Thursday, February 9, 2012

Loop Fest West - A Series of Fabulous Events

(If I had more time and more skill, I would write this blog in Lemony Snicket style, but I barely have time to write about everything, so, maybe another time)

Well. It was just another Loopfest. If you have read about or attended one of the other ones, then you know what this post will be full of. How fabulous loopsters are; how amazing it is when we all get together, and get along so well, and act like old friends instead of strangers, and all that stuff. So, yeah, that is all true. I will try not to be redundant.

So here it is from my perspective anyway.
Thursday night it all started with the arrival of Kynan and Laura who drove down from Sacramento. My DW and I had got the house all cleaned up and ready for 5 houseguests, and prepped for a party. I was kind of nervous, even with all my experience with loopmeets. But the three of us went out to dinner at a place with a rooftop patio right on the beach, and had a great meal and chatted.

Soon it was time to pick up Mildsauce at LAX, and the the 4 of us walked to a local dive saloon, drank cheap beer, and talked Loop smack. It was awesome.

Friday, the other three went up to Pasadena for pumpkin pancakes, and I went back to LAX to pick up KEK. I took her directly (from Wisconsin) to the beach where it was 70 and sunny, and she was eating it up. We did a little beach walk and had lunch and settled into California relaxed mode. Soon her friend Audrey arrived, and we all headed up to Pasadena for a Rose Bowl rendezvous.

At least a dozen loopsters showed up, and after the initial hugs and intros, Junblack led us on a 5 mile shakeout run on the nearby trails. Most of us were in one group, running about 9:30 pace, chatting, joking, getting to know each other. Spirits were high, people were in loopfest-induced euphoria. Mix in endorphins and, well, you know, fabulous.

Then we all headed to Atom Buddy's house where he offered up showers and we must have cycled ten people through one bathroom in 20 minutes. Eventually we headed out for dinner. Table for 19 on Friday night in LA? No problem! Thanks Mrs. AB! A long yummy dinner at Olive Garden was excellent, and we also stopped for some photos.

Saturday was the Expo, which was in a large tent on the beach next to the starting line. We met up with more loopsters. It was fun to see the newbies as they went through the shock of seeing avatars come to life (old hat for me by now). Every single new loopster fit right in and was a welcome part of the group. After we all got our bibs, free stuff and whatnot, JB passed out our LoopFest shirts and we headed down the beach for photos. Hopefully JB will post them soon, because they will be awesome! It was a simply perfect day at the beach, sunny and warm, pretty unusual for February. Everything was coming together this weekend!

Next, we headed to my house, and prepared for the arrival of everyone for the pre-race Pasta feed party. My dear wife prepared a delicious spread, supplemented with delights from several other loopsters, and we all pigged out on lasagna, spaghetti, pasta salad, crab dip, and Nutella cookies. We all got closer and talked race goals, and loop talk, and maybe some non-running stuff occasionally. The DW led a little field trip down to the beach to catch the sunset over the ocean, Mildsauce showed off her Boggle skills and stole my camera, and we all got to hear from TO Superstar what you call a boomerang that doesn't come back.

Around 7, the party broke up because we all had to get our rest for the big race the next day, and that will have be on another post... To be continued...

If you didn't catch my Loop post, you can see many more pictures here.

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