This weekend rocked. I had a ridiculous amount of fun doing a nearly 200-mile running relay from Mt. Hood, east of Portland, to the Oregon coast. My team of twelve consisted of Catherine, Lucinda, Jenn, Eily, Paul, Elizabeth, Eric, Jake, Fred, Mike, Jeanne and me. Catherine and I flew out Wednesday night. The rest of the team arrived on Thursday. We raced Friday and Saturday – as in we raced through the night. Then we flew home on Sunday. This van decor from another team’s van captured the experience:
Hood to Comatose indeed! I’m equal parts exhausted and exhilarated. And I learned so much.
- We had six people in each van, and everyone agreed that the vans reeked about mid-way through the 30-hour event. We had changes of clothes, but still, the stench was awful. And it didn’t bother us one bit because we were having so much fun. Turns out even a cramped and smelly car can be wonderful with the right people.
- Each member of the team ran three legs of varying distances and levels of difficulty. My first two were around 6 miles long and hilly. My third was four miles long and relatively flat. I ran my first leg early Friday afternoon, my second leg at 11 at night, and my third leg at 8:30 on Saturday morning. I could handle the running and actually did quite well on each leg. The biggest physical challenge for me was the being up all night aspect of the race. When I had moments to sleep, even 15 minutes here and there, I took them. And when we had over an hour to sleep on a high school gym floor, I passed out cold.
- After sleeping on the gym floor, we had the option to shower at the high school before heading back out on the road for our third legs. I took the option and paused momentarily when I realized that the showers were not stalls, but community showers – a pole with multiple spouts. I think I can safely say that never in my nearly forty years have I been willing to shower publicly. But in my exhausted and sleep-deprived state, I showered, and it felt damn good to be clean and feel somewhat awake for a bit.
- Oregon is beautiful. I’ve spent quite a bit of time there these past few years, but I hadn’t been since last October, and I caught myself in awe of the place once again. The rental house on the lake, the course through the country, and the beach were all incredibly beautiful. I love Portland and Oregon. They hold a very special place in my heart.
- I love hard efforts. This was a hard effort. Our team pulled together, powered through the night, and came out laughing and celebrating on the beach. No tension. No drama. Nothing but smiles and laughter the entire way. When we were done, we were celebrating, not just the effort, but our sheer enjoyment of the company along the way, despite the challenges of the event. There’s really nothing better than doing great things with great people.
Though it may take me a few days to recover, I loved this event. I loved the racing. I loved the company. I loved the environment. I would do this race again in a heartbeat. For sure.