Monday, September 3, 2012

Hood to Coast

I joined a Hood to Coast team a week before the race. Because I was an alternate for another team, I already had plane reservations and an extra couple days on the Oregon coast planned.  All I needed was a team (although I seriously considered showing up at the start line with a sign).  I checked the Portland Craigslist ads and replied to the three posting looking for runners.  I quickly received a reply 'Hi. I'm Jan and I'm from Arizona too.  I recognize your name as a client from the law firm'.   What a small world that I join a random team and I knew (knew used very loosely because we had no idea what the other person looked like).The team met for dinner Thursday night and I met some of my van mates and soon to be friends.  It turns out everyone in van two (my van) was added within the last 3 weeks.  The final runner was added earlier that day and she wasn't well trained but at least we wouldn't have to run 4 legs.

 My first leg started in Sandy, OR in a congested Safeway parking lot next to McDonalds (hurray for real bathrooms).  We would meet van 1 and get bibs, shirts, etc.  and start our legs.  We were hanging around when Debbie realized her wallet was missing.  We were tearing the van apart when I heard my team number being called.  Van 1 wasn't there yet so I grabbed Jan's bib (she was runner 6 and I was runner 7) and took off on my 6ish mile run.  It is so dang pretty out there and the blackberries are abundant.  I was starting to get worried around mile 4 that I hadn't seen my van drive by.  I know they were looking for the wallet but I didn't want to beat them to the exchange.  Eventually they drove by and I wasn't left standing at the exchange alone.
After my first leg posing next to the antlers on our van (I have no idea the story behind the antlers)

Debbie ran after me and was coming off a calf strain so I gave her my compression socks to wear.  While she was out running a ham operator from the race left her a message that he had found her wallet and lived close to her in Portland.  Debbie was one happy camper knowing her wallet wasn't lost.

Robin, a veteran H2C'er,  made spirit sticks with bright (I mean bright) lights so in the dark we could find each other and gave it to the other van at major exchange 12 in Portland.  The spirit sticks are such a great idea that I'm going to make them for Del Sol Ragnar in February.After our exchange we went picked up dinner and went to Carrie's house where the children had made signs for their moms. Then back to Robin's house for a wonderful shower.

Robin, Debbie, Ryan, Bryan (with spirit stick sans lights) and me.  Check out barbie as a spirit stick.

Spirit stick in the making
For my night time leg I brought my lighted hair for all the girls to wear.  I bought the lighted hair from a couple years ago and it's always a big hit.  Wearing the hair makes it super easy to find teammates and the vans driving and runners passing or being passed comment on the hair.

We finished our night legs around 5am and went to Mist, OR and got snuggly in our van.   It was a 15 passenger van so for a 24 hour relay, it was quite roomy. I chose to sit on the floor and rest my arms on the seat and actually fell asleep until 8am. 

My third and final leg was 4 miles and downhill.  I usually don't run with people but on this leg there was someone running my pace ( I actually had to try and catch up to him) and we ran together the 4 miles.  Dave was getting married the next week and his fiancee was also running the race.  He told me he was the over contributor to the relationship coming in with 5 kids to her 1.  Like the Brady Bunch...but he had most of the kids. 
Bryan does his morning stretches after sleeping cramped in the van.
I loved this guys legs.  UR G8T. I'm Just Fast
Ryan talked about Cheeseburgers most of the race.  Robin took the opportunity to leave Ryan a chalk message but the poor guy didn't get a cheeseburger when he finished his leg.

I really liked this sign.
Debbie, the gal who joined the team at the last minute did awesome and wasn't as sore starting her 3rd leg as I thought she'd be.  It's really surprising to me how well our team melded together.  We all got along great and had an awesome time.
Robin exchanges for the final time with Bryan
At the Oregon Coast...Cheers
Team picture


Johann said...

Awesome fun! Hood to Coast is really huge. I'm quite amazed at how you could find a team so easily. Relays are always great fun.

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

wow love that you were so determined and spontaneous!!!

the lighted hair is awesome, must check it out for my next relay!

Giorgio said...

How can a runner talk about food during a race?
It's easy to see that your team had a pleasant time. Fortunately the wallet wasn't lost ... all's well that ends well :)

lindsay said...

best HTC recap :) i love that you just randomly joined a team and had travel arrangements in advance! glad it worked out well (no sketchballs) and you had another great relay!

Black Knight said...

It is cruel to talk about food during a race and leave a message like that on the road.
Great recap and wonderful pictures.