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