Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Oregon Nominations, Part One

It's the way of the world - I can't really be apologetic about it. But, the hard truth is that when tragedy strikes, journalists prosper. No, I'm not talking about the November elections, as this issue affects us on a much deeper level, hitting straight to the core of our humanity. I'm speaking, of course, about the writers' strike in Hollywood.

As I sit here, looking at a photo of Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Ron Livingston, (who played Peter Gibbons in Office Space,) wearing sweatshirts and baseball hats and holding signs that support the Writers Guild of America on the front page of the Oregonian, I can't help but wonder: who's going to write our comedy?

Fortunately, I'm here. Unfortunately, I haven't been writing much entertainment. However, I do have quite a few nominations collecting for the Top 25 Races in Oregon.

One race that was recently mentioned was the Timberline Marathon. Perhaps this would get nominated for Most Improved, if we had such a category. In 2006, it survived a small snow storm, which included participants slipping and falling off the trail due to snow and ice. I think the biggest thing here was that participants expected a relatively easy downhill course, and of course the Pacific Crest Trail from Timberline Lodge to Timothy Lake is anything but easy. There were reports of poison oak, thorns, and bee stings, but that's just a part of running out doors. The most important questions were logistical ones - managing the number of partcipants on the trail, and organizing the transportation shuttles.

Reports have been good for this second year. I'm still not sure if it has been the success that Rogue Multisport was looking for, but they're bringing it back next year, along with a Half Marathon. I'm not sure if the Half will work, as it poses more logistical problems, but it should be interesting to see. Still, there have been requests to award the original race on this path, the ORRC PCT 50/50. This race starts at the ranger station just south of Timothy Lake, and runs an up-and-back for 50k and 50m. The 50 miler goes all the way up to Timberline Lodge, and back down - the 50k goes part-way up. This race is logistically very sound, and was very successful this year. Indeed, it is one of the favorites of the Oregon Trail Series, and all seven races in the series could find themselves in the Oregon Top 25 list.

Speaking of mountains, there is a USATF mountain champtionship, or regional championship, in the making for 2008 through X-Dog. They already host a US Snowshoe Association national qualifier, through their White River Snowshoe, billed as the oldest and largest in the West.

There are a lot of trail races in Oregon, and road races will certainly have a lost of competition as they jostle for position to make the Top 25. I'll post more on trail-specific races later. Meanwhile, lift a glass in toast of the Cavemen, a brilliant marketing campaign turned odd sitcom, as they will almost certainly become extinct before the end of the season.

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