For the uninitiated, Bart is an icon in the running world. He’s the Chief Running Officer (CRO) of Runner’s World and an avid user of Twitter, which is how we became acquainted. Next thing you know, we meet at the nationwide premier for Hood to Coast Movie in Portland where he signs my copy of his engaging book, My Life on the Run!
“Nice, Clark, but where’s this leading?” you ask. “Holy frijoles, I’m getting there!” I respond.
So, leading up to this year’s HTC Relay, I create a “HTC Pulled Pork Hash” and throw it out there on twitter, but Bart digs veggies, not meat – darn! No matter. He’s in town for HTC so I invite him to Bijou Cafe, which I know to have veggie hash and is one of his pre-HTC rituals. He graciously accepts my invite and voila – an epic hashcapade is born!
|Bart flanked by his HTC peeps, Clark (moi) and Lisa.|
I arrive early, opting for a table close to the coffee bar and counter. I’m a little nervous as I think about sharing a meal with Bart and wait for my girlfriend, Lisa, to arrive. Scanning the ever-present specials board, I realize there are no potato hash specials – aarrgh! But wait, a quick peek at the menu reveals Oyster Hash, Mushroom Hash and Roast Beef Hash – yussss! Lisa joins me at the table and we eagerly await our guest.
|Located at the corner of SW Pine and SW 3rd, Bijou is a local favorite.|
When he appears, we quickly reacquaint ourselves and we soon find we’re like old friends as we chat about his book, HTC, marathons, training and travel. You see, runners enjoy a unique lexicon and a set of shared experiences that instantly build rapport. But Bart takes it up a notch – even though he’s a running legend, he is laid-back, affable, funny and simply COOL!! (OMG, did I just write that?!?! Well, it’s true!)
|Roast Beef Hash – yum!|
We finally order our dishes – I opt for the Roast Beef Hash while Bart and Lisa order the Tofu Scramble. When my roast beef hash arrives, I quickly tuck into the generous portion – tasty chunks of roast beef and perfectly roasted potatoes all topped with two eggs – simple in execution, but powerfully delicious!
While we’re eating, the HTC announcer for the past 20 years, John Hammerley, stops by to greet Bart. John doesn’t recognize me and Lisa, but after I tell him that we’re on the HTC team, Two Lingering Vans of WhoopAss, he starts laughing and says, “I know you guys – love that name!” And just like that, we’re back in the brotherhood of running and epic relays!!!