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The Great Train Chase!

A Train!Ordinarily trains are the bane of running events. But for one night a year we actually seek out trains. In the Great Train Chase we run after five different trains (two streetcars, two MAXes, and the Holiday Express steam train) while doing a loop of the waterfront, followed by dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. This year it is scheduled for Sunday evening, December 16.

Portland’s riverfront is bordered by train tracks and this classic running route will follow those. The total distance for the run is close to 13 miles. This route will also, like the trains, be on a very strict timetable in order to catch all of them. The paces will be between 7:30s and 10:00 minutes per mile. There are also options or shortening the route and car shuttling; look for the thread on the message board.

Here are some additional fun factoids about train running passed on by organizer and long time Red Lizard Member David Hatfield:

⇒ On the final 1-mile straight, the “Daylight” did about a 5 min/mile and reached a top speed of about 15 miles/hr. For speedsters out there, a fun challenge would be to try to run alongside the engine the entire leg. (For those not quite as fast, the train only does about 8 min/mile pace the previous 1 mile through the turns, and this is a fun place to run alongside the train.)
⇒ The street cars reach top speeds probably faster than Usain Bolt (although it’s hard to tell from my perspective.) But if you want a challenge, you can try to run Leg 4 without getting ahead of the streetcar or getting dropped for good. Figure you’d need to run about 18min 5K pace, punctuated by a few slowdowns before streetcar stops.


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