Hood to Coast Running Relay Review 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:34 pm

~ This was posted on - August 28, 2011

“A 30 hour traffic jam with three exciting 10k runs.” Three stars out of five.

I just finished running that Hood to Coast Relay Race this weekend, and it is the most epic sports event I’ve ever done. 15,000 runners relaying 200 miles from Timberline Lodge to Seaside, Oregon. Awesome runs were marred by a 30 hour long traffic jam.

A quick overview:

There are 1,250 teams of 12 runners each. The course is divided into 36 legs of five to eight miles, and each runner runs three legs spaced out by eight hours or so – two in the day, one at night. Teams were responsible for ferrying their runners to each check point to greet the incoming runner. Checkpoints were clearly marked, and innumerable volunteers staff the 200 mile course.  It’s the largest running relay race in the world.

The crowd was fun, and the runs were great; but it’s the 2,000 vans in traffic between checkpoints that will kill you.

Getting ready:

If you’re primed for a ½ marathon or ½ Ironman, this will be no problem. In my van there were people who were physically fit, but had not (ever) run more than six miles. They pulled through. Having completed an Ironman in 2010, and a Half this year, plus not being a particularly fast runner – completing Hood to Coast was easy. Also, what triathletes lack in speed they make up for in stamina, so when people were gassing out on the last of 3 legs, I was actually running faster than before.

Memorable Experiences:

#4: Reading all of the crazy (and sometimes inappropriate) team van decorations. My favorite: “If I pass out, please pause my Garmin.” Lots of references to beer and gender. Whereas triathletes are a fairly cognitive serious bunch, the runners here were pretty easygoing.

#3: Watching runners make their way up the coastal range in the middle of the night, with blinkies and reflective vests on, marching in the mist like ants to the coast.

#2: Being stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 30 hours with no sleep. This year, HTC added 250 teams creating traffic jam that was so bad, runners would get to the checkpoints before their team did. The last five miles of the race took three hours by car on a course that was obviously waaaay over capacity.   You can read angry complaints here. Because of the mind-numbing traffic, I would hesitate to do this race again.

#1: Discovering that I’m actually a decent runner compared to your Hood to Coast’er. Normally a back-of-the-pack guy on the running leg of a triathlon, I passed eight runners for every one that passed me on HTC. 8:1 – That’s a ratio I can live with!

A shout out to Integra Telecom, who let two Portland Triathlon Club members run on their teams. And to members of Portland Triathlon club: I think we should do this one some day!

Patrick is a small business owner: large and in charge of Hold Time Music and Hold Time Studios, providing on-hold messaging / music on hold for business phone systems throughout the USA.


Welcome to Bob’s Engineering!

Filed under: Marketing Challenges — admin @ 1:09 pm

~ This was posted on - August 11, 2011

What they do:

Although it’s widely reported that manufacturing is decline across America, we are still the largest manufacturer in the world. Some sectors of American manufacturing are flourishing because of innovating products, and intelligent service; manufacturing sectors that produce in mass volume, like buttons and consumer and electronics, are increasingly outsourced. An excellent podcast via Planet Money can found here.

Bob’s Engineering and Advanced Metal Systems are both growing because of their quick turn around, and specialty products. For Bob’s, it’s sophisticated four-axis multi-spindle CNC machines that create custom prototypes and parts for high-end machines like commercial copiers. For Advanced Metal Systems, structural supports and short-runs for smaller projects.  We’re using their music on hold to promote it!

Marketing Challenges:

These two companies share a similar challenge: Their customers are using them for manufacturing, but not finish work like powder-coating or assembly. Once the unique part is made, it’s often sent overseas for final finishing. They want their customers to know that whatever savings the client can get by shipping it to China for polishing is quickly lost in shipping, and time to get the project done. “Why not have us do it here?” is the repeated refrain in their on-hold marketing.

LIVE AND LOCAL

WHEN YOU’RE WORKING WITH A FABRICATOR OVERSEAS, SHIPPING ACTUALLY MEANS LOADING YOUR PROJECT ON A SHIP – AND ADDING WEEKS TO YOUR TIME LINE; BUT THINGS JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT BETTER FOR YOU RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE AT ADVANCED METAL AND WIRE PRODUCTS SHIPPING MEANS IN OUR TRUCK, FROM OUR DOOR TO YOURS, AS SOON AS IT’S DONE, AND IT’S FREE. ALL OF OUR QUOTES INCLUDE LOCAL DELIVERY. TODAY, YOU’LL GET CLEAR COMMUNICATION, QUALITY FABRICATION, FAST TURNAROUND, AND FREE LOCAL SHIPPING WHEN WE RETURN TO THE PHONE.






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