So before I headed to Portland, I had posted my "oh my goodness, I'm running down the side of a mountain" post about the difficult Leg 1 that I actually CHOSE to run. Race morning, we prep the vans for a 6 am leave time for what will lead up to a 9 am team start i.e. my first leg at 9 am.
We had a little excitement as we were getting ready to go. Somewhere in the hotel a fire alarm went off - a few vanmates were temporarily stuck in the elevator (eek!) and the firefighters arrived in their fire truck to investigate. Hence the oddity of a firetruck in the background of the group pic here!
Our vans, our homes for the 36 hours, were the only 2 of their kind. Provided by a Hood To Coast sponsor, we had "Official Vehicles" decaled-out in our Nissan Quest minivans.
|The cleanest Kristen and I would be for the next 30 hours of running ;-)|
On Top of the Mountain
|Mt. Hood, right before I ran 2000 feet down a mountain over 5.6 miles|
|Goofy picture pose!|
Right after these pictures, we're walking back toward the start. My nerves are appearing because we're really pushing our luck in terms of how close we are to our 9 am start. Then I hear Bart say, "Oh, they just called our team name." Oh no! I literally get to the start line within 10 seconds of the start of our wave of 15 or so teams. Everyone else looks at me like, "Guess who decided to join the party?" LOL.
|In the gray shirt. Made it to the start in the nick of time!|
Down and Down and Down
I'm having a blast on this leg. It's absolutely beautiful. Curvy highway, beautiful ancient evergreen trees, perfect blue sky, a breeze, and amazing views.
|This race requires a fast average pace from all teams, so I was not surprised to quickly fall behind the others. |
That's okay, more time to enjoy the view! :-P
There were even waterfalls RIGHT by the shoulder of the road.
|No zoom necessary! Only a couple feet from me!|
|And look, the downhill never ends!|
|Look at the awesome Van 2 running with me!|
|Laura ran a little further with the sweetest sincere, "How ya doin'? You okay?" moment.|
|Can't. Stop. Smiling.|
About a half mile or less from the end of this 5.6 mile leg, I turn onto another road, and suddenly the downhill is over, and there is a momentary tenth-of-a-mile uphill. BAM! Legs turn into sludge, but I power past another runner, because I had thankfully conserved energy.
I can't help but start kicking it in on this flat last quarter mile. Finish strong.
|Yay, I actually have leg muscles in this picture!|
I prep my relay band (which is a like the 80s "slap bracelet" so I have to unfold it into a straight baton off of my wrist), and Molly and I execute the first handoff of the team seamlessly!
Afterward, someone captured my happiness, and relief, of finishing that first relay leg.
|Me, happy with this amazing experience's kickoff! |
Side note: We all had a big laugh that the company who does the portapotties calls them "Honeybuckets"
More in another day or so, as I show off pictures and thoughts about the team's downtime, and my legs 2 and 3!