Portland Shamrock Run Training Day

Trip Start Jun 17, 2013
1
8
35
Trip End Aug 13, 2013


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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Sunday, March 17, 2013

Blue sky promised a clear, albeit, cold morning to enjoy the Shamrock Run/Walk on St. Patrick's Day this year. Scarlet, daughter and child one, ran the 15K, so was up at the crack of dawn and on the route before we reached Portland. Son Harv and I drove up together and found fair sailing right until we reached Portland. We decided to take Naito - a BIG mistake - and ended up sitting at a stand still for 20 minutes, before we were informed that the street would be blocked (below us) until noon. About 35 cars then had to turn around and head down the one way hill. Luckily everyone was in the spirit and no dents or crashes occurred. Finally, after heading back to the freeway and around the traffic, we found a spot to park and walked to the starting line. There were 35,000 participants this year, between the runs and walks - 15K, 8K, and 5K runs, a kids lap and finally, our walk, the 5K Fitness Walk. We arrived at the starting line at 9:45 and joined the throng that was waiting to begin; after 10 minutes or so, we started moving and heading toward the Starting Arch among a mob in green shirts, green hair, kilts, shamrock socks, tutus, and other Irish themed costumes.

In this race, there were about 4,000 people. All ages - babies in strollers up to 80 or so - walking slowly or swiftly, depending on their ability. I found my stride right away, regardless of the mass of people and was able to keep it throughout the race. One mile came quickly and I was feeling good, bobbing and weaving among the sea of green, finding a hole here and there to slide through. Mile two came more easily than expected and soon I was at 2.5, looking for the water table. Up the hill and over the top, around the corner to the last stretch. All the while, I was texting Scarlet to discover she had finished and was waiting at the finish line to greet us. As I approached the finish line, I glanced at my 'Run Keeper' and was astonished to see my pace - 13.56 minutes per mile. I had shaved a minute plus off my normal 5K pace.

At the end of the race, pictures were snapped and stories recounted. Then we walked to the car and found our way to the Interurban for brunch. The place was packed, many racers had the same idea. Not to worry, there was a small table upstairs that we could squeeze into. Delicious food staved our hunger and we were out before we knew it. Dropped Scarlet off at her house, then Harv and I drove home the sun shining through ever darkening clouds.

All in all, a very successful day for training and fun. My training will continue through April until the Race for the Roses on April 14th; one month before I fly to Scotland for the real test...


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