Second day in Portland and there was no time for jetlag, blogging, or hunger. This is how I spent the full day prior to Hood to Coast relay race…
RUNNING IN DOWNTOWN PORTLAND
On Thursday morning, CK and I stepped out into the cool Portland weather (not unlike Baguio morning weather) for a run around downtown Portland. We ran towards a park—where I was told a Nike running commercial was shot—for a wonderful 5k loop around the river.
CK and I finished an easy 5k and made our way back to the hotel. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) we lost our way and inadvertently toured the rest of downtown Portland to cover a full 8km run.
On the same day, our teams headed off to Target to purchase items for the race. Each team had their own cart and checklist. CK and I loaded our cart with bagels, peanut butter, Nature Valley bars, Gatorade, mineral water, garbage bags, baby wipes, and more. Oh, we purchased markers too to decorate our van.
We then headed for a mall and factory outlets where we all went on a mad shopping spree under a limited amount of time.
We rushed shopping that day to make it in time for Thirsty Thursday, a Nike employee party at the Nike Campus, almost like a send-off for the various Nike teams registered for the Hood to Coast race the following day. We saw teams from all parts of the world. I was told that the strongest team was the Nike Bowerman Team, long and lean elite runners who made any woman drool as she watched them glide in perfect stride (except myself since I’m happily married. Hah!)
It was held by the Tiger Woods Convention Center, the biggest building of them all, and on the Ronaldo Field, where they say they test running shoes and practice barefoot running on the pristine green grass.
The party was informal and relaxed. People drank beer and chatted as each team was called onstage to introduce themselves. One could paint temporary tattoos, like the swoosh, on any part of the body. Bowerman shirts and singlets were being sold. Our team got to chat with each other and enjoy each others’ company.
– with Nike people from Texas and New York –
Our dinner/ team briefing was hosted by T at her place. All 24 of us from Singapore Chili Crabs and Singapore Noodles were present.
After a delicious dinner, we sat around T’s living room to listen to our team captain, D, for last minute directions and tips before the big day. He discussed race details such as tracking our time and using timing chips, and laughably covered one important topic as well: hygiene. Of course, this was one important and touchy subject for soon-to-be sweaty runners sharing one van for over 24 hours.
We departed T’s house early to load our own vans for race day. By 10:30pm, our team was up in our own respective hotel rooms eager to get some rest for the two-day race the following day.