Cause + Event 10K, Portland Oregon – Nov 16th, 2013

A little over a week ago Lisa and I ran a 10K together, which was not only my first race in the state of Oregon, but also benefited a cause near and dear to her heart, Camp Lutherwood, which is a camp for pre-teens up to high school age down near Eugene.  But, the unique thing about this race was the fact that it didn’t just benefit Camp Lutherwood, it actually benefited about 20 different charities who went through an application process and were chosen to benefit.  Now, here’s the cool part.  WE as runners chose which charity our money went to and so 100% of OUR registration (proceeds minus cost) went to Camp Lutherwood.  Sure, if the money had been split equally it may have been a better windfall for some of the smaller charities, but the “causes” that drew a bigger crowd of course raised more money.  We had about 10 people or so (that I know of) who were running for Camp Lutherwood, so they probably only picked up about $200 but hey, that’s $200 they didn’t have.

The course was laid out in a large plus sign shape in the Bethany neighborhood of Portland which is on the west side of the river almost out to the Beaverton/Hillsboro area.  The course started and finished at a shopping center, and then traveled a short distance up and down one of the main roads in that area.  The main part of the course was along a greenway which crossed that road.  We started on a short jaunt to the right side out and back, and then circled around to the other side (so, still a right turn but to the left from where we originally started) another leg of the greenway that was about twice as long as the first stretch, so this was the majority of the race going from about mile 2.5 till a little past mile 5.  The 5K that was running along with us (started 10 minutes after us) came down the main road and then only took the left onto the long stretch of the greenway.  This became problematic for those of us in the back of the 10K crowd since not only did we have some of the slower 5Ker’s in front of us that we had to navigate around, but we also had some of the faster (but still walking) 5Ker’s coming back at us from the other direction.  This wasn’t a problem at first, but then as the front runners of the 10K started coming through and they had to navigate around the 5Kers in front of them along with 5K and 10Kers in the opposite direction things got dicey in a hurry.  Thankfully there was only a short stretch of this.  We reached the 5K turn around point and we kept going and once again had the course to ourselves.  By the time we reached the 10K finish and turned around most of the 5Kers were done and we didn’t have too much trouble on the rest of the way.

In true Portland fashion it rained on us the whole time we were running and then the sun and blue sky came out as soon as we were done. It wasn’t awful, and didn’t rain too hard, but just sprinkled most of the way.  We both complained a few times of when a rain drop just managed to catch us square in the eye.

We finished the race in 1:17:25 which ended up to be dead on a 12:30 pace.  This was a decent pace for Lisa (although she’s had some speedy runs lately) and it was for me a much faster pace than any of my recent training runs.  This was a great finish and very encouraging as we continue our half marathon training.

We also got a cool medal! (We had to pay extra for it, but only $5 or so, and totally worth it, it’s huge and solid and really nice!)


Seattle Restaurant Reviews

I’ve been without access to my blog for a while, so I’ve got some serious catching up to do.  Starting with my trip to Seattle which I just realized was a MONTH ago.  Wow, time flies.

I don’t often do restaurant reviews (in fact, this may be the first one) but a couple of the places we ate in Seattle I thought deserved special mention because they really blew both Lisa and I away.

The first night we were in Seattle we drove out to the Fremont Neighborhood to visit the Fremont Troll and also hunt down some dinner.  As we passed through the streets nothing really caught our eye until Lisa spied a joint with a large red neon sign proclaiming “WHISKEY”.  Being an aficionado of the brown stuff Lisa was intrigued.  We circled around a second time and again nothing jumped out at us so we decided to give the “Whiskey” a shot.  As we walked up we discovered the name of the place was actually 9 Million in Unmarked Bills.  We stepped inside and the theme was Prohibition era speakeasy with nods to bank robbers and ransom artists which included a drink named after the famed Northwest robber D.B. Cooper. (*Side note: I looked up DB Cooper, and his ransom that he requested was only in the neighborhood of 75,000$.  That was a lot of money for the early 70’s, it’s about a million and a half in modern dough, but it still seems like a paltry sum of money to hijack a plane for, but as Lisa noted, it’s a small enough amount that he could live comfortably and yet not draw attention, although it is presumed he did not survive his parachute jump from the airplane).  Being a whiskey bar the first thing we looked at was the drink menu.  Lisa’s first drink was an Old Fashioned which included bourbon, orange and a brandy soaked cherry, she said it was good but wasn’t too terribly impressed with it.  My first drink was a Mint Julep made in the traditional fashion with bourbon, sugar and mint.  It was fantastic.  Next came food and it was incredible! Lisa got a little skillet steak cooked with peppers and onions and was on the happy hour menu.  We also split an order of the truffle fries which were served with truffle oil, Parmesan cheese and herbs and they were divine.  I got a small pizza with fresh mozzarella, wild mushrooms and truffle oil and I was astonished at how good it was.  After eating we ordered a second round of drinks so we could try some different things.  Lisa got the aforementioned DB Cooper which was made with bourbon, sour mix, lime and frothed with a shaken egg white.  She really liked this, and I was a little iffy on the egg white, but took a sip and it was good.  I got a drink called Red Sky at Night which was a nod to sailors and included (appropriately) rum and was served hot and garnished with a cinnamon stick.  It was really really good.

The second day in Seattle we spent the majority of the day at Pikes Place Market, and of course being right on the waterfront the goal of the day was to find some good seafood.  After wandering around and looking at menu’s we decided on the Athenian. Lisa had seen several things she liked right away, while I had to search for a little while.  I didn’t want to just get something fried, and also I wanted something local.  Several things with the large prawns looked good but they were from the Gulf of Mexico.  I was going to have to step out of my comfort zone if I wanted to have an experience of the local flavors.  Lisa had decided on the Seafood Saute which included whitefish, salmon, clams, mussels and those giant prawns (which were HUGE) cooked up in a white wine sauce with peppers, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes.  It looked amazing, and she said it was.  I tried one of her fries which had soaked up some of the broth and it was amazing.  I ended up ordering the seafood fettuccine which came with mussels, clams, those huge prawns and “seafood selections”.  I know for a fact it had salmon, and I assume it had the same whitefish that Lisa’s dish had.  I like oysters, and I had tried fried clam strips when we were at Mo’s in Cannon Beach, but I wasn’t sure how I was going to like clams and mussels from the shell (essentially steamed and then tossed with the pasta).  Turns out, it was really incredible.  I also wasn’t sure about the salmon, but it also was very good.   The atmosphere couldn’t be beat either.  Up on Pike “street level” which is about 3 stories above the waterfront streets which gave us an amazing view of the piers which included shops and the Seattle aquarium as well as the ferry boats coming and going.  After lunch we would take one of those ferries out to Bainbridge island and get a view of the city from the waterside.

If you’re ever in Seattle I highly, highly recommend these two places.


  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.