Monday, April 29, 2013

Traveling for Races

When I put together my 2013 race schedule, most of the events are in the Portland metro area, which means at most a 45-ish minute drive (if they're in the north side of Portland; I live in a suburb to the southwest of the city). Some of them are only a one mile walk away from my apartment. 

However, there are a couple races that, for the first time, I'll have to travel for and stay somewhere the night before: Bloomsday in Spokane and A Very Poplar Run in Boardman.  Boardman,OR is about three hours away from me, but my sister lives midway, so I'll stay with her the night before, and only have a 90-minute drive the morning of.

Bloomsday is in Spokane, WA, about two hours away from where my parents live (and where I grew up). This race is on my to-do list since my dad is from Spokane, so I grew up hearing about it and relatives who have done it. (If I'm remembering right, my aunt and uncle met even met there.) Spokane is just over an hour flight (or a six hour drive, but I'll pass on that, thanks), so not too bad even though I'll just be going for the weekend. My mom will meet me there, and we'll stay in a motel just half a mile from the start line, so no dealing with traffic or parking for the race itself. This is will actually be my first time having spectators at a race! (Not counting friends who also ran but finish long before me.)

I started writing this post in January when I starting planning my races, but it's now the week of Bloomsday! I'll be flying to Spokane mid-day Saturday, running Sunday morning, and flying back to Portland Sunday afternoon. 

The weather looks quite good for the race:



The first wave starts at 9:00 am; I don't think I can find out my start time until packet pickup on Saturday, but based on my estimated finish time I put in the registration (1:30 - 12:04 pace), I'm guessing one of the later waves, which continue every 10 - 15 minutes until 10:10. Scratch that, just got the email Tuesday morning that I'm in the Orange wave, starting 9:15 - 9:45.

That should mean I'll still be done before it heats up too much, so I'll dress for running in 60 - 65 degree weather - skirt, tank top, and arm warmers. But I'll probably pack a lot of options so I can decide at the last minute. 

If I start by 9:45, finish around 11:15... I'm pretty sure we'll have to check out of the hotel before the race, which means I don't think I'll get a chance to shower afterward. My apologies to whoever I'm sitting next to on the flight home... but odds are there'll be plenty of people on the flight also coming from the race, so they'll understand, right? 

Any tips on traveling, packing, cleaning up without a shower available after a race?

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