Tuesday, August 31, 2010

9 runners, 197 miles, 28 hours 29 minutes 23 seconds

Hood to Coast Relay: August 28 - 29, 2010
The Team Without a Name

It's deemed the largest relay in the world--starts at Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood and travels 197 miles to Seaside, Oregon. I had to run it.

I grew up in the PNW. Well, I kinda grew up everywhere, but spent a lot of time in the good ol' PNW. I heard about this race growing up. It's an event. And there's a certain level of bad assery title that you earn when you run it, especially when you tell someone that your team has only 9 members as opposed to the traditional 12.

Told a lot of folks, co-workers about my weekend. Um, yeah, I need those days off, my Blackberry probably won't work because I'm running down a mountain with 9 friends to the coast of Oregon, sleeping and eating in a van. Vacation? Hell yeah vacation!

My dear twitter friend Brian Brode mentioned that he was on a Hood to Coast team. Like the shy girl I am, I said, hey if you need an alternate, let me know. Turns out they needed another crazy chick. I passed the test.

Despite the fact that these 9 runners are very smart, creative individuals, we could not come up with a creative name prior to the deadline. There were names like Wii Not be Fit, Mid-leg Crisis, When the Fit Hits the Shan, We've Got the Runs, and many more. We were The Team Without a Name.

Our start time was 11:45 a.m. Teams are seated by their anticipated finish times which are based on the runner's 10K times. We were right in the middle. The first leg down the mountain is a beast! Erin, a totally bad ass chick, volunteered to slay that mountain -- 6 miles with a 3,000 foot elevation drop. Holy quads, Batman! That woman ran that leg with 6:30 splits. She not only took the lead from our start group, she passed the 11:30 runners and perhaps some 11:15 starters!

I ran legs 3, 12, 21, and 30 -- about 20 miles total. And I kinda got lucky and got the easy ones. I was really shocked at how well I did.

Leg 3 - 4 miles - 7:33 pace. This was my fastest 4 miles I have ever run!

Leg 12 - 6.4 miles - 8:13 pace. Certainly a PR here as well for this distance.

Leg 21 - 5 miles - 8:22 pace. I'm pretty proud of this one. 5 miles on a dirt road at 3 a.m. It was pitch black and very dusty. I ate Oregon dirt for 5 miles. The little light I had from my headlamp didn't help much due to all the dirt the vans kicked up. It was a white out! I vaguely remember Brian getting me on tape saying I was a dirty girl....

Leg 30 - 5 miles - 8:23 pace. I was so tired. No sleep. But I still managed to keep it under 8:30. I remember the Elites passing me and saying "good job." Ha!

The Team Without a Name crossed the finish line in 28:29:23.

I could go on and on and on about all the details, funny events, speeding tickets, yadda, yadda, yadda. But I'm going to keep you in suspense and just say ... freakin' run this race if you ever get the chance! You'll make new friends, have a good time, and get to see some pretty damn gorgeous country.

Take a peak at my photos from the event.

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