hood to coast 2011
200 mile relay - timberline lodge on mt hood (@ 6000ft) --> seaside, oregon (@ sea level)
12 team members in 2 vans of 6ea
van 1 does first 6 legs
van 2 does next 6 legs
rinse & repeat until the beach
so each runner will run 3 legs each of varying distance and difficulty
the runners do go in the same order so you know which legs you will do up front
start times began at 3.30a on Friday - we started at 5.15pm
teams must reach the beach before 9p on Saturday
typically teams take over 24hrs to finish
so, you're sweaty and smelly in a small van for 24hrs with little sleep, eating food that "keeps" (or bars or somesuch), and running 3 runs of somewhere around 5-10k...good stuff really!
this was the 26th year my office's team has done this race; the race is 30 yrs old. I have only run it last year and this one. my team has the process down. We rent two 15 passenger vans. We keep only the first row of seating, leaving the back free for resting, massage (that's right!), and storage. After van 1's first leg is over (all 6 runners, that is), we pick up our masseuse as we head into town to rest at one runner's house for a couple hours (while van 2 does their runs). we get massages before/after our second and third legs (most of us picked "after") while the van rolls on to the next runner exchange.
our vans at the office on friday (second van in background at left):
the back seat
a lot of teams go nuts with costumes, gags, and suggestive themes...it's usually a lot of fun to see the parade. there are teams from other countries. there are also serious teams who are out to "win" it (there's no prize or anything); nike teams or other types of "pro" outfits (it is pretty remarkable to see someone sprint by doing 5:30/mi!). luckily no one takes themselves too seriously. i have not heard of any attitudes or altercations. everyone is there for the experience.
mt hood is a fabulous place - lotta white for august 26th!
i did not really train for this despite it being my only event this year. i've been concentrating on personal family outings. i've run & biked haphazardly this year (and paid for it during the event :) ). all my running has been shorter than 6mi per outing. my plan was to take it easy and survive with 9:00/mi to 10:00/mi splits and a smile. luckily for me, we had decent runners who were turning in splits all better than mine. :p
the start - team photo with some new friends - we're the more conservative crew (it's the office team after all)
here's the starter - you may recognize him from other smaller events such as "ironman" (whatever that is). he also did the finish line PA too. he's been doing it for hood to coast for 20 years
I had leg 3 this year; so that meant legs 3, 15 & 27 for me
here i am waiting to start in my race day speedo.
my first leg:
dist: 4 mi
difficulty: easy (ratings per the race organizers)
elev (start): 2500ft
delta: 850ft of aallll downhillllll
time (start): +/- 7pm
notes: very pretty, still light out, temperature was 70's, pretty nice overall
split: 8.30/mi trying to keep it slow :)
here i am waiting to start
rest break in portland - only slept an hour. not sure why but i had trouble getting to sleep
my second leg:
dist: 7.25 mi
elev (start): 70ft
delta: up & down 50ft
time (start): +/- 3.30am (!)
notes: dark, dark, dark, dark & muggy...but not bad with a clear sky (and even a shooting star!), running adjacent to a major highway with occasional double length trucks zooming past
split: LOL was doing 9:30/mi until the halfway point when my van told me so...so i cranked it down to 10:30/mi and finished on a 10min/mi split
then back in the van for THE. BEST. MASSAGE. EVAH!
my third leg:
dist: 5.8 mi
elev (start): 500ft
delta: up & down but with an overall delta of -50ft
time (start): +/- 1pm
notes: sunny (felt hot compared to our summer but was really only 80) with bits of shade; rolling valley farm land
split: 10:00/mi on the dot
and then it was time for a
...wait for it!...
say it with me!
absolute luxury...only thing better would have been an ice bath :p
van 1 finished our segments and headed to the house where we'd spend saturday evening after the race. we shopped for dinner supplies and showered. then we drove down to seaside to see van 2 close it out at the finish line around 7.30pm. we all get corralled and we run across the finish line as a team.
there's an all day party at the beach with bands and food and crowd watching. we headed back to our retreat for a celebration of home-made fajitas and beer.
here's to a tasty IPA after a fun 24 hr relay!
1268 teams all told (!)
top time: 18:05:07 (!)
top ten times were all under 20hrs which meant they averaged 6min miles or better including exchanges(!)
the top 69 teams did it in under 24hrs (!)
my team: 26:32:16 - 171/1268 (not too shabby)
i rocked my new trifuel tshirt post race
i had a little trouble with going down stairs on sunday morning, but with a corporate golf tournament on monday, i loosened up just fine...the "scotch" hole provided much relief! :)