Friday, May 07, 2010

Portland's Urban Iditarod, seen from the Buick, Leland at the wheel

Grinning, running. Looks like fun. If you look carefully through the blur that is the windshield wiper, you can see that a couple of those guys have red straps in their hands. That means they're the dog team. I guess the guy in the purple shirt is the musher. What role does the inflatable person play? Your guess is as good as mine.

All for one, one for all, get it on down the road. We're on East Burnside, heading west towards the Burnside Bridge, eventually.

Oops! Must have hit a pothole! See the red strap in the hand of the man wearing the red shorts, The man with the red hair appears to have a strap, too.

Now they've made it six blocks--perseverance personified.

I'll post some more soon.

From the Oregonian's Web site:
Metro Portland Running »
Portland Urban Iditarod: 2010 recap
By Kelly Johnson, community blogger
March 13, 2010, 5:34PM

Hundreds of runners and probably quite a few "non-runners" showed up for the 2010 Portland Urban Iditarod. For the third year in a row, I was on a team with a group of friends that I've all met, surprisingly enough, through running.

Because the event starts under the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge, active folks that were out for an actual training run or ride stopped and asked the costumed teams what was going. "It's the Urban Iditarod," people would say, providing basically no useful information to the curious passers-by.

So, here's what it is. Take the Alaskan Iditarod, but replace the sled with a shopping cart and the dogs with runners. Add crazy costumes, turn the "aid stations" into popular bars and clubs, and a lot of people with a sense of humor.

At 11a sharp, the Lead Dog sent participants a text message reading "Grand Cafe," and the masses stampeded up the street, stopping traffic on Grand Avenue and MLK. Drivers snapped photos from their cars as they waited, and soon the party was started in a large parking lot across the street from the Grand Cafe.

Salsa dancers and karoke-ing mushers performed for the crowd as people wandered around to check out the other "sleds." Before long, another text message sent the teams to Grand Central Bowl, just a few blocks away. The next stop was the Doug Fir and Jupiter Hotel, but I made a side trip to Voodoo Doughnuts only a few blocks away at NE 14th and Sandy before rejoining the part.

Each aid station layover was about an hour long, which was a change from previous years. It was really nice to be able to wander around, catch up with friends on other teams, dance a little, order food if you wanted to, and of course, sample the variety of adult beverages. I was a little surprised to see quite a few of the participants smoking ... but then again, I saw someone smoking last year that was running the Prelay ...

Some of the best costumes that I saw included The Last Supper, The Simpsons, Gilligan and the S.S. Minnow, and a variety of underwater themes including mermaids and a man whose whole head was a shark. As usual, there were also a number that were "ripped from the headlines," including the team of UO football players wearing inmate stripes and the Greg Oden cell phone photo team.

And as usual, there were no winners and there were no losers - "just a whole lot of belligerant people," as said by KATU news a few years ago.

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