Breakfast of Champions! The relay is over our appetites are still running on high. We stopped in Gearhart this morning for a big breakfast, with a large order if reminiscing on the side.
Through adversity and accomplishment, we had a great time journeying from Timberline Lodge to toe-tipping in the Pacific, thanks for reading along - we hope you enjoyed the view from the van!
PS - apologies for any typos, all posts done in sleep-deprived state via tiny iPhone keyboard via Tumblr!
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 :)
Party time at the Beach! After 200 miles of running, KGW producers Leilani, Gina and Kerry celebrate finishing HTC with ‘Wolverine’!
2 pm - Van 1 done and arrived in Seaside! Awaiting arrival of teammates for big finish on the sand at around 3p!
What would Honey Badger do! -
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!”.
The most popular room at HTC - the ‘blue room’, also known as the Honey Buckets. At every exchange half our team beelines to get in line! There’s something about the nerves of getting ready to run that…makes you run to the potty!
With all those tired runners and all those trips, there’s another inevitability, as Collette found out first-hand. At least once you will go to open the door of an unlocked Honey Bucket and find…it occupied by a surprised runner who forgot to lock the door!
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
After being ‘dark’ without WiFi in the coast range, we are connected again, here come the updates!