Hey, readers! Welcome to Part 3 of our special series on surviving Portland to Coast. In this post, let’s go right on ahead and talk about it: FOOD! Speed Walker Auntie is back to share some great tips on how, exactly, this whole eating-during-a-team-relay thing works: First, how it works when your team has two vans. Second, some ideas for when you’re an “elite” team with just one van full of
hooligans butterfly chasers participants. And, BONUS: some solid suggestions for those who are vegan or gluten free!
Speed Walker Auntie, finishing up part 3 of the series, fueling for your relay!
Food is important. We want to make sure there are no hangry teammates, but we also need to keep a nice balance of enough junk food to keep you going for 30+ hours, while avoiding gut rot.
Nothing says fun, like hanging out in the port-o-potty while everyone else is cheering on your teammate.
Hopefully you’ve seen part 1, with the list of stuff your teammates should pack, but now let’s talk “van food.”
In previous years our team has rolled with two vans, which allows for several hours of down time to go snag a meal at a local restaurant. (By the way, if you do stop in to a restaurant, I highly recommend you go the pizza or pasta route! Avoid the buffets or Mexican food, at least until after you cross the finish line).
Our team has typically had an early-early morning start time. So while van 1 was out on the course racing, everyone in van 2 started their day by going out for breakfast, before heading to the first big exchange to meet us in van 1 in the afternoon. At that point, van 1 would find a place for lunch, heavy on the carb side.
Van 2 would plan a communal van dinner (usually BLT sandwiches, and sides.) They helped spread the work out by having each member bring some part of the meal, so that not one person had to handle it all. that would be eaten at the next big exchange. By that point in the course, there are no restaurants, and it’s just fundraiser food being sold at the exchanges.
Van 1 grazed through dinner, either munching on a PBJ or supporting one of the fundraisers.
This year, we’ve grown and branched out so much that we have three teams, and as team captain this will be a new experience: We are 8 racers and two drivers, in just one van. No big break periods, and on top of that, we’ve got 2 vegans and a 3rd person who is gluten free.
With lunch, dinner, and the following morning’s breakfast on the race course, we’ve got a lot of meals to cover!
So, here are my current thoughts on what to pack for 2017 (and I’ll do a follow up on what worked, and what didn’t!):
I plan on hitting up Costco and our local Winco (yea bulk bins!)
What’s on the shopping list?
- Bananas, of course. (stored in a large plastic container with a lid. Nothing like accidentally having banana mush ending up all over your van.)
- PBJ sandwiches, prepped the night before – Smear the peanut butter on both sides, no soggy jelly bread!
- Meat and cheese sandwiches – Going with the least-stinky meats. Probably turkey and ham. Nobody wants stinky tuna, or some fancy garlic basted protein funking up the coolers. With a couple of vegans in the van, we will also be packing some Tofurky options too. Going to bag the lettuce and tomatoes separately for people to add to their liking. I’ll probably add a couple avocados to the mix too, as I love it on my sandwiches.
- Spare meat and cheese – for those looking to stay bread free, and a box of gluten free crackers.
- Hummus cups – a good veggie based protein option, and tasty with veggies or chips. Packing hummus? Might want to grab a container of Beano, just in case….
- Speaking of chips, a bag of pretzel chips! Salty goodness, tasty on their own, or with the hummus.
- Baby carrots and celery, in an attempt to keep the van semi-healthy.
- Peanut butter to-go cups – another good protein option, but with less toots.
- Cut up watermelon – hydrating and refreshing, all in one!
- One box of the lunch box sized mixed cookie packs, to keep the junk food eating to a minimum. Otherwise I know I could mow down a sleeve of Oreos at 3:00a.m. and not notice I had done it until I ran out of cookies.
- Cold pizza – Buying a couple pizzas the night before, zip lock baggie and chill in the fridge. Looks like there might be cheese, Hawaiian and pepperoni happening for dinner.
- Bagels and cream cheese, both regular and vegan – skipping on the everything bagels. No onions, no garlic!
- Costco muffins – cut in half and bagged before.
- Containers of yogurt – both regular and vegan.
- Pre-cooked bacon – sealed well to cut back on funking up the cooler.
- Couple jugs of Califia Farms Mocha cold brew – to get the team through its caffeine needs. Bonus, it’s vegan!
- Winco bulk bin candy – that way you aren’t committed to bringing bags and bags of junk food. A handful of gummies here, some M&M’s there, maybe some jelly beans or Chick-o-Sticks? Once it’s gone, it’s gone, so remember to share with your teammates. Don’t hoard those Reese’s peanut butter cups!
I’m also adding Pepto Bismol tablets, and Imodium pills to our first aid kit, just in case! Nothing we are bringing should be an issue, but if someone goes crazy and buys that medium rare cheeseburger at an exchange fundraiser….
There are a lot of community fundraisers on the course for HTC/PTC, so if someone isn’t feeling the van options, they still have choices at the exchanges. Last year a bowl of plain rice (it was actually hamburger gravy and rice as the meal option for a school group fundraiser) sounded amazing late in the afternoon, and ended up being part of my dinner. Plus it’s always nice to support the community that is letting this race take over their roads for 35+ hours.
I think that’s it! Wish us luck!