9 am Sunday - sleep is good. And after running 20 miles in the past 30 hours, with only a 30 minute nap along the way, sleep is reeaaally good. Our team crashed at Jim’s place in Gearhart last night, and I think we slept about 10 hours. It was great!
For me, this year’s event was special because I shared it with a van of 5 co-workers who had only one previous HTC experience between them. It was fun to see the entirety of the event through their fresh eyes, and their enthusiasm was contagious.
The race also built camaraderie in an unexpected way. Traffic congestion along the entire second half of the route - the worst I’ve seen in my 15 HTC races - challenged us to think creatively just to be able get to each exchange before our runner arrived, so they’d have someone to hand off to.
Another first for me: We nearly got gassed! In the coast range, there is a long stretch with no chance to get gas. That’s never been a problem in past years because, well, the race is only 200 miles, less than a tank. But we burned so much fuel idling in race congestion that, at 6 am Saturday morning, our fuel light went on and we were trapped in traffic, at least 30 mins from the next gas. After the initial panic faded, David and I separately set out to Conjure Gas! Walking past the line of vans, I found another team stranded on the roadside, out of gas. Uh oh! Then I saw it: The ODOT sticker on the door of a passing pickup. I immediately looked in back, and spied several gas cans. I pivoted, and sprinted after the truck, waving my arms. The driver stopped, rolled down his window, and I launched into our sob story. “No problem, where are you parked?” he replied. Relief! Imagine my surprise, after leading him, like a prized hunting trophy, to our van and see a good Samaritan David had found also hooking us up with a gallon from his gas can!!
The physical challenge of 12 people trying to run 200 miles with little rest in 24 hours is usually enough of a challenge all by itself. For us, this year, the travel tests provided an even bigger challenge, and meeting that challenge brought us together as a team.
That, and passing around Honey Badger videos from YouTube on our cell phones :)