Hood To Coast Leg #1 – The Good

26 August 2011 – A.M.  Mt. Hood To Portland

Friday, as noted previously, started bright and early!  It was Hood To Coast Day!!!  We posed for the obligatory team shot.  

Mason, Jocelyn, Emily, Dorothy, Kimberly, Me, Lauren

It was at this point that I “lost” my first item.  Of course, it was my camera.  I knew that I’d thrown it down on my seat, but for the life of me couldn’t see it when I got back into the van.  I wasn’t able to locate it until we stopped for coffee a while later.  Turned out that it was under the front bench and I just didn’t look hard enough (which would be a continuing theme for the next 2 days).

Once we were packed in like sardines – between ourselves, our gear, 2 photographers and their stuff (including a bike we loved to hate) it was tight – we were off.  It’s a long drive to Mt. Hood.  Generally our time was taken up stopping for coffee or bathrooms and learning the ins and outs of Twitter.  I learned a great deal, but mostly felt out of the loop since I don’t have a phone that can use it.  My iPod was my friend after a while…

I honestly have no idea how long it took to get up to Mt. Hood.  But the reality of what was going to happen started to kick in once we started seeing vans for other teams as well as transitions and runners.  It was crazy to think that people had been on the road since 3:30 am!

It was at this point that I put in my music and started to zone out.  Yes, I could see the mountain looming larger, but I was happy to just shut it all out.  It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the beauty of the route or want to see what all the legs looked like (albeit backwards).  I just didn’t want to psych myself out and it looks an awful lot like British Columbia anyways.

We got to the top at about 11:45 and since I was set to start us off at 12:30 we didn’t have a lot of time to look around and take pictures.  All of us made sure we had our Nuun tattoos and we took a few group shots.  Other than that it was making sure I had all of my stuff together – a quick sprint back to the van for sunscreen was absolutely necessary – and getting to the start line.  Tricia and I both got to the line and before we knew it we were off!

It is definitely surreal to not only find yourself starting a 200 mile relay and running down a mountain, but to have your own personal photographer/videographer as well.  Becker tracked us from his bike as we ran.  I felt a little odd trying to focus on running and not turning to wave every 2 seconds.  I’m excited to see the footage, but also scared to see what my form looks like!
I finished my first leg about 2 minutes over the predicted time, but I’m super happy with it.  I found a last little bit of speed to track down a runner from Handful right at the end.  It wasn’t much but I think I got 2 “roadkills” for the leg.  Unfortunately that would pretty much be it for those for the rest of the relay.  I forgot to write down my times (a little disappointed about that) however I think that it was about 51 or 52 minutes for 9.08km/5.64mi; about a 5:40min/km.  At that rate it would have been a 10km PR!
The rest of the day sort of went by in a blur.  It was a lot of stops and starts to let out runners, give water to said runners because it was so hot and do it all over again until all 6 of us were finished!  Everyone did so well!!!
Next: Friday 26 August 2011 – P.M.  Portland and Leg #13 aka Things Go Awry

2 responses

  1. I've read so much about Hood to Coast and it is great to now read your experience of the race. What an incredible adventure!

    September 1, 2011 at 11:38 am

  2. I was the same way the closer we got to the start, I got quieter, and focused.

    September 1, 2011 at 9:11 pm

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