I may have got my nails done in the PDX carpet pattern, here they are finally meeting the legend. It is gradually being replaced in the airport right now. Oh noes!
We arrived in time to catch TriMet into town for midnight. Since we'd heard so much about it, we got off early and visited Voodoo Doughnut en route to the hotel. The Mango Tango had the best filling ever!
I am giving Voodoo top marks for fresh imaginative damn fine donuts. Just so you know, the cock and balls is enormous so be aware if you plan on ordering one.
First stop on Saturday (after having donuts for breakfast) was the Expo.
Kev was trying on some compression sleeves when I spotted the PDX carpet next to the Lara Bars. Handsome carpety bastard. It was a very entertaining Expo although the horrible exchange rate puts me off any purchasing. I have been collecting the RnR guitar race pins so I had to grab one of those.
We had dinner on the way back at a lovely Italian place and vowed to halt donut consumption until after the race.
It is a an easy 15 min walk to the start area, just follow the music. We bought VIP for the race in case of rain and also to give Kev somewhere to sit while he waits for me to finish. We have a heated tent, private portapotties and a charming little table set out with sunscreen, moisturizer, and even tampons! I feel very loved.
Access to the start corral is easy even though we arrive after the anthem, wow, corral 9 is full of extremely polite people. There's a hold up while we wait for a train to clear the route ahead, RnR fills the gap with loud energizing music.
Off we go! This is going to be a pleasant race, I spot a couple of ladies in Inknburn early on so we say hello and compare capris. It is cloudy and fairly warm, ideal for running.
The first 5k is good, there's a pretty red bridge after a gentle climb. The next hill is less gentle, it curves to the left and there's all the walking. I feel pretty awful at the top and for some reason I'm dizzy. Meh. This is where it all goes a bit to crap, I have pain in my right side and I can't seem to breathe deeply. At 7k this is not ideal as there's a fair bit of the race left. Stop panicking. I divert my brain by taking a few pictures as we pass through an incredibly colourful area.
Dragon high 5's help everything.
Despite the cycle of run-walk-panic-walk-ouch-shit going on I do notice the race route is exceptionally pretty. We're really seeing a bit of Portland. After leaving the residential area we arrive into a little business district full of nice smelling food and coffee. There's quite a bit of support. I have time to enjoy the bands a bit more as I'm not moving terribly fast.
This sums it up.
At 17k something really odd happens and I become happy. Actually happy. I've been ignoring my asshole Garmin since 10k. I may be having a horrible race physically but dammit I am still having a race and I'm going to finish it.
We cross a bridge back into downtown Portland and there is sunshine! I can see and hear the finish line festival. Alright, I bet there are cold drinks waiting.
It certainly is not a finish sprint I am having, but I'm moving at what could be described as a run so yay. I have much joy. To top it all off there is a big beautiful stretch of PDX carpet before the finish line - well played RnR. I miss a personal worst time by a minute.
The medal is wonderful - note the ribbon, I am loving all this PDX carpet madness. Since I have taken somewhat longer than anticipated, Kev is waiting for me in VIP where the most perfect lemon shortbread in the world and cold drinks live. I try rolling around on the grass to get rid of the pain but apparently I require a chiro.
The finish line festival is in full swing and it is a hot sunny afternoon, this part of the race really is brilliant. We hang out until they're putting chairs away then head back to the hotel via...guess where?