Monday, September 12, 2011

Hood To Coast Relay Race Report with Team Runners World - Part 4

If you missed them,

Part 1 - Arriving in Portland and Grocery Shopping with my new teammates
Part 2 - Race Start and Running my first leg (Leg 1)
Part 3 - My Teammates, and Running my second and third relay legs

And now the last part - the team finish and the question I was peppered with the most: "what's Bart like?"

Strong Finish
28 hours after we had started Monday morning at 9, our team finished. Taylor was our anchor leg, and after crossing under the big Finish banner, I had her pose by the "Last Runner" sign before she collected our finisher medals.

Taylor brings it home for Team Runner's World
I was so happy when we had finished, such an amazing experience...

Beaming at the finish!
Afterward, Bart hustled the whole team to the beach to walk in the cold Pacific water. Yeah, we know I'm a priss - I didn't want to get my feet all wet and sandy without a towel handy, so I'm the only one in shoes.

Hey, hey, the gang's all here!
A great lunch afterward then the long drive back to the hotel in Portland, and I CRASHED. 2 hours napping in a van over a 38 hour period is rough on the body.

The Big Question, Everyone Wants To Know About Bart
I had the unusual experience to spend roughly 30 hours in a van with Mr. Bart Yasso, Runner's World's Chief Running Officer. So with all the fans of Bart and the work he's done, while off running this race and afterward, one of the biggest questions I get is "What's Bart Like?" Please note these are all still regarded by me as first impressions from my limited time getting to know the guy.

Always a smile!
He's real. He's a nice guy. He's a joker and a bit of a goofball. He's goodhearted. He also comes across as impulsive and at times a little hyper or easily distracted by all the things going on around him. I described him to someone as a "happy hyper puppy with the power of Bart Yasso". If Bart wants to do something, Bart just does it. No one really questions him. Luckily, he's a nice guy so no worries. He gets excited for our last runner coming into the finish, and we turn around and Bart's up in the Announcer's tower looking with them on the computer for where our runner is at. Looking down, he's thumbs up-ing, he's so terribly excited for Taylor, our anchor, and says he can see her on their data there. He's Bart, he can do that.

He has a good memory, evident in his knowledge of the race on his 14th trip and in remembering people he's met before. However, I wouldn't say he is terribly detail-oriented, this coming from me, an overly analytical detail-oriented type. He's more laid back, the "it'll all work out in the end" type.

That said, having lunch after the race, I gave him a hard time about something. And then I said, "I'm just joking with you, giving you a hard time." And his response as I recall it: "That's okay, I love it, no one ever gives me a hard time." And that's probably true, and I can't imagine that's always that much fun.

In our community, he's a celebrity. He was SO nice to always stop and chat with fans and pose for pictures whenever asked. Even if his relay leg was up next.

He does all his own tweeting and in his downtime, would be on the computer before and after the race a lot. I'm sure some people think it's like one massive vacation where he just travels from race to race, but he's working all through that. Also, and I was able to talk to him about this in Hawaii at the Kauai Marathon, people want to be him and trade lives to travel to the places he gets to go. But they are never there when he has long layovers in an airport, or arrives at 2 am somewhere, or his flight gets cancelled. He travels a lot and that has to wear you down.

I feel like I did a good job of treating Bart as "another teammate", and I hope he respects that. With the amount of people who deservedly put him on a pedestal, it's gotta be nice to just have people be real and just go for a run.

So who reading this has met Bart? What do you think? Fair observations or have you seen another side?

Very happy to have spent time with him and all the great New Balance and Runner's World friends I made!

3 comments:

  1. I have loved reading these recaps! What an awesome experience! It definitely makes me want to put this on a bucket list someday...

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  2. I havent met Bart,but that's pretty much the description most people give :)

    And yipppeeee...I can comment from my phone

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  3. Libby, so much fun. Nice recap of the weekend!

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