Portland to Coast, Part 3

IT WORKED!  HOORAY!  No pictures, but that’s the way it goes.  I’m not messing with it.

 

Later we got a call from the second half of the team–they were TWO HOURS ahead of their projected time, and had to slow it down a little. If a team comes in 2 1/2 hours earlier than its time as projected by the Portland-to-Coast office, it can be disqualified. This time is calculated based on the pace times we members supply to them, so it isn’t arbitrary. Our team is not competing for any win/place/show thing, so we don’t pay that much attention. We had to this year! We’ve never been in this type of situation before.

Our team finished up in the early afternoon (not sure of the time–numbers and I don’t get along well). What happens is, the lookout towers announce the team number as the walker or runner (Hood-to-Coast teams run from the slopes of Mt. Hood to Seaside) approaches, and the main tower then broadcasts it to the beach. The rest of the team members waits in the chute (“moo”) until their team member–in our case, Megan–crosses in front of them, then they all cross the finish line together. The team name is announced, everyone cheers, and we go get our medals. Then a group picture, a look around at the vendors’ booths, and finally some well-deserved rest.

We made dinner reservations for 5pm at an Italian restaurant in Astoria, a half-hour’s drive up the road. Then we didn’t do much but wait. Everyone got their showers in, then some rested, while others took advantage of the resting to play pranks on them–Megan, you know who you are. Paul and I left the premises to go get some salt-water taffy to take home, so as to stretch our legs a little and leave the tired team members at peace. Well, some had peace. Some had things drawn on them. Ron, you know who you are…

Dinner was WONDERFUL! The guy who waited on us was just as terrific as the one who waited on us a couple of years ago. We had originally planned to make dinner at the house like we did last year, but it was decided that the house was too small to comfortably make and eat a meal for twelve. (The place we had last year was huge–but it had already been reserved for this year. You have to reserve FAST for this event!)

Traffic was horrendous getting back, but we found a shortcut through residential streets and were back in plenty of time to watch the sunset and wait for the fireworks.

And they did not disappoint. It was a lovely spectacle. (I would have posted a picture, but it’s taking too long to upload, and I have already been at this a couple of hours. I really do have to get on with my day.)

We zonked early that night, barely up past the fireworks. The next morning, we had planned to pile into the vans and drive up to Astoria to the Pig n Pancake, but Gayle came back from her morning walk with the news that the local one was still practically empty. Grabbing the opportunity to beat over 1000 race participants to breakfast, we all zipped (ha! “limped”, more like) the few blocks to the restaurant, and had a wonderful breakfast. By the time we left, and we hadn’t stayed there long, the place was full and there was a line outside. And the people just kept coming! Phew!

After breakfast, we went back, loaded up, and left.

Another year under our belts. So: the question–why do we do this every year? This is why–what I wrote above, and the medals, of course. Lovely blogging with you, but I must go out and start training for next year now.

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