Friday, July 18, 2008

No Cascade Run Off: The Jackass in the Mirror

It was me. Point the finger here. I'm the one.

I refer, of course, to the person responsible for the cancellation of the 2008 Cascade Run Off, a 15K race that was scheduled to take place on July 27 here in Portland:

AA Sports, Ltd. regrets to announce that the 2008 Cascade Run Off has been canceled. At the time of this announcement, only 300 people were signed up to participate in the event and the City of Portland requires a minimum of 750 registrants to disrupt downtown streets.
I am that guy, the jerk who had this race in mind and was planning to participate in it, but never quite got around to registering for it. I literally have a brochure for this race sitting in front of me, purposely left amid my "don't forget me" clutter.

I am joined in this by at least 450 other procrastinating runners, but that doesn't make it right. If 450 runners went streaming over a cliff, would I follow them? Well, would I? The truthful answer is that it depends. If it was a footrace, I probably would, and I prefer to believe I'd be somewhere toward the front of the pack tilting over the cliff. And as I smashed my bones against whatever lay at the bottom of the cliff -- rocks, sharpened spikes, vats of boiling pitch, the bodies of faster runners, the fossilized remains of hunted mammoths, whatever -- I'd take solace in knowing at least I died for the sport. Time permitting, I'd reflect on how little solace that actually provides.

On a slightly more serious note, it might have been helpful to know of this 750-registrant threshold for downtown running events. I have always suspected there must be such a threshold, but this is the first time I've actually seen the number. It might have been helpful to see this little detail before it was too late -- had I known this a few days or a week ago, it would have forced an end to the procrastination, and the race would be on, assuming 449 like-minded runners.

Darn. That would have been a good one.

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