Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sisters Poker Run
October 17, 2009
This is a special run that I try to make every year. Gene "Fatboy" Trahern puts on a fun run with nice giveaways and prizes. I've done it the last 3 years and have gotten great race momentos with race logo including North Face gloves in 2007, knit arm warmers in 2008, and this year a neck gaiter/head warmer. I treasure these! I lost my arm warmers at Bighorn this year but Gene gave me a leftover pair when I saw him at Hundred in the Hood. I won't let them out of my sight ever again! The race fee is just right and the proceeds goes to the Sisters Trail Association. I enjoy going down and socializing with Oregon runners but many Washington runners participate as well.
This year I rode down with Jess Mullen. Allison Moore was supposed to join us but couldn't find a sitter for her dog. She was bummed and we were too. We all had so much fun when we went to Hundred in the Hood together. Jess and I drove down Friday and stopped at our favorite market-the New Seasons Market on Rose Park Way just past the OR-WA border. Jess introduced me to this place and the food is so wonderful. I love their Biali, a bagel type bread with onion mix in the middle. I was disappointed when I got there and a woman was taking one of only two left. I took the last one and asked the baker if I could pre-order some and pick them up on Sunday. It just so happened that she had 4 more on a rack. So I bought all five and didn't take too long to eat them all over the next few days. Also, they have a wok grill their and you pick your ingredients that they stir fry up. It's sooo good!
We arrived in Sisters a little after 7pm, checked into the Sister's Inn, which was new and very nice, and headed to the noodle house where people usually meet for pre-race dinner. Unfortunately, everyone had eaten and left. We returned to the hotel room and we retired fairly early.
The weather forecast earlier in the week called for rain and colder temperatures. It is always cool at the start. But the day turned out to be very nice and Jess and I complained that we were overheating as the sun warmed up the day. In past years, I have stayed at Sean Meissner's house, which is only a few blocks from the start-walking distance. Our hotel was just a five minute drive. We socialized for a while before the race. Shawna Wilskey and Joe Tompkins were there. Terry Sentinella came with his wife, who volunteered at an aid station. Jess and I said our hellos to Michael Cartwright and his wife Tamara. I reminded Michael of when I made fun of him last year. I had come down with Shawn McTaggart and Tony Covarrubias and we were running the first stretch on the road before hitting single track. A car was approahing from behind and Michael yelled, "A cah is coming.". I said to him, "It's caR, not cah!" He replied, "Peace off!" I yelled back to him, "It's PISS off, not peace off!" Shawna, Joe, Jess, Tamara, and Terry just roared in laughter. It's fun to make fun of Michael's South African accent.
Gene briefed us a little about the course. There were several distances: 20 miles, marathon, and 50K+. The aid stations were stocked with the usual fare from previous years including pumpkin pie, animal cookies, Rice Krispie treats, pretzels, and others. The course is very runnable with great single track. For the 50K runners, there is some climbing but nothing too strenuous, and the views on this day were so beautiful. We hadn't planned on it, but Jess and I ran the entire run together. It was fun. Jess had a rough spot in the middle of the run. But when she recovered later, I worked hard to keep up with her. Jess is getting stronger for sure. We saw several runners on the out and back, including Shawna, Joe, Linda Barton, Christel Elliot, Caroline Ly, and Heidi Deitrich.
We reached the second to the last aid station and crossed the creek over a log bridge. Then some more running until the last aid station where we had to cross the creek with almost knee deep water. It was refreshing but added several pounds to each foot. At each aid station, runners grab a card and finish with 5 cards. Then at the finish we get one more card and choose 5 of 6 cards for the best hand. I ended up with two pairs (6 and 4) with high of 8. My hand was something like the 16th best hand. Nowhere near random prize winnings. Jess had nothing :( The winners had full houses. Michael Cartwright, who won the hand the last two years ended up winning the random chip drawing (each poker chip had a certain card value) when his chip was selected for a quilt. It's not fair, he always goes home with a major prize. Every year, Gene's wife hand quilts a piece, and this year it was a wonderful picture of mountains in the background, runners, and all kinds of flowers in the foreground. I soooo wanted it! Oh well, guess I have to keep coming back!