Saturday, May 18, 2013

Rock 'n' Roll Portland pre-race report

Rock 'n' Roll Portland Half Marathon
Got up early for the drive to PDX this morning -- I love getting an early start on Saturdays! We stopped at Burgerville for some fried asparagus spears and an anasazi bean burger -- okay, maybe it wasn't a traditional breakfast, but it was really hard to resist it this morning.
Arrived at the expo around 10:15 - after paying $8 for parking. Now, look, had we been in the heart of downtown, I would understand why there is a parking fee. But surely the point of putting your city's "expo center" way out on the edge of town is so that you have tons of room... and therefore free parking? No? Oh, so it's a money grab. Okaaaayyyy.
Got our bibs -- GINORMOUS, Rock 'n' Roll bibs are always so huge! -- our shirts -- gray! -- and our so-called swag bags -- the usual disappointment. Well, okay, not a disappointment because I don't expect anything actually in them...
We went into the Brooks area to find Tara (thanks for the VIP Porta Potty passes!!!!) and ran into Keely and Angie, too. We had a nice chat and I got all embarrassed when they noticed my charm bracelet. :) We picked up a pint glass and a pin (of course), and while we were waiting to check out, heard an announcement that John Bingham was speaking in a few minutes. Well, it seemed silly not to say hello, so when we were done we wandered over there to watch. Of course, John being John, he stopped everything to come over and hug us. But we settled in to listen.

John has a great way about him -- he's funny, he's honest, and he puts people at ease. A group of women from Montana were there, all of whom were nervous about running their first half marathon. So he answered their questions, told funny stories, and generally made them feel better. Afterward we had a very quick talk, but I forgot to volunteer our services for the night before the Alaska cruise. I'll send a note. :)
It feels like a lot of vendors are bringing snacks to the expo nowadays -- we got chips, energy bars, yogurt, and something being pitched as half-popped corn... We also picked up a Geico-branded 13.1 sticker (weird?), a Paypal-branded pace "tattoo" (umm... is it really news that you can pay with Paypal at Jamba Juice?!?), and we probably could have picked up much more.
We also waited a few minutes to see Kara Goucher, whom John was interviewing at noon... but all I wanted was to catch a glimpse, so we didn't stay around.
We left expo, checked in to our suite at the Hotel Modera (so awesome! thank you Hotel Modera!), and eventually had a wander around pretty downtown Portland... we hit the Saturday Market, bought hand-made wool hats, admired some sweet sneakers, looked at kaiju, had a very late lunch or early dinner at the Veggie House, admired the incredible selection at Fizz (?), a new candy and soda pop shop, and then had a nightcap in the Rookery Bar at the Raven and Rose. Perfect!

Everything is laid out for tomorrow; here's hoping for a dry morning and a good race!

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