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 :)
Running is obviously a huge part of the HTC relay. But runners spend way more time in the van than they do pounding the pavement. So how do teams pass all that time spent in the van?
I suppose many of them talk a lot about running. We talked about and watched the hit YouTube “Honey Badger” viral video….and applying the key phrase: “Honey Badger don’t care,.,” to every aspect of the race. I.e., “Honey Badger don’t care that your legs are sore - it is time to run again!”.
Our Van 1 runners finished our 2nd round of legs near Scappoose a little after 12:30 am. From there, we had a 31 mile drive to the big field in the cosst range where teams unfurl their sleeping bags and try to steal some zzz’s. We hoped to be snoozing by 2 am since we needed to be ready to run again by 5 am.
Instead, I found myself trapped behind the wheel in bumper to bumper traffic worthy of Portland’s worst commute. It took us nearly 2 hours to cover the last 10 miles to our camp, dooming our third legs to be run on about an hour of total sleep in the past day :-0
12:05 am: Friday became Saturday during my second leg, a 7-mile stretch through the outskirts of St Helens.
The midnight hour captures both the absurdity and the magic of Hood to Coast. Absurd to be running, to exhaustion, on some remote road at an hour when most sane people are enjoying pleasant dreams; magical to see the sea of runner headlamps dancing in the darkness, runners and walkers of all shapes and sizes united in their all-night coastal quest.
Our 6th and final runner, Jim, is wrapping up his 2nd leg and the blog will be going dark for a few hours as we sneak two hours’ sleep - and head into the no-cell-service area of the coast range.
10:25 pm - just ran into Bob Applegate of the Dead Jocks. He and the Jocks were one of the four teams featured in the Hood to Coast movie that premiered this past year. He is tweeting at #djox.
We are both running Leg 5, rated the hardest of the 12 legs, and had fun whining about the fact that half of the 3 extra miles in this year’s race were tacked onto the (impending!) middle leg of Leg 5, lol.
Just finished leg 5, rated ‘Very Hard’, finishing with a 3-mile uphill. It was hot. Africa hot. Now we are in the van, talking about how hungry we all are. Collette says hunger is often confused with thirst, so we are eating AND drinking a lot, just to be safe :)
11:45 am - Running Footage is halfway through leg 1! Heidi, David and Colette are all-first timers, and still smiling after their first runs. Justin is on the road now, then me and Jim.
David is the Director of Technology at KGW. He used a mobile app called Run Meter that told him each if his mile splits, while he was running. And posted it to the web, where his wife was watching. And she could text him during the run, and the app ‘talked’ her text to him mid-run! How about that for technology!
The countdown has begun! KGW’s Hood to Coast team, “KGW Running Footage”, starts at Timberline Lodge at 9:30 a.m. Friday, with arrival in Seaside early Saturday afternoon.
KGW Chief Meteorologist Matt Zaffino will be back for his 15th HTC relay. Our van two is loaded with TV producers who are veterans of HTC. Van one is full of the rookies, hope we don’t get lost or late!!
We will be posting updates, photos from the road, and a few video outtakes here on our KGW Running Footage Hood to Coast Blog.