The Girlfriends Run for a Cure is an event that began when some friends wanted to honor and support their girlfriend, Joleen, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now in its eleventh year, it has grown into a plush event. It’s filled with all the nice details that make you feel taken care of, as if your own best girlfriends put it together just for you. What makes it even sweeter? Joleen is a survivor, and continues to race in the event every year wearing bib #1.
Distance reviewed: Quarter Marathon
Elevation gain: About 115 feet
Size of field: Around 500 participants in the Quarter Marathon/ 1,000 in all distances
The Charities: Kearney Breast Center, Susan G. Komen Foundation, Pink Lemonade Project, Children’s Center
The Brews: Mimosas and sour beers courtesy of Warehouse 23
Great brunch – Seriously, the best brunch I have had at a race. Warehouse 23 knocked it out of the park and then some! Since I raced the Quarter Marathon, I got to cruise right in and pick up my mimosa and brunch right away. But it was so popular that by the time the Half Marathoners were finishing, the line was all the way out the lobby doors.
Sweet support – With an origin story based on the love of a gal’s friends, the “why” behind this race has a lot of heart. It shows in all their choices from the charities they support, to the details they’ve added to keep it fun and supportive for women. I love the emphasis on fundraising, and opportunities to be a charity athlete as a “Glam Gal” or “Pink Brigade Guy”.
Corkscrew medal and long-sleeved tech shirt – Long sleeved race shirts are always a nice perk if your event is in the Fall. And, both the Half and Quarter marathon events included a medal with a built-in corkscrew. Which I call a VERY good excuse to hang your medal in your kitchen for all to see. Handy!
All the bells and whistles – Some races can feel very stripped-down, without the fun “extras”. There’s nothing wrong with those; in fact, some people prefer them. But the Girlfriends Run for a Cure feels very plush – it’s a great race, packed and stacked with all the fun extras. It’s lots of fun freebies and prizes, it’s the shirt and the medal and massages and mimosas and a killer brunch. It’s a free, full-sized loaf of bread from Franz Bakery. It’s ALL the things, up to and including a pink superstretch limo in the finish area. So extra.
Flat, Scenic Course – This year, the start/finish was at Warehouse 23, with a route through Fort Vancouver, across the land bridge, and a generous section that’s along the scenic waterfront by the Columbia river. Yes, the trees along the promenade were sporting their resplendent fall colors. Yes, the sun was shining and the air was crisp and cool. I don’t know what more a gal could ask for – unless it’s a dancing bunny pointing the way as a course marshal!
What was in my coffee? Am I the only one seeing this?
I would run the Girlfriends Run for a Cure again in a heartbeat. It was a lovely race for a beautiful, cool, crisp Fall day. The race had a fun, sweet and upbeat feel, with all of the nice extras to make it feel well-supported. I should also mention that this race is very easy on the eyes. With a sea of happy participants wearing pink and firefighters handing out the medals at the finish line, it could be the best-looking race in town.
*. . . Oh, like I wasn’t gonna show you the firefighters? Ha!
Firefighter Bae, hanging out with his friends
Running in the Fall? Check out our top picks for Perfect Running Jackets!