|View of Vancouver from the Columbia River. Mt. St. Helens is in the background.|
After a busy month of traveling all along the west coast from SoCal to central Oregon, we were heading south again to the Washington state border to a little town that sits at the edge of the state: Vancouver. It's a small town with a middle American feel.
Vancouver runs along the mighty Columbia River, which mostly forms the border between Washington and Oregon.
|The mighty Columbia River divides WA state (background) & OR state (foreground). You will cross the river if you take I-5.|
Do as Paris does
|NOT the Bates Motel|
Lodging this time around was much better than Eugene. It wasn't Motel Bates. In fact, the VUM race director hooked us up with a great rate at the Vancouver Hilton.
The best part: The race started and finished right across the street of the hotel, at the Esther Short Park.
|Room with a view|
Look at this great view from my room! Alas, I won't be needing those port-a-potties at the start line, since we were literally an elevator ride down to the start line!
After checking in, Hubby, Tornado Girl (BRF), and Michele and I made like fun to the race expo. Get out the wallets! Time to stimulate the economy.
I pick up my bib only to get a very sickening feeling. My name was left off the bib. Registration had promised if you registered by xx-xx time, you would have your name. I registered early March 2011 (months ahead of cut-off time). In fact, I registered before all my friends and they had their names. This was very disappointing and for whatever reason, it was really bugging me. I wanted to cry. I asked my friends if I was making a big deal out of nothing and they were super sweet explaining I had the correct expectation and VUM failed.
After spending some time visiting with Jenn of Run Pretty Far, I decided I needed to fix my attitude and get over it! Around the corner was something better than a name on a bib... Bart Yasso! He was in town for the inaugural marathon, selling his book, giving inspirational running speeches, and the official announcer of VUM.
I thought if I can't have my name on my bib, what name not better than Bart's? That cured that sour attitude!
Carb loading a la Little Italy
I am not a big believer in a BIG carb, pre-race dinner, but the group agreed on Italian at Little Italy and I was okay going along for the ride. I thought I would order a side salad with a half order of pasta and call it good.
I am also not a believer in sucking down the garlic. If you have ran a marathon, you will know that there is a time where certain smells and sights will make you nauseous. And if you have come across the marathoner that reeks of garlic, you will know EXACTLY what I mean.
Unfortunately, every pasta plate on Little Italy's menu included garlic. *gag* Look, it's yummy when you are ingesting and smelling garlic in the company of garlic eaters. It's another thing to smell it from your spouse in bed and at mile 22 and when your senses are heightened x 20.
I decided to get the individual plate of margherita pizza and side salad. The only thing that didn't have garlic. (This meal, the pizza namely, was a big, huge mistake which cost me a PR on the official clock time. Read more in the race report.)
|"RUNNING is my HAPPY HOUR"|