USATF NW Regional XC Championships!

Saturday, November 19, 2017 – USATF NW Regional XC Championships were hosted by Team Red Lizard of Portland, OR, and Stumptown Cross, a series that our teammate, Rachel competed in this fall, balancing racing with her studies in PT in Oregon. The series culminated at Race #5 at Fernhill Park. BDP hosted a full women’s team of (8) athletes, and (1) competitor from the men’s division, Maxx Antush. Carpooling and caravaning, the group left Friday morning, packing with them homemade snacks from our resident baker and nutrition influencer, Nikki; she prepared homemade breads, a healthier version of dog chow (cereal coated in coconut oil and dark chocolate), and various other goodies. The group met up for a course preview and post roadtrip shakeout at Fernhill Park in NE Portland. Gold leaves littered the ground, and though there was a slight chill in the air, the rain never came. After a few loops, a stock up at the grocery store (incl. OR IPA and tangerine juice for post race mimosas), the team settled into their cute airbnb house, a short mile from Fernhill Park. One teammate, Kathryn turned Regionals into a runcation with her family, and were a short jaunt away (they had never been to Oregon before, and made a beautiful trip out of it). Nikki made dinner that satisfied all palates: pasta dressed in pesto, roasted vegetables and beets, chicken, sliced baguette with olive oil and vinegar. After a beer or two for some, a lot of hip opening stretches and butt roll-outs, as well as handfuls of Nikki’s delicious homemade “everything in the pantry” cookies and dried mango slices, everyone filed to bed.In the morning, after bagels, flax peanut butter, bananas and copious amounts of coffee, the team left for the course. Fernhill Park was bathed in low clouds and fog, which enhanced the yellow of the wet leaves even more intensely. The course flagging fluttered in the wind, low fires were built to warm the hands of other teams. Team Red Lizard did an incredible job checking people in. We’re very thankful for their organization and kindness. All women checked in, all excess gear dumped at the base of a tree, the women toed the line. It proved evident that pre-race cheer practice is a must, “BDP” when shouted was not a roar, but a word not matched and seemingly followed by a question mark. Also, someone got elbowed in the head. We’ll work on it.The gun erupted and the women took off; the lead group stayed pretty tight for the first mile, before slight separation arose and clusters formed. The course features two full loops enclosed between two abbreviated loops with slight variances in uphill and downhill, and finished on a track. The star feature were the two hay bales set in place before a slight grass hill. The course can be viewed HERE.

Courtney led BDP with a 6th place finish, followed by Amber in 10th, Brittany in 15th, Kristen in 18th, Nikki in 27th, Scarlett in 42nd, and Kathryn in 45th. After an incredibly exhaustive few weeks of testing, Rachel made the smart decision to drop. As a team BDP took 2nd at the USATF NW Regional Championships with 47 points, behind 1st place team, Club Northwest (A), who had an incredible 19 pts! 117 women competed.

Just a short while later, Maxx, who represented the men’s division as a lone stud, competed in the USATF NW Regional Champs Men’s 10k. After competing in his first XC race of the year two weeks ago at PNTF’s, the day after the snow-saturated Bellingham Trail Marathon, this 10k would surely proffer better energy…and it did! Maxx ended up 32nd out of 117 racers in 33:13 (5:20 pace), bettering his XC 10k time from 2 wks ago, and bettering his XC 10k PR altogether.  Results for the USATF XC Regionals Men’s 10k and Women’s 6k can be found HEREAfter a cooldown, snacks at the house and mimosas, the team went to the Pearl District for a nice walk to stretch their legs, lots of shopping and beer tasting at BackPedal Brewing. “Located in Portland’s Pearl District and boldly directly next door to 10 Barrel Brewing, BackPedal is…the home base of BrewCycle Portland.” For dinner – 10 Barrel Brewing – small bowls of popcorn and deep fried chickpeas. A sampling of the menu, from calamari with pickled kombu and spicy chili garlic sauce, to curry chicken salad with fresh za, to the pubhouse burger and on. A few rounds of beers (always great choices to order: apocalypse, pray for snow, sinistor, but the gintuition sour is good!). After dinner the group disbanded for more food and dessert at Whole Foods, more drinks out, and a cd release party for Polyrhythmics, who are now on tour. In an uber ride home, Courtney and Scarlett got their driver to stop off at Voodoo Donuts for that iconic pink box of delicious donuts, making sure to grab one for the driver, and met the rest of the team back at their airbnb for some late night bonding and donut sampling. In the morning, after cleaning up and checking out, the team drove to St. John’s Bridge, where they ran across the gorgeous green structure, with the Willamette below, climbed a steep set of stairs up into Forest Park, and explored for 10-17 miles the infrastructure and beauty of the park (Forest Park literally has 5000+ acres to explore…). Scarlett planned the route, and did a kickass job navigating. With some traversing the Leif Erickson and others rolling their ankles on the narrow single-track routes of Hardesty and Nature Trail, the team had an incredible time getting in their Sunday LR in a new way, on a new course. The group who needed less mileage took off for home, with Rachel heading back to school, and the group that needed more finished their trip at Homegrown Smoker…It was insane. It’s entirely vegan. 100%. They have things like tempeh ribs and fufish filets and soy curls and breaded tofu and endless styles of burgers and on tap kombucha…Nikki had the Big Kahuna burger (we’re still trying to figure out what constituted the “patty”), with grilled pineapple rings, teriyaki, vegan cheese and slaw, with sweet potato fries and a spicy, creamy dipping sauce. Scarlett had the Buff Burrito with “Smoked chikn,” tempeh bacon, MacNocheese, mozzarella, grilled peppers and onions, spicy buffalo sauce, ranch, raw greens and diced tomato. And Courtney had the Macnocheeto burrito wrapped in a grilled flour tortilla the size of a newborn, with smoked soy curls, BBQ beans, MacNocheese, grilled peppers and onions, and HGS BBQ sauce, with a glass of cold, on tap kombucha.Everyone got back safe and sound to Bellingham, thankful to have spent some quality time together, proud of a 2nd place team finish and hungry for a full XC season in 2018! We can’t wait! Thank you to Team Red Lizard and Stumptown Cross for your wonderful race organization!

*Photos pulled from Jose Sandoval, and Red Lizard’s SmugMug!
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