March 11, 2007.
time 45:25? |? placed 39/327 in my age/sex group; 620/2468 overall
This run is one popular Portland event! For my first race in 6 years, I joined my buddies Kevin, Sue and Steve for this one on a VERY early Sunday morning. We met in the midst of it all. Downtown was a sea of people–runners, police, volunteers, spectators… Many were decked out in green, some had funny hats, kilts, or other bizarre costumes. We were pretty low-key, and excited to be participating in the 8K today.
We handed our stuff to Steve, who had completed the 5K earlier, and lined up to wait for the start of the second wave to begin. The first mile of the race was like a runner sandwich. There were so many people there that we were moving pretty slowly. As tempted as I was to splash through the puddles as we rounded the street corners, I refrained and continued on my way.
Kevin, Sue and I stuck together for a little while but became separated as we climbed up an agonizing hill. The crowd thinned a little, and we all ran at our own pace. We caught up to the crazy drunk guys running with a boom box playing “Eye of the Tiger,” which gave us a little bit of a boost coming up the hill. Shortly later, Kevin pulled ahead and I finished up on my own.
Eventually the uphill transisitioned to down and I picked up the pace. We joined up with the 15K runners for a stretch, and I also began to see some of the first wave 8K runners. I was feeling good.
A nice steep downhill towards the end led to the final stretch. I began tagging other runners and making it a goal to get ahead of that one, then that one, then that girl over there…and eventually sprinting through the finish line. Awesome.
We all regrouped at the end of the race and proceeded to consume our free beer and clam chowdah. There was such a mix of people at this event, which made for great people watching. It ranged from serious, hardcore runners to people who were just out to have a fun time. We were in the “fun time” category. We finished the morning by stopping at a breakfast joint in NW. A 5-mile run, and a beer before breakfast…all in all this was one productive Sunday morning!