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Helvetia Half Marathon June 14, 2010

Posted by stacyb17 in Events.
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Photo Danielito

Saturday my friend Paige and I ran the Helvetia Half Marathon. It was a great day for a run with clear skies and sun- almost too much sun. The race started in Hillsboro near the Intel campus and went through rurals roads in Helvetia. It was well organized with roads closed or partially closed for the entire course and regular water stops every mile to mile and a half. The start was a bit of a cluster with no signage for where runners should line up and no pace groups. But after that, the race went smoothly.

There was no shade after mile seven so runners were quite warm and sweaty by the finish. There was a medical team attending to a runner just after mile 12 so I think the heat may have hurt a few people. The course was hilly and had lovely scenery. The biggest crowds of spectators were not surprisingly at the Helvetia Tavern.

There was a beer garden for runners after the race (but no free beer with entry unfortunately). Entry did include a burger or garden burger from the Helvetia Tavern, but the line was so long when we went to get them, we decided to go ahead and pay for food elsewhere. I think I had a personal best time for a half marathon, but my results are not listed in the official race results so I am waiting to hear back and see if they can find my official time. I hope so.

After leaving the race grounds, we went to the Cornelius Pass Road House for beers and burgers. They have a spacious outdoor patio with picnic tables made from large logs where we sat under umbrellas and hung out. As my friend Jason likes to say about McMenamins, their tagline should be “It’s not about service”. It took awhile to get our drinks and food, but the atmosphere was great.

Yesterday was another beautiful day and I was outside to appreciate it. More about that in tomorrow’s post!


Swagat, Forest Park, St. John’s Bizarre and a BBQ in Gresham May 10, 2010

Posted by stacyb17 in Bars, Events.
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Another busy weekend in PDX. Friday went for a bke ride on the Springwater Corridor down in Sellwood. I definitely need to check out maps of that route. Nice, flat ride down by the river and it connects to the Esplanade. After the ride we headed to NW to Swagat for some Indian food. The food is really good and the portions are huge. We got a dosa and two thalis for the three of us and had plenty of food left over. I’m now a big fan of Taj Mahal beer. For some reason I don’t remember drinking that in India.

Saturday morning I had a 10 mile training run to do for the upcoming Helvetia Half Marathon in June. We decided to do a trail run in Froest Park. We started at Leif Erickson and then took the Wild Cherry Trail up to Wildwood (holy climb to get there). We took Wildwood down to Fire Road #1 and went back down to Leif Erickson. From there we headed up another 1.5 miles and then turned around and ran back to the parking lot. I need to find a way to measure that because I am convinced it was more than 10 miles. Great day for a run though!

After the run I went to the St. John’s Bizarre. It was my first outing to St. John’s and it is definitely another cool area of town. I started at a friend’s place and then headed to the beer garden to drink Lompoc and Ninkasi beers and watch Explode Into Colors. Before leaving the area, we went to Plew’s Brews for a beer. ¬†Plew’s is a no nonsense beer bar. Nothing fancy at all. Just tables and patio chairs and lots of beer. The bar is basically a big fridge and some taps. I love it!

We needed to get out to Gresham for a BBQ that eve so we took a bus to the Max. We were at the start of the bus route and there was some confusion as to which of the two stalled out buses would run. A completely drunk guy dressed like a pirate got off one of the buses and proceeded to puke his guts out on a park bench. My buddy has a great picture of the puking pirate which he sent to his mom for Mother’s Day. Now that’s love.

It seemed to take forever to get out to Gresham, but we made it and found my friends’ place. I love the Portland tradition of turning the basements of houses into bars. This one had a sail mounted on the ceiling, a dart board with a blowdart gun, and a kegerator. I think I may try and move in. Totally worth the trek out to Gresham.

Sunday was a chill day. Went and saw Crazy Heart at the Laurelhurst. Very depressing. I’d give it a pass.

This week- writing workshop on Tuesday before LOST and hopefully a rooftop happy hour on Wednesday.

Bike ride around Hagg Lake/Run in Forest Park April 11, 2010

Posted by stacyb17 in Excursions.
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Since the weather was so lovely this weekend, I spent a lot of time outside. Yesterday some friends and I took our bikes out to Forest Grove to ride around Hagg Lake. I had heard a lot about Hagg Lake, but had yet to go myself. I know there are some popular events held there like a trail run and triathlon. Yesterday was the perfect day to check it out.

We met at the McMenamin’s Grand Lodge and started the ride from there. We took back roads instead of riding on scary Highway 47 and went by Montinore Winery. Then we took Old Highway 47 past Plum Hill (good route for wine tasting, but we didn’t this weekend because everywhere was crowded due to the Willamette Valley Wine Trail) and down to Hagg Lake. The ride was pretty hilly throughout but the biggest, most evil hill on the ride was just past the entrance gates to Hagg Lake (bikes do not have to pay- FYI). It was about a half mile steady climb. I am so glad we decided to hit that at the beginning of the loop instead of at the end. None of the other hills compared.

Hagg Lake is lovely. You don’t get to see much of it for the first 4 miles or so of the loop, but the second half gives constant views. There was some traffic on the road, but it wasn’t too bad. The end of the lake loop takes you over the dam which is flat and wide open to take in the lake as you ride. I am totally going to go back and do the ride again.

The route we took put us at almost exactly 30 miles. Ending at the Grand Lodge was a great excuse to partake in happy hour food and beer (3 PM-6 PM, even on the weekend) after we finished. What a great Portland area day!

Today I decided to keep up my active weekend motif and went for a run in Forest Park. There is a free running group that meets every Sunday at the park entrance at the end of Thurman Street at 11 AM. It is a very relaxed group and everyone runs at whatever pace is comfortable and for as long as they want. I like the trail because all of the uphill is taken care of first and then you can coast downhill on the way back. This week I did 6 miles. I’ll be adding to that soon as I am planning to run the Helvetia Half Marathon in June.

Time to get back out and enjoy the rest of the weekend. Tonight plan is Alameda Brewhouse. Coming up this week is a skeeball tournament at East Burn and an MS fundraiser at Fire on the Mountain. Good times in PDX!