Portland’s Shamrock Run is a fantastic run, if you like events with tens of thousands of people where everyone is wearing the same color. Unfortunately, it’s not so great that I can actually remember to sign up for it ahead of time. Last year I was saved by the donation of a free entry from someone who had an extra, but this year I had no such luck. I could have bandit run the race, but that’s very naughty and you should never do that. Besides, I had something else to do during the race. For the first time in a very long time, I went to cheer somebody else on, instead of demanding that other people come to do it for me. This had nothing to do with the fact that I haven’t run for six weeks, and everything to do with my love for following fast runners around and hunting for celebrities.
Remember last year, when I got to have my picture taken with the first place winner of the 5k? Here is a reminder:
I was so impressed by his fast running, that I decided to come watch and see if he could do it again this year. The 5k didn’t start until 9:20 this year, so it wasn’t too hard to get up in time to get downtown and watch the race. The entire Shamrock Run event had over 30,000 people in it, so the race was delayed by 5 minutes, but that’s not too bad for such a big race. The 5k alone had over 11,000 people in it. Only a lucky few get to be in front – it takes a lot of luck to think up the genius idea of getting in the front instead of behind thousands of people with no pace groups whatsoever. Here’s a picture of those smarty pants:
I only got one picture of last year’s winner. He was in the front group, except for some guy who sprinted out thirty feet in front of everyone and then dropped way back not to much later.
After the race, there was a lot of wandering around eating chowder and wondering if he had won or not. It was probably at least an hour later before I went to the results-calculating-people and asked them who won. The conversation went like this:
“Do you have the results for the 5k yet?”
“No it’ll be at least 15 to 20 minutes. There were a lot of people.”
“Yeah…” I almost turned around before I thought to ask, “Do you at least know who the top finishers were?”
“Yeah pretty much…”
“I’m just trying to figure out what place this guy got.”
“Oh yeah. He won.”
Then I got excited and tried to ask them by how much, but they were extremely uninterested in doing anything but staring at their computers. So we decided to go see if we could him his prizes (his weight in beer!). But we had no idea where to get them, all we could figure out is that they would not be doing the awards ceremony with the beer teeter-totter this year. Instead we watched some guy win his weight in beer by just getting his number pulled out of a hat, and not for running the fastest. This was sad to watch, since they weren’t letting the winners teeter-totter this year, and last year they screwed up the race results and took a long time to figure them out, so our winner didn’t get to teeter-totter then either. This is what the teeter-totter looks like when you get to do it:
Obviously getting to hang out with the winner of the Shamrock Run 5k was a super big deal, but sadly for him, it was overshadowed by the encounter of an even bigger celebrity: Patrick Farrari from Biggest Loser season 12! I only embarrassed myself a little by not remembering his name, but I did get to tell him that the Biggest Loser is my favorite show. Now I wish that I had made up a story about how I comfort-fed myself after Seinfeld was cancelled, until I was 300 pounds, and that his episodes of Biggest Loser were the sole motivators in finally losing the weight, rejoining society, and generally thriving in life. But I was not thinking on my toes, and only asked for a picture.
The worst part of this Shamrock Run was that I couldn’t find the hilarious Irish Setters in their little leprechaun hats. Did they not come this year? It’s a good thing I have my own hilarious dog to come home to. Here’s a really long video of him playing with his new froggy toy: