I ran Hood To Coast for my 5th year in a row this weekend. It was super fun as usual! BUT very different from any other year!
We had a very early start time. Much earlier than any other year!! 6:15AM! I was in a slight predicament. I didn’t have the day off of work. I thought we would start at 9, 10 or 11. I was runner #11 so I figured I wouldn’t run until the evening anyway! We received our start times and I came to the realization that I would be running at about 3! Long long story short I got off work at 2. Took an Uber to exchange 10 right before Bird Legs was going to hand off to me!
Just like that I’m with Stupid was on leg 11 and I was off running!
Leg 11: 2:45pm. 4.51 Miles. 9:46 avg/miles. It was hot-ish and humid. It was sunny one minute and cloudy another. It was flat and boring. I talked to a few people which was fun. There was one particular guy who I ran with that I talked to for a bit but stayed with for quite a while. I was just trying to keep his pace. At the exchange he said thanks for pacing me. I thought he was pacing me! I just think he didn’t want me to pass him! :)
We headed to the Hawthrone bridge to pick up Tiffany and exchange with van 1!
Meeting up with Van 1 at exchange 12!
Saw David and had to get a picture!!!
Went back to Jeff’s place for pizza, lounging, and game shows before it was time to head out again!!
We were back on the road and ready for the rain. Maybe!
Leg 23: 1:50am. 4.2 miles. 9:28 avg/miles. NIGHT leg! Favorite leg. It was rolling hills. It was fun. I kept a good pace. It started to sprinkle the last couple of minutes and then really started to come down for a few, just as I was handing off to Tiffany!
The traffic is usually pretty heavy during these legs. In past years the runner would have to run up the exchange as the van was still sitting in traffic.
This year we had a lot of smooth sailing. The next test was getting to Jewel once we handing off to van 1 again.
I fell asleep almost immediately but we proceeding to get to Jewel faster than any other year. With time to catch a few winks before it was time to leave again!
It was raining but didn’t seem to be too bad. The lightening was crazy. I could see it with my eyes closed! It died off while we were asleep.
Just like that it was 8ish and we were off and running again. It started to rain right before Ashley(runner 7) and Jeff(8) exchanged. The clouds were moving FAST! It was pouring and felt bad for Jeff. It was super crazy. I was driving and the wind shield wipers were not moving fast enough!!
Dan went out for a long haul. This leg is always so awful because it is so HOT! Well not so much this year. It poured for the first couple of miles but then it was just windy!! Kara went out for a short but very windy run.
SHIT!!! It was my turn again and I was nervous!!!
This was my longest leg. I felt good but I was waiting for Kara and the wind was absolutely bonkers!!
Leg 35. 11:30am. 6.9miles. 10:39 avg/miles. Rolling uphill/flat. I went off and I was immediately in a head wind. I am not talking a faint at heart little headwind. I am talking a headwind that is literally making you feel like you are on a treadmill with nowhere to go.
A gal had gone off a few minutes before me. I started off and thought maybe I will try to catch up to her. She was definitely right at my pace because I was not gaining on her at all. It was so hard. We eventually were on gravel which is not easy either. She stopped to a walk a few times and I gained just a bit those times.
I finally caught her about 2.5 miles to go. We chatted and she had music playing out loud. I secretly wished it was something I liked better!! :) It was a nice distraction though.
It could easily be the hardest leg I have ever run. EVER! I have no idea how fast the wind was blowing but somewhere between 29mph (when I checked hours later) to 80mph (what the news was saying). I felt like I was going nowhere. It was miserable! I am pretty sure I could have done that leg faster in the heat!! I finished with my new friend who said lets “sprint” to the exchange with I don’t know 100 meters to go. WTF?! She gave me a hug afterwards and said thanks!! I was finished!! That is all that I cared about!!
We got word that the finish line was shut down at about leg 31. We heard it was crazy. These pictures don’t even do it justice!
It certainly was different from any other years. BUT this “off the cuff” finish was so much easier. All the teams were just running through the finish with their runner. It was perfect. In years past we would have to stand around in corrals and wait to be called up to the finish line.
Van 1 decided to head back to Portland early! It was sad not to get a team picture. But I wouldn’t have wanted to wait around either!
Tiffany finished us off with a smile on her face and her first relay under her belt!
We finished in 31 hours 10 minutes!! Another adventure in the books!!!
Tired and delirious!
Until next year!!