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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hood to Coast AkRUN style

This week was one I hope to never forget, well maybe just the weekend, but if you have ever experianced anything like Hood to Coast you understand what I mean!

My week started out uneventful, I would even go as far as to say fricken boring! A down week after 4 weeks over 100 miles had me feeling like a fish out of water at best. But Thursday the Young Tarts and Old Farts team headed to Oregon for what would become one heck of a good time!

We arrived in Portland around noon, and were greated by the Captain and his First Mate! With sandwiches to fill our stomach we were in our vans, which would soon become home for a day, and on our way to Sea Side! We got to the condo, and the view was amazing. I'm not one to care much about a view, but this was something to see! We unloaded our bags and were off to enjoy the very thing that brought us together in the first place...RUN!! 8 miles later we were all back at the condo quickly getting ready for drinks, then dinner. As I showered I thought, "well enjoy because you are going to feel nasty for a longgggg time before your next shower!". After dinner we had a little team meeting and it was time for rest.
5:30 am came quick, but since our bodies believed it was 8:30 (EST) we were up and at em'. We went to breakfast, I can't remember the name of the place, something to do with a pig, and then it was time to pack up and get to the top of Mt. Hood!
We arrived about 2 hours prior to our scheduled 3 PM start time, we watched some other teams start, bought some race memorabilia, and got our race packets. Our team number was 83, and I quickly stated it was the year of my birth, which sent the team into angry glances and laughter since I was 16 years younger than the second youngest person on the team! haha!

3pm- It is finally our turn to go! I am all smiles watching Anne getting us going down the mountain. As we drive to see her at the exchange zone I can't help but think of what an awesome thing we are part of. People from so many places, backgrounds, and walks of life coming together to enjoy this sport just brings me so much joy! I giggled, and excitedly waited for my chance to run. Ginny flew though leg 2, Mike crushed leg 3, and his honor ran a strong leg 4. We were already 10 minutes ahead of what we thought we could finish in. Capt'n Dave assured me, the time would catch back up. I looked at the folks getting ready for their legs, and I simply couldn't see it happening. We had such a strong team!

7pm- Van 1 arrived at a church in Portland to wait on the arrival of the runners from Van 2. Somehow we were expected to rest...there was no way! I was too excited, it was too early, and plain and simple I was too jacked up! Turns out that was a good thing. I got to thinking and started wondering how far ahead of schedule Van 2 might be. After a few txt messages from #5 Ann I knew I would be running sooner than we had anticipated. Chris and Ann had made up more time on legs 5-6, Jim ate up leg 7, Donny apparently didnt realized his is a good runner and killed leg 8, Tony was tough as ever on leg 9 and Cathy got the slap bracelet to me 25 minutes ahead of schedule!
10:20pm- I am FINALLY running! It's a dark, kinda barren, sorta, well, scary bike path though Portland! I set my sights on blinky lights (which each runner is required to wear between the hours of 6pm-7am) and tried to keep the pace quick yet comfortable. I only was stopped twice at street crossings and I met Lisa at exchange 11 29 minutes later. Finally I was tired, but sleep wasn't in the cards right now.

3am- I switched over to Van 2 and we are about 1/2 way through the rotation. I just can not stay awake. I am in awe of the people in my van and the tenacity they are showing. I finally catch some sleep as runner 5 gets in a little over 8 miles. Then I was back awake. The course starts getting quite hilly and I am impressed with the times that our team is pumping out. I now know why Capt'n Dave said the time would catch back up. I am pretty sure Donny just ran up a 4 mile hill and the dust was so thick we couldn't see him coming until he was 20 meters away!

7am- My second leg, and I am feeling like crap! I think it is fair to say I am pretty tired, but the sun is coming up, and I am catching a lot more people on this leg! 25 minutes later I hear my team, and see Lisa waiting to do our 4x1 style relay exchange. HAHA, this is fun! Back in the van and off to get some rest! We figured we had about 3 hours to sleep once we got to exchange 29. But it was not in the cards, it took us nearly 2.5 hours to get there because of traffic! So no sleep it was!

12:04pm- We knew Chris should be coming anytime around 12, and we no sooner thought that and there he was coming down a bit@# of a hill just 4 minutes behind what we figured would be best case scenario. Ann took the slap bracelet and we were off to get Jim in place and hopeful we could do so before Ann arrived. We had a couple times were our next runner had to jog ahead of the van to make sure we were at the exchange in time, but we NEVER missed an exchange!

3:50pm- I looked at Lisa and said "We can break 26 hours...don't fu@# this up", winked, took the slap bracelet from Cathy and was on my way to catch some girl that was bragging while she was in the exchange zone. She left a few minutes before me, but I had faith I could catch her. Jim did too and it was a good thing because I got there faster than I planned! First thing out of Jim's mouth, so how long did it take you to catch that girl? haha! I hadn't even mentioned it. Jim saw me glaring apprently! haha! Lisa was on her way to the beach and we just needed to get there to cross the finish line with her!

25 hours and 36 minutes after this crazy race had started for us, Lisa crossed the finish line. With tears in her eyes you could see the joy of accomplishing something very special. We ran across the line with her and after a picture we all had a drink and sat down to talk about our adventure! We finished 85th out of 1050 teams and nearly 100 places better than the team did in 2011!

I had such a great time, I hope I never forget how much laughter we shared in those vans! We had a great team, we ran well, and we never had an appearance from Princess Ashley! What a great trip! This trip added to my belief that in this city I have angels all around me!

5 weeks to go until Akron!

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