20 September 2011

Trail to Ale 10K in Portland

The Trail to Ale was a lovely route that began on Portland Harbor, went up and around Back Bay, and ended up once again back at the harbor. All 2000 of us bunched up on the Eastern Promenade Trail, with the fastest runners up front, and the walkers and strollers in the rear. We started just ahead of those bringing up the rear.

Our daughter, however, runs Cross Country and decided to run ahead of us. This was the last we saw of her until the finish line.

The gun went off, and just as the crowd was beginning to surge forward toward the starting line, my husband claimed he needed to run off to use the bathroom.

Great timing, hon!

I started jogging slowly, crossed the starting line, and figured he'd catch up... which he did within less than a minute. Remember his military background - he can go quickly if he needs to. Apparently he took a pic as he was catching up.

We had a great time, looking at the boats and chatting as we went. I alternated between fast walking and slow jogging. He alternated between slow walking and faster jogging. Somehow, with that combination, we managed to stay together pretty much the whole way.

The thing that really bugged me is what he wore.

Notice we all started out wearing sweatshirts, long-sleeves, or jackets. It was only 60 degrees and very breezy down on the water. But after the first mile or two, off came the long sleeves... for MOST of us. He had on long sleeves AND a heavy sweatshirt AND shorts AND long, warm sweats. It made me hot just looking at him, and not in the way he hoped.

But somehow he survived the entire thing without dropping dead, which is always a bonus, and he took lots of photos.

So all was well right up to the finish. We finished in about 90 minutes, and found our daughter waiting for us. She finished in well under an hour. Then we only had to walk the 1/2 mile walk back to Shipyard Brewing Company for the free beer and pizza, the whole reason we had been doing this in the first place.

But when we got there, it was packed and they had just started serving. There were huge crowds and long lines, and only about 5-10 minutes after we got there, we were told the beer and pizza was already gone.

This was a big disappointment. Not for me, so much, but for my husband, who agreed to do this with me only because of the beer; and my daughter who agreed to do it only because of the pizza. And it seems many participants didn't get beer and pizza, but many of the family members and spectators did. Not a good system, if you ask me.

So while we have bittersweet memories about the ending, the day was fun all in all. And when we found that there was no food, we went to Buffalo Wild Wings and had a fun lunch, just the three of us. No crowds, no waiting, and no standing around.

Now, on to the marathon... just 12 short days away.

Copyright © 2011 - Paulla Estes


A. Dinsmore said...

They definitely weren't prepared for the crowd after the race! I made it up there in time for the pizza and beer, but the distribution system was definitely a mess.
I have a feeling that next year there will be less runners and a better plan.
Best of luck to you with the half marathon! I have a couple of friends running that one. What a beautiful city to run in. :)

A. Dinsmore said...

Excuse me - the MARATHON!
My friends are running just the half.