlete? All registration and packet pickup related questions can be found under the main navigation heading titled "Registration & Packet Pickup". If you cannot find the answer to your question, please email us at email@example.com
Are Jogger strollers allowed? Well, 13.1 miles for the kiddos might be a little much. Unless you don’t mind hearing “Mom, How much longer?” for a couple hours. Yeah, it might be a good idea to find a sitter for this one and just enjoy the event with your girlfriends. Plus it might be a little dangerous for your fellow walkers and runners to try to maneuver around you even for the Quarter marathon because some of the areas overlap and the intersections can be a little tight! But invite the kids to come and see you finish and participate in the Kids Mini Marathon. Teach them the importance of giving back at an early age. You’ll provide an awesome role model for them.
Are headsets, earbuds or any type of personal music device allowed in this race? We prefer for athletes to NOT use music devices to maximize safety, assure a fair competitive environment and assure athletes can hear all course marshal instructions. With that said, we also understand that many athletes rely on music to help endure the challenge of running. To accommodate the needs of our athletes while still assuring maximum safety and a fair, competitive environment, here is the arrangement that we can accommodate. • If you chose to use a personal music device, we ask that you always keep one ear open for instructions so only one ear-bud should be used at any time. • We also request that if you chose to use a personal music device that you keep the volume to a minimum to assure all instructions can be heard.
Will you offer a Bag Check: Yes! If you would like to leave items at the start/finish area, we will be using Pilates Plus (right across from our studio) as our Bag-check location. 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 your bag. 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.
Can I switch my t-shirt size? Getting the shirt sizes accurate for all different body shapes and sizes is extremely difficult! Sometimes shirts run small and sometimes they run big but we often don’t know that until we have them in our hands. If the size of the 'shirt' you ordered does not fit, we will be hosting a 'Shirt' swap area at the Bag check area in Pilates Plus after the race. We cannot guarantee you will be able to swap but will do our best to accommodate your need.
Can I use roller blades, a bike or skateboard? Unfortunately, for liability reasons, no bikes, skateboards or rollerblades are allowed. Although wouldn’t that be a cool sight to see a bunch of moms and grandmas roller-blading and skateboarding!?
Will you offer Awards for Walkers-only? We will not be able to provide awards for walkers due to the inability to control adherence to walking only during the event.
Where will results be posted? Once the results are live, they will be posted at
How many porta-potties will you have at the start/finish area?
We've ordered a ton of porta potties for the start/finish! Hopefully, the lines will be minimal!
Northwest Personal Training-Please reserve these bathrooms for our NWPT clients. Our plumbing can't handle the volume and if there's one thing we dislike, it's plunging a toilet!
Local Businesses - Pilates Plus, Black Rock Cafe, Bridge Chiro...
How many porta-potties will be on the Course: Fortunately, there are plenty of bathroom opportunities along the course. Along the waterfront before you drop down to Beaches, there will be a Porta potty. At Mile 2, you will pass Beaches Restaurant and they have agreed to allow all Girlfriends participants to use their restrooms. At about Mile 3.5, you'll pass bathroom spots in Marine Park (if it gets crowded and you're brave, feel free to take over the guys bathrooms too!). At Mile 5, you'll pass the restrooms in Wintler Park and we’ve ordered an extra porta-potty. You'll pass the Marine Park bathrooms again at around mile 6. You'll have the opportunity to use the Bathrooms at Beaches as we pass them again at around Mile 8 and the additional porta potty along the waterfront trail. At about Mile 9, you'll pass 2 Porta Potties that we've set up at Reserve and 5th street. At about Mile 10, you'll be travelling around the new Fred Meyer complex with lots of quick restroom stops at the local restaurants such as the Rock Woodfire Pizza, Subway, Panda express etc. which have all been notified and agreed to allow a bunch of sweaty girlfriends to use their restrooms. You'll pass the Reserve and 5th porta potties again at about Mile 11.5 and finally, at about mile 12, you can opt for a final restroom stop because we ordered another Porta potty for the top of the Fort Vancouver hill. We'll post signs at each opportunity-plenty of options for even the most menopausal, bladder-challenged woman!
Where should my family go to cheer me along? Good spots for your loved ones are:
Beaches Restaurant - they will see you twice here for the Half Marathon and once for the Quarter
Marine Park Area - for Half Marathoners only
Fort Vancouver Area - they will see you twice here for both the Quarter and Half Marathoners
Officer's Row for all runners/walkers
And of course, the finish line
Just remind them to be careful if they are going to drive along the course to cheer you on at various locations. And also remind them to make awesome signs for you, bring their cowbells to help keep your energy up and flowers for the finish line! Don't assume they know to do this - sometimes you've got to give family a little direction!
What is the Pink Brigade? The Pink Brigade is a group of 50 guys who have each agreed to raise $500 or more for the Kearney Breast Center and will either run or walk the event with the Girlfriends or agree to be a VIP Volunteer. Collectively, they will raise $25,000 for the Kearney Breast Center! Click here for more information about the Pink Brigade.
Are Dogs allowed on course? Unfortunately due to insurance requirements, only Service Dogs are allowed on course and must start at the end of the race after all other participants have started.
This event requires a ton of volunteers so if you can recruit friends, family, companies, churches, or sports teams to help that would be extremely helpful. They will get front row seats to all the action!
In addition, our events offer a terrific fundraising opportunity for a club/organization (non-profit) and a fun, inspiring way to encourage and support the athletes that participate in these events. Under our fundraising program, $20-$25 will be paid to the non-profit organization for each volunteer 4-6+hour shift depending on our needs. All the volunteers will also get a snack, gift, goody bag and be able to enjoy the post-race festivities.
We typically need about 100 volunteers per day for most events with tasks such as water stations, course marshals, food prep, finish line, set up and clean up.
Volunteer assignments and fundraising capacity is first come, first serve. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or complete the info below and we will get back to you soon.
And remember, there's no way we could host this event without the help and support of our volunteer team. Many have dedicated hours and hours of time to this event to assure the safety of our athletes and make the event more enjoyable. So be extra-nice to anyone helping out. Thank them as often as possible because we have been told we have the best volunteers ever and we want them to all come back next year!
Do you want to get your kids involved? Sign them up for the Kids Mini-Marathon and give them the sense of accomplishment as they cross the finish line too while raising money!
Time: Approximately 12:15pm
Details: At 12:15 on race day, kids will complete 1.1 miles together along the Columbia River Waterfront Trail away from vehicles. They will receive a medal as they cross the same finish line as their mom/grandma/aunt and feel amazing knowing they’re doing their part to help out too!
Kids Mini Marathon includes:
Great kids running shirt
Sense of Accomplishment & Teaching our kids to give back - Priceless!
"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals." -Z. Ziglar
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