I have had Columbia Gorge penciled in as my Oregon race of choice, but the timing of the Oregon Marathon corresponded with Cindy’s annual trip from Korea, so #GirlWeekend2017
revolved around this very small race run outside Portland, Oregon. RACE STATS: 48th Race of Marathon or Beyond and 31st State
In keeping with tradition (which is getting harder and harder), below are 31 thoughts about my Oregon Marathon Weekend.
1. Once we knew this would be our race, several folks who were excited to see/meet Cindy (not me or Carolyn) put this race on their calendar. We were joined by David Malone, Dave L, and Neil Longhurst. I had never met either of the Davids before, but had met
Neil at one of my Bostons. And while he didn’t travel to Portland…..because he lives there…..Scott Kraft was part of the contingency.
2. My entertainment of choice for my total 4 hours of travel time to Portland was the newly released, Netflix show, Friends From College. It was a perfectly fine show worth watching which won’t win any awards, but is an adequate time killer with a good cast.
3. I arrived mid-afternoon to find Carolyn, who arrived mid-morning, enjoying her 11th beer (this truly may NOT be an exaggeration
) at downtown Portland bar. We made a dent in my Oregon beer count that night and kinda forgot to eat real food. Good thing
we weren’t running a marathon in 36 hours! Oh wait…..
4. We went to the “expo” and picked up our stuff. While the shirt looked cool, it fit oddly and was made of what the most unbreathable fabric ever manufactured.
We all have a bajillion race shirts and I guarantee you don’t have one made of whatever this
was made of. I should have felt bad for the people who wore the shirt in the race because I am positive it kept their body heat in on the warm day. But, I didn’t feel bad because the broke they rule about wearing the shirt before they completed the race!
5. We had an AirBnb which was a “garden apartment”….these are fancy words for “basement apartment”. That said, it was very nice with two bedrooms, sitting room with a futon, and kitchen. This was perfect for us three gals and convenient if one had an
unexpected guest. <foreshadowing>
6. The day before the race, was your typical day before a marathon meaning we simply ate and then planned when we would eat next. Of course, at least one pre-marathon meal should be a food you rarely eat, from an unknown food truck, right?
Who doesn’t eat
deep-fried plantains from a food truck for lunch before a marathon? Maybe, everyone besides me and Carolyn?<foreshadowing>
7. In order to fill the day, we went into a small beer store a block away from our place. Coincidentally, Carolyn had actually been there before as it is apparently a very famous beer store. We literally spent 45 minutes in there looking at beers. We MAY have
purchased some to keep on hand in our garden apartment.
8. The pre-race dinner for our nice size group was at the Olive Garden…..not fancy, but one knows what to expect food-wise (unlike eating deep fried plantains) which is good. And they gave us free appetizers! I just love having dinner with people I feel like I know,
but have just met in Real Life for the first time.
9. David Malone drove up from Utah on his motorcycle and had retrieved DaveL for dinner. DaveL had flown down from Washington in his small plane which was parked….not sure “parked” is the correct verb….next to weird guy’s barn in the middle of nowhere.
When we asked DaveL where he was staying he replied, all in the same breath, “Under the wing of my plane, which will be okay as I brought a shovel.”
(For those who are not well versed in outdoor potty etiquette, it is common courtsey to bury
your poop; hence the need for a shovel!) Since our Bitch Squad had a futon in the living room of our garden apartment, we insisted he stay with us.
10. While DaveL was in the car with the Bitch Squad (he gave us girls this title), we had typical “women conversations”. As such, we eventually discussed the fact that Peter Brady was the hottest Brady brother. DaveL then piped up and asked….”The red-headed guy
who was in trouble with the law?”
The fact that DaveL thought Danny Bonaduce played Peter Brady basically made my whole weekend.
Eventually, DaveL made us laugh even harder when he insisted Michael Landon had been arrested for
kicking a transvestite hooker out of his car. (I believe he was thinking of Hugh Grant, but who really knows?)
11. Now that I am reflecting on this interaction, I am beginning to think DaveL’s referring to us as the Bitch Squad may NOT have been a term of endearment…..he may actually think we are bitches! #perceptiveguy
12. We had to leave our place at 4:30 am, to drive out to the finish area in order to catch the bus to the starting line. Scott Kraft had a late flight in the night prior and was supposed to drive over and head out with us. At 4:30, he texted his flight arrived even later
than scheduled and that he would drive himself. Since we had picked up his bib, I told him it would under the flowerpot, next to the side door of the house we were staying in. It seems Scott was REALLY tired because when he went to retrieve his bib, he went to
the wrong house and perhaps woke people up at dawn as he fumbled about their driveway.
13. Since moving to Texas nine years ago, I have never trained as slow as I am training now. NEVER. It is always hot in the summer, so I can’t blame the heat. What I do blame is the fact I am now using Strava so everyone can witness how shitty my runs are. My
race goal was to be consistent with my the two marathons I had run in the past 88 days, so a 4:30 would sadly, be satisfactory.
14. The race started at a high school, so we had the luxury of inside facilities at the start. The drop bag system was easy-peasy as we were instructed to leave our bags “by the wall”. I absolutely, positively love small, intimate races like this one.
15. The race is VERY small with only 131 finishers. After a short out & back and loop around a big pond, the course is a point to point, run almost completely on rail–trail through the forest outside of Portland. Similar to Deadwood Mickelson Trail, we basically ran an
“incline” for 13 miles, before running a “decline” for 13 miles. About halfway, there was a very steep downhill followed by….you guessed it….a very steep uphill. Overall, I would classify this a “flattish” race.
16. Initially, both Cindy and Carolyn indicated they wanted all three of us to run together which would probably result in a PW for both of them. Each of their existing PWs are from San Francisco, where they also ran with me. Unfortunately, Cindy has some weird hip
thing going on so she joined us for about 6 miles and then hoped her husband and son would find her and pick her up. It was the best 6 miles of the race.
17. When we were about 1.5 miles into the race and about to loop the big pond, we saw DaveL running in 5th(?) place. He had indicated he would be taking this easy as he was using the marathon as a training run for his upcoming 100 miler. It was obvious DaveL
needs to take a lesson from the Bitch Squad about how to “take it easy”.
18. At the end of my 50 state journey, I will assign someone the very prestigious title of BEST MANBITCH. Several folks are currently nominated and at this race, David Malone planted himself firmly in contention. In May, David completed his 50th
state…..HOORAY!!! While he and I have never run the same marathon in the same year, we have run many of the same marathons. During this race, he rode his motorcycle to the various aid stations to meet us and nearly every time, he was wearing a shirt
from a different marathon he and I had both run. He traveled to this race, ON HIS MOTORCYCLE, and brought six different shirts to amuse us. This was super cool!!!
19. Dave’s shirts included Detroit, Clarence deMar, Mercedes, Deadwood Mickelson, Boston and Chicago. Since I ran Chicago in 2002, well before my forum and race report days, I was beginning to think David had WAY TOO MUCH free time on his hands and thought
he may be a weird stalker type, combing the web for my race history. It turns out he simply viewed my Marathon Maniacs profile, so he isn’t a weird stalker…..at least as it relates to this!
20. Since David made the effort to find the aid stations on this mostly forest course, it was only polite for us to stop and talk to him at each aid station. We may be bitches, but we aren’t rude bitches! We were in NO HURRY. Is there really a difference between a
4:27 and 4:37 race? No, there really isn’t. I think Carolyn’s watch (which is much fancier than mine…..she is so fancy!) indicated we had nearly 10 minutes of “non-running” during the race.
21. In addition to enjoying David’s company at the aid stations, Carolyn and I each required some pitstops along the path. (Remember the deep-fried, food truck plantains?) And of course, the timing of each of our pitstops didn’t always match up. Thank goodness
we were in the forest….though we had no shovel.
22. David took a bunch of pictures of all of us during the race and posted them on Facebook, including a photo of DaveL in which they were maybe 5 yards from each other. Afterwards, DaveL said he didn’t even see David at the aid station. DaveL was running fast
(his 3:05 was good enough for 7th overall), but since this was a tiny race, the aid stations weren’t really crowded. And yes, I don’t know what is like to run that fast, but I still found it amusing DaveL did not see David as DaveL’s profession is that of private
investigator! #MagnumPI #JimRockford
23. About mile 9ish, we came upon an older man who apparently took advantage of the Early Start. On the back of his shirt were the words “100th marathon”, so of course we asked him if today was his 100th marathon. He said it was and we were very excited for
him. I thought he was probably in his late 60’s but it turns out he was 78!
24. When we reached the halfway point, we were happy to see that Cindy’s husband and son had successfully located her as they were all there cheering for us. SIDENOTE: Think about how incredibly bored your spouse would be on a marathon weekend with a
bunch of runners you only know from the internet and everyone only talked about running. Then, consider what your spouse would think if they came FROM KOREA for such a weekend! Cindy’s husband, Bob is real trooper for putting up with all of us.
25. Because we were running at such a leisurely pace, we talked and talked and talked. And then, we talked some more. And if someone was running near us, we would talk to them (whether they wanted to be spoken to or not). Both Carolyn and I think people
either sped up or slowed down to avoid the chatty bitches. Oh well…..their loss!
26. As the morning progressed, there were more and more bikers on the path, which was maybe 6-8 yards wide. While the two of us were running side by side, we would move to single file if a biker warned us they were coming from behind. Unfortunately, far too
many bikers could have cared less we were running on the path and nearly ran into us.
The very best biker was a 8-9 year old girl who VERY LOUDLY announced…..”Two Bikers Back!” She was with her daddy and it was lovely to see he taught her well.
27. Summer marathons are in theory, stupid because racing in the heat is stupid. But, if one chooses summer marathons in places like Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, San Francisco, Idaho and Oregon, (my summer race states over the past five years), the heat
factor SHOULD be minimized. Should be. The mountains of Wyoming were toasty a few years ago. In May, the temp in Idaho was over 80 when I finished and this weekend in Oregon, for about the last 9-10 miles is was over 80 degrees. #GlobalWarmingIsReal #IBelieveInScience #FuckScottPruitt #NoIceCreamForNaysayers
28. We lost the shade of the forest at about mile 19. The sun coupled with the temperature made the last 10K+ rather shitty. That said, since we were running “easy” we really didn’t slow up, we just whined about the heat.
29. We crossed the line at a very unimpressive 4:37…..but dangit, we had fun!
30. The post race eats included fruit, hamburgers, hotdogs and ice cream. Sadly, the ice cream was nearly gone by the time we finished which was irritating.
(We had been fantasizing about the ice cream the last few miles.) It really wasn’t that big of deal for
me (don’t get me wrong, I did whine about it), but over 50 people still hadn’t finished. If someone was running in that heat for another hour or two, then they really deserved the promised ice cream.
31. Scott selected an excellent brewery for a post race celebration where we all gathered. According to my beer app, thanks to the availability beer flights, I was able to sample 26 different beers over the weekend. Some were good, some were great and some were
(nooner is frustrated I hate IPAs.)
And so goes another fun weekend with friends which was paused for the running of a marathon. I continuously remind myself how fortunate I am to be able to travel the country, have the ability to run marathons and meet up with friends, both new and old. Thanks for reading!
Next Up: Heartland Marathon in Omaha in September