Around 18,000 people will be pounding the pavement in the Hood To Coast relay starting Friday.
Runners, joggers and walkers from all 50 states and 36 countries will be taking part in what’s known as the mother of all relays. Angel Gonzalez-Rul is from Mexico and it’s not his first rodeo.
“It’s an amazing race, it’s my 4 time here,” Gonzalez-Rul said.
Visitors from all over the world are giving Portland businesses a run for their money. Fit Right NW was swamped all week.
Owner Dave Sobolik said sales normally jump 40 percent the week of the race.
“Today is really our biggest retail day of the calendar year, so we’re very excited. It’s a very fun day, lots of energy. It’s our Black Thursday,” Sobolik said.
Enterprise Rent a Car on west Burnside has also been busy. An employee said their vans are booked two years before the race.
Runners from across the country are also here, including Kate Snow from New York.
“I’m excited, I’m terrified. I’ve never done anything like this before,” Snow said. The NBC correspondent is joining her sister and giving the race a shot for the first time. “I had pasta last night, probably have pasta again tonight and having some extra bread and eat that stuff anyway but not this much,” Snow said.
Snow is not solo.
Runners are pounding down all things pasta at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Southwest Portland. Manager Gary Shepherd said they’re booked up on reservations and catering.
“We’re expecting a neighborhood of 800 guests tonight to get ready for Hood to Coast,” Shepherd said.
As customers carb up before the race, some are gearing up for a fun time. Others like Gonzales-Rul, a reflective kind of relay.
“The start and the finish, its lovely, beautiful, beautiful views in all the race,” Gonzales-Rul added.