Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Portland Urban Iditarod


This weekend.

I was in Portland.

Because I wrote a book about running I thought we would do a running event while in Portland. It is not my fault that the only running event in Portland this weekend just happened to be one that involved dressing up and “running” from bar to bar. There is nothing I could do about that. It’s not like I planned to be in Portland at that very time, so as to participate in this particular event. It’s not like I said, “Portland and New Orleans are really the only two places I need to hit on my book tour,” when my publicists asked where I wanted to go. Priorities people, it’s all about priorities.

Months ago, when I was planning this crazy tour, I was looking on Active.com for different events and I came across one called The Urban Iditarod. The tagline for the event was, “There are no winners or losers, just belligerent idiots running around.” And I was hooked.

The event is a play on the actual iditarod that takes place in Alaska. In the real iditarod there is a dude that is pulled through snow by a bunch of dogs. In the Urban Iditarod there is someone pushing a shopping cart with four friends pulling the cart. They are all dressed up like idiots. And they are running from bar to bar in downtown Portland.

I could get into the sport of running if it included more events like this.

So I found a couple people in Portland to come out and play on my team. We didn’t quite know what we were going to dress up as, but we knew that the Salvation Army might have just what we were looking for. And I must say the Army came through big time. $20 later we had three and a half costumes and we were ready to join the belligerent idiots.

We decided that we would be rest home escapees. Our costumes included nightgowns, bras (on the outside), some classy hats and even some depends. Oh and some lovely lipstick. We looked awesome.

The most awesome part was the fact that there wasn’t a set route for the event, so people were randomly dressed and randomly running all over downtown from bar to bar. After the first mile or so people started going their own ways, and just ending up at the bars however they saw fit. This meant that the normal citizens of Portland, who were just out for a Saturday stroll, were a little confused by the random people running by with shopping carts and dressed like idiots. They had looks of horror and bewilderment and amusement spread across their faces, “Uh, what are you guys doing?” Some came over and joined in the fun, some kept their children at a safe distance, others said we were going to hell. Most just stared. And shook their heads.

At one point I got separated from the pack and was left to wander the streets of Portland with only one other member of my team. We got some very interesting looks. I started embracing my insanity and began looking around the city as if I were a normal window shopper. I scared the security guard at Tiffany’s when I peeked in the window. And when I got to a building with a ticker tape of stock numbers going around it, I stopped, took out my Blackberry and typed vigorously while screaming, “Sell! Sell!” While dressed in a nightgown with my bra on the outside.

I heart the Urban Iditarod.

For you, my dear readers, I’ve made a little video of our time spent competing in one of the fiercest events in athletics. It ain’t easy running with that much lipstick on, I tell ya.


tornwordo said...

What a wacky event! Fun video, thanks. Wish I'd been there.

shope. said...

This is the most fun EVER. I kinda want to move to Portland now.

Patricia said...


that looked slightly mardi gras-ish, so it seems to fit right in with your trip.

did you show up to any book signings in that lovely outfit?

Anonymous said...

That was GREAT Dawn. I told you you needed to start wearing more makeup. MOM