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The Great Train Chase - Friday, Dec 12th @ 6:45pm


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#1 David Hatfield

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 01:07 AM

OK, it's decided.  This year's Great Train Chase will be Friday, Dec 12th from 6:45pm to 8:15pm, followed by dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  Below is an updated timetable, and here's a map of the route.  I will be doing a test run of the route today (Friday, Nov 28th) and you're welcome to join me.  Let me know if you have any questions.

 

What:  For those unfamiliar, the Great Train Chase is a run we do every year in which we chase various trains around town, culminating with a run alongside the Holiday Express steam engine to Oaks Bottom, followed by dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  This year's route will follow 4 trains and be about 10 miles long.  For more insight, here's a link to last year's thread: http://www.redlizard...showtopic=17845 .

 

Route:  Here's a link to the route map.  To accommodate different paces there will be two route options in the downtown area (Leg 4.)  The Yellow Group (<= 7:30 min/milers) will cross the Morrison Bridge and the Green Group (> 7:30 min/milers) will cross the Hawthorne Bridge.  Printed Route map/Timetables will be available at the start.

 

Who:  Everyone.  By means of a slightly staggered start and the two route options, the chase is designed for people who run 10 min/miles or faster.  And if you will be running slower than 10's, you can let me know and I will suggest more options.  As usual with a Red Lizard run, no one will be left behind (although I can't guarantee that no one will be left ahead. ;-)

 

Start/Finish Location:  We will start at the south terminus of the Portland Streetcar NS Line.  This is at the stop a half block west of the intersection of SW Bond & Lowell and is within a stone's throw of the Old Spaghetti Factory parking lot.  Arrive anytime between 6:30-6:45pm to go over logistics, stretch, get cold, etc.

 

Timetable:

Leg 1) Chase Portland Streetcar NS Line from south terminus by SW Bond & Lowell to SW Park & Mill (1.75 miles)  Staggered start times: 6:40pm (10 min/milers), 6:42pm (9 min/milers), 6:44 pm (8 min/milers), and 6:46pm with train (<= 7 min/milers.)

Leg 2) 7:00pm Chariots of Fire prime.  Run around the courtyard before the clock strikes seven (125 yards.)

Leg 3) 7:01pm Return to SW 6th & Mill and run down the MAX Green Line.  Yellow Group (<= 7:30 min/milers) race to Pioneer Courthouse Square (0.65 miles)  Green Group (> 7:30 min/milers) race to SW 6th & Madison (0.45.)

Leg 4) 7:05pm Cross river and connect to Portland Streetcar CL Line.  Yellow Group Hope that Red or Blue Line is off schedule so that we can chase a train to the Morrison Bridge, cross the bridge and head up to SE MLK & Yamhill (1 mile, 9:00 min/mile.)  Green Group Head down SW Madison, cross the Hawthorne Bridge, and take the MLK off-ramp (0.95 miles, 10 min/mile.)

Leg 5) 7:15pm Try to beat the speedy Portland Streetcar CL Line to where it leaves SE MLK (where intersection with SE Harrison would be if it connected.), and then continue to Springwater bike path under Ross Island Bride (Yellow Group: 1.2 miles, 7:30 min/mile.  Green Group: 0.9 miles, 9:00 min/mile.)  CAUTION for Yellow Group: There is no sidewalk on MLK for park of the block between Hawthorne & Clay.  Most of this bit you can walk/run on the curb, but proceed with caution.

Leg 6) Race the Holiday Express steam train to Oaks Amusement Park (2.3 miles.)  The train averages about 6:30 min/mile.  You can take a head start, assuming the train has not yet arrived.  And we will regroup where the train stops for a photo op.  Note that the bike path is not well lit and you may wish to run in groups.  Suggested start times if you wish to arrive at Oaks Bottom with the train: 7:25pm (10 min/milers), 7:27pm (9 min/milers), 7:30pm (8 min/milers), 7:32pm (7 min/milers), and starting with train (<7 min/milers.)

Leg 7) 7:55pm cross the Sellwood Bridge (assuming it's open) and head back to the start (3.3 miles, any pace.)

Leg 8) 8:30pm Eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory! (You're welcome to join in just for Leg 8.)

 

Scoring:  For those who wish to keep score, you can earn up to 3 points for each of the 4 trains and the Chariots of Fire prime.  1 point for seeing the train, 2 points for running alongside train at least briefly, and 3 points for beating the train.  (Chariots of Fire prime: 1 point for hearing the bell, 2 points for rounding the courtyard while the bell is ringing, and 3 points for completing before the seventh strike.)

 

The Competition:  I think the steam engine this year will be the 700.  Just looking at it makes my muscles twitch. :-)

 

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Edited by David Hatfield, 11 December 2014 - 08:25 PM.

I could dig deeper..., but then I'd be further in a hole.

#2 David Hatfield

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Posted 29 November 2014 - 10:30 PM

The test run went off like clockwork, including the first streetcar not waiting for me when I was late, and the Holiday Express not showing up because it went to bed early this first weekend.  Might have helped if I looked at the schedule more carefully.  Doh!  But the rest of the chase went well.

 

I've made some modifications to the route and the timetable (see first post of thread.)


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#3 David Hatfield

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 02:40 AM

Did more reconnaissance this past weekend.  For anyone with a 5K time in the neighborhood of 20 minutes, racing the Holiday Express head-to-head I think would be a fun challenge.  It averaged about 6:30 min/mile over the 2.3 mile route.  It didn't start until 33 minutes after the hour which would give us plenty of time to get there and get a head start, if desired.  However, it averaged about 7:00 min/mile through the curves which is faster than I've experienced before and wouldn't give everyone an opportunity to run alongside the train for very long.  But, I have a feeling the train's split may vary significantly from run to run.

 

(Sunday it roared off the start and reached sub-5:00 min/mile pace before settling in.  Did the first half-mile straight averaging about 6:00 min/mile.  It slowed a little to about 7:00 min/mile for the curves.  Then gradually picked it up to a little slower than 6:00 min/mile for the final mile straight.)


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#4 David Hatfield

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 01:41 PM

Just a reminder that tomorrow eve is The Great Train Chase.


I could dig deeper..., but then I'd be further in a hole.

#5 Tim

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 02:43 PM

Just a reminder that tomorrow eve is The Great Train Chase.

I'm planning on it!


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#6 Amygirl

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 11:11 PM

I would like to do this, however I can't sustain a 7:00 min mile <_<



#7 Stacey

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 12:17 AM

Amy, you should join us. There's a bunch of JVers running this. We'll be between a 9-10 minute pace.

#8 David Hatfield

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 06:42 AM

Yes, need not run 7:00 min/mile pace, unless you don't want a head start on any of the trains.  Staggered start on the first and last trains, and shortcut between second and third trains.  I anticipate a number of sub-groups forming.  There will be route map/timetables available at the start.


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#9 colleenyb

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 09:24 AM

Looking forward to running this with the JV group this evening!



#10 Tim

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 10:01 AM

I would like to do this, however I can't sustain a 7:00 min mile <_<

Did you read the first post??? This runs accommodates ALL paces up to 10:00/mile, by staggering the start times.


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#11 Amygirl

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 01:36 PM

Tim, I did, however I don't have time to read  a 5min post with so many details. Just want to run, ha!  Glad there are different pace groups.

 

We will show up and and have fun, if anything we can always just do our thing and meet after at the factory.

 

Nice Job David with Organizing and being so detailed.

 

Thanks



#12 Tgirl

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 09:53 PM

Thanks David, that was fun.

Sorry I didn't stay for dinner, but I've had a long week and wasn't feeling that social.
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#13 David Hatfield

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 06:47 AM

Joanna, glad you had fun and no problem about not staying.

 

 

Logistics worked out better than most years, but not perfect.  Perhaps best weather we've had for the Chase; no rain and not too cold.

 

We had 10 runners.  Staggered start racing the NS Streetcar.  The driver (or would that been engineer?) was kind enough to toot at us several times, apparently appreciating our efforts (or perhaps not appreciating us cutting in front of it. :-)  We all made it to the Park blocks in time for the "church" bell.  The bell wasn't very audible, and multiple false starts were charged to the field.  Returned to 6th just in time meet the Green Line.  The Green Group headed down to the Hawthorne Bridge in time to catch the Christmas Ships, that and the drawbridge.  Whoops, hadn't seen that coming but they weren't held up for too long.  The Yellow Group caught a late Red Line from Pioneer Courthouse square down to the Morrison Bridge.  Once at MLK it wasn't long before the CL Streetcar came into sight.  A speedy train, it passed us all, but thanks to multiple station stops, the Yellow Group was all victorious.  The Green Group caught up with the Yellow, and we all went down to await the Holiday Express train; it was nowhere in sight.  About eight minutes later than I expected it appeared and most of the group headed down to Oaks Bottom.  Three of us lined up under the Ross Island Bridge and started back with the train.  The opening half mile worked well, but the train was a little slower than I expected, and Conor and Keith beat it comfortably.  Then we headed back to the Spaghetti Factory.  Tim got the staff to sing Happy Birthday to me which would have been very touching (had my birthday not been 70 days ago.)

 

Thanks for coming out!


I could dig deeper..., but then I'd be further in a hole.

#14 markiemo

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 12:23 PM

Lots of fun David.  Very unique and a great change from the usual.

 

As I mentioned to Gary as we were crossing the Sellwood - David Hatfields mind is a remarkable phenomenon.  Who else could connect the dots to all those train schedules - AND in the middle throw in the race around the Park Blocks to try to beat the 7 gongs of the seven o'clock church chime !!??

 

Thanks for masterminding this crazy evening.






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