Bridge to Brewhaha

Bridge to Brews got off to a rough’n’tumble start.  With the fastest runners together in the first wave, on a perfectly sunny spring morning, we counted down.  10…9…8… We were pumped!  7…6…5…  Raring to go!  4…3…2…1 and we’re off!

The crowd surged forward, a mass of bodies in motion, when suddenly, everyone seemed to be splitting in the middle, but I couldn’t see why… until I was right on top of it.  Or, rather, on top of HIM.

A camera man had parked himself on the ground in the middle of the road, about 30 feet ahead of the starting line.  And I tackled him good.  Then, as I braced myself for a painful trampling, everything stopped.  The race halted, and I popped back up, bewildered, unscathed (and slightly embarrassed) wondering, “Did I do that?”

No one knew what was going on.  For at least a full minute, we stood there, trying to figure out what happened.  Turns out, the police escorts weren’t in place for the race.  (Hooray, the false start wasn’t my fault!)  I took a moment to check in with the camera man, making sure I didn’t destroy his device.  He was already reviewing the reel – no doubt a humorous clip – of me plowing over him.

“This will make the website for sure,” he said.

Within a few minutes, the race re-started and we were chugging up a steep hill, toward the foot of the Fremont Bridge.  I found myself sizing up the competition around me.  There weren’t many women nearby, but the ones I saw were short with flubby butts.  No matter how fast it felt like I was running, I knew I was capable of beating these ladies.  That’s when, going into the second mile, I kicked it into high gear.

Picking ’em off, one by one, I pulled forward.  There were some men who could hang, but for the most part, every person I passed fell back and I didn’t see them again.  Then, weaving our way through NW Portland, I heard the heavy footsteps of a man trying catch up with me.  I decided to give him a run for his money.

*Tip of the day for runners – try the whispering feet technique!  It reduces impact/injuries to your bones and ligaments AND makes you much stealthier.  No one should be able to hear you coming.  No floppy feet!

Eventually, the guy caught up.

“That’s a nice pace you’re pushing,” he said.  Half-expecting him to dust me, I held steady.  We ran together for almost a mile, chatting, making friends (Hi Troy!) before he paused to grab a splash of water at an aid station.

Well into the 4th mile, there were less than 15 minutes left to run and I was NOT about to slow down.  I zoomed down Front Ave, till the 8k course merged with the 10k course, giving us hundreds of slow-moving obstacles to get around.  Then it was up and over the Broadway Bridge and into the home stretch, north along Interstate, up the last hill (and around a few corners) to the finish outside Bridgeport Brewing.

With a time of 43:05, averaging less than 7 minutes per mile, it was my fastest race yet!  I finished 7th place out of the women, 3rd in my age group.  YOWZA!

Following the race, burritos and beer were had by all.  There was a Hefewitzen and an IPA to chose from (naturally, the beer with 25% more alcohol was most popular) and before long, the only people left were the semi-pro-drunkards who knew to wipe the black x off their hands after each trip through the line.

And, just like always, there was Brian Davis, reminding us about the upcoming Energy Events.  The Earth Day run is NEXT WEEKEND!

From the site:

“Celebrate Earth Day with the Earth Day Advantage Run!  This run is focused around people, healthy lifestyle living, community, and of course, our planet…  Enjoy live music, organic beer, veggie burgers, and plenty of information booths focusing on health, wellness, and sustainable living.”

It’s going to be a fantastic event.  I know, because a few weeks ago, at the Fort Vancouver Run, even on a crummy day in the pouring rain, it was a blast!

Energy Events tend to be smaller, because they’re relatively new on the racing scene, but that makes them no less fun or exciting as more established events.  In fact, as we learned at the Fort Vancouver Run, Energy Events are exceptional in several ways!  The competition was thin, so many of us got a sweet ego-boost at the end, including special medals, engraved plaques and tons of giveaways.  I walked away with my first gold AND a new pair of running shoes.

So, mark your calendars for April 23rd and get registered ASAP at  Get your friends in on it too.  And the kids!  Heck, even bring your dog.  With a 10k, a dog-friendly 5k, and a kids race, this is one event that’s sure to be fun and healthy for everyone.

Hope to see you there!

Here are some images from the Fort Vancouver Run:

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