A few days ago I learned that I would be competing in Terrapin Event’s 2011 Drag Race, “Portland’s ONLY competitive downtown mile!” This is a race that takes place right before the Gay Pride parade, and is one mile long, but it’s not really the most competitive race around. That being said, it was still the first “competitive” anything I’ve done in a while, and I was also extremely sore from a really intense “Kick Butt Boot Camp” I did at 24 Hour Fitness the morning before.
Most downtown races start on Naito Parkway, right by the Waterfront, and I assumed that this race was no different. About an hour before the race I decided to check on the race start location, since I hadn’t even gotten my race number yet. It turned out it started on 13th & West Burnside, which is right where I live (this information is not to be used for stalking purposes). This helped me better understand the view from my apartment window:
That white tent was there for the sole purpose of distributing race numbers. There was a very long line of three people when I got there, which was actually relatively long – about ten percent of the race participants. I was able to get my number with plenty of time to go take a rest in my room for a bit before heading down to Powell’s Bookstore, which was where the race started. I felt disappointed in myself for not being dressed as a man, or at least wearing a mustache or something, as it was a drag race, but it was too late to worry about that. About one minute before the race started it occurred to me to ask somebody what the race course was. I then learned that my instinct to believe downtown races to involve Naito Parkway wasn’t wrong, this race just happened to end there instead of starting there. This was somewhat of a disappointment however, because I was hoping for the race to end where it started, so I would be right back at my cozy home when it was done.
Then I ran the race. There’s not too much more to say about the actual race, because a mile goes by very quickly. At least it does if you’re a quick runner, which I am, sometimes. My legs hurt very badly, but six minutes or so isn’t too long of a time to be in pain, so I didn’t mind. During the first half of the race I could see a couple of girls out ahead of me, but I didn’t really worry about them. Then one of them slowed down a little so I passed her. After another quarter mile the other girl slowed down, so I passed her too. Or maybe I sped up, it’s hard to say.
When I came to the finish, I looked around and didn’t see any other girls. This is when I realized that I was first place champion! My time was just 6:14, but in this tiny race of cross-dressing runners, that was all it took to take first place. I won the Be the Change Mile in February, which was exciting, but that victory was all glory and no prizes. This one came with all kinds of prizes I didn’t expect at all! That six-pack of beer you see me holding in the picture wasn’t my post-race thirst quencher I brought ahead of time, but part of my Champion Prize Package! I also got a free entry into another Terrapin Events race, a gift certificate to Foot Locker, and one to Pizzacato! This was the luckiest day ever.
They even gave me a special trophy, which is especially intriguing to my grandfather because he just can’t figure out how they got that little winged shoe in there. I don’t know how they did it either, but I think it has to do with science.
If you’re interested in seeing full race results, click here.