Saturday, October 18, 2008


Got to Portland after an uneventful drive -- until we tried to get close to the running store where we were picking up our packets for the Run Like Hell tomorrow. Chaos! Clearly a very nice neighborhood that has outgrown its roads... but we found parking on a residential street only a block away.

A bit of chaos in the shop -- luckily it was a nice day so they had moved the packet pickup and registration outdoors -- where we joined a very long line (and almost jumped it because there were so many people milling about!). We also picked up a revised course map -- apparently a mudslide has closed one of the roads we were supposed to run on, so now the course is an out and back. Boo.

After 7 or 8 minutes, however, we were at the front of the line, where we picked up our packets from the very friendly woman. Then we had to join another line to pick up our tech shirts. There was a bit of confusion there, too -- some people were told they didn't have the shirts in their size, but apparently that was for people who hadn't pre-registered? Not sure. Then we got to the front, and were given two very different shirts. Wil was given a cotton t-shirt and I was given a strangely heavy cotton/poly blend. Made by Port Authority. Not the "tech shirts" we were promised. We stood there for a minute, trying to figure out what was going on. Wil noticed that pushed off to the side in the shirt box was a small pile of nice shirts -- he quickly swapped his out for a proper New Balance shirt.

That left me with a heavy shirt that might be suitable for golfing, but certainly not for running. We went in to the store to confer, and Wil suggested I go back out and ask to trade because this wasn't a tech shirt. The "shirt guy" -- who had clearly been dealing with handing out the poor-quality shirts all day and was perhaps saving the nicer shirts for his friends -- got really arsey with me, told my not to look in "his boxes" and to take it up with the race director. Nice.

I guess I'm accustomed to getting decent quality shirts when you pay extra for them. I did a little research on the Port Authority site. They do offer a 100% polyester, lightweight tech shirt. Unfortunately, it costs $2 more per shirt than the 60% cotton, heavy-weight "active" shirt. So they went with a shirt described as "perfect for an active workday, hot weather and travel". Poor form. I think I'd rather have my $10 back and just get a cotton t-shirt. At least I wouldn't feel as if I was cheated.

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