Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hood to Coast 2009

What a weekend! I am one of the lucky 12,000 people that got to participate in the "mother of all relays" Hood to Coast. What a fantastic event to be a part of! For all those Hood to Coast virgins out there, let me outline a few key facts:

192 miles (from Mt. Hood to the Oregon Coast)
6,000 feet (of elevation descended)
1,000 teams
12,000 runners (12 runners per team)
2,000 vans (2 vans per team - 6 runners per van)
36 legs (3 legs per runner)
1,000+ HoneyBuckets (port-o-potties)
15-35 hours of running (depending on how fast your team is)
4 hours (or less) of sleep

I got a call from the Jamison's in my ward the week before the race to see if I would fill in for a last minute drop out on their team. Happy day! I am so glad they called me! (Since we don't know where we'll be living next year, I was beginning to think that my opportunity to run Hood to Coast was passing me by. Sign up for the race is 10 months before the race.) I was given the choice to run either the most difficult leg of the race, or one of the easiest legs. I decided to take the challenge and go for the hardest. Let me give you a visual of what my legs looked like...

Leg 5:

Miles: 6.08; Time: 53 minutes; Pace: 8:43.0

Notice the 400-feet gain in elevation? In case you're wondering...I did run the entire leg!

Leg 17:
Miles: 5.69; Time: 48 minutes; Pace: 8:26.2

Ahhhhhh....nice and flat. This is the route I ran at 2am in the the pitch black! For me this was the hardest of my three legs. Have you ever run in the deep dark of the night? It's hard to see your final destination...or how far you've come. I kind of felt like I was running for-ev-er! Not to mention my fear that I'd get abducted. Did I mention I was running alone (except for the runners that passed me) in the pitch black? Yikes!

Leg 29:
Miles: 6.11; Time: 55 minutes; Pace: 9:00.1

The first point I'd like to make on this route is that I climbed 600-feet the first 3.5-miles. The second point I'd like to make is that 300 of those feet I climbed in 1-mile! I assure you that as slow as I was going, I did "run" up the hill. (Thanks to my favorite run around Lake Oswego - which includes my nemesis McVay Hill - that prepared me (unknowingly) for Leg 29!)

Be sure to take note of my competition - "one of these things is not like the other." Who are these crazies that fly past me as if they're conquering an ant hill?!!!

What a feeling it was when I finished my three legs - I was so proud of myself! (Is that bad?) I was so nervous before the race because I didn't know what to expect and...well, you saw Leg 29! Wouldn't you be a little intimidated too?

I'm so grateful for the Jamison's and all the hard work they put into planning, coordinating, and figuring out the logistics. I'm especially grateful for Paul Jamison. He was the driver/manager of our van. He made us dinner after our first legs, made sure we were at each exchange on time, met us in the middle of our routes with water, ran by our sides while we drank the water, calculated our pace as we were running, cheered us on, and was simply our support. I can almost make a church analogy using Paul and his role as team manager. Seriously, it was such a comfort to have him waiting for me in the pitch black of night, in the middle of my 600-foot climb, and at the end of my leg. He was my personal beacon. Thanks Paul!

I also want to give a shout-out to my dear hubby! He was also a HUGE support! He made sure I had all the stuff I needed for the race, took care of all the chores at home I couldn't do, drove all the way to the coast to meet me, arrived at the coast 5-hours earlier than I did, brought me a dozen "job well done" donuts, and drove me home to Portland while I slept in the car. What a man!

Needless to say after it was all said and done, I was POOPED! I think I may have got a total of 4-hours of sleep in a 36-hour period.

It was a grand experience and definitely one I'd like to repeat! What better way to spend 30-hours than in a van, getting to know three strangers (I already knew two of them)? It really did give me a rush of adrenalin, a boost of self-confidence, and some nice bragging material. I'm trying to convince Wyatt to run with me next year. He's the only thing I think would make it a better experience.


Mel said...

Great Recap. I am so glad I got those stalker photos of the shirtless men. :) It was so fun to do this with you. (and my legs only kinda hurt now - that is progress, right?)

Jeff said...

That is totally cool! What a fun challenge! And you got donuts! Wa-hoo!

Kelsey said...

You are amazingly tough. I am so impressed!

Jeanna said...

This is going to sound kinda weird, but I needed this post. I had such a hard time this morning with my piddly 3 miles. I'll remember this post the next time I run (tomorrow or Saturday) and I'll gain strength from you. Go Britty!!!

Anonymous said...

Way to go! Thinking about you as a younger person--like way younger--I would never have imagined you as a runner. Though you did run in school, I guess I just didn't see it as something you would go HUGE on when you got older.

I think you are cool! I have only "dropped" the fact you ran the Hood to Coast race to about everyone I ran into at work on those days. THEY were impressed! So, that makes me REALLY impressed!

Love, Momma

PS I love walking in the morning dark. But then I have done the same route for so long that-- other than the snakes which I see in the daytime as I pass the same way, THEN I AM FREAKED OUT--I'm not afraid and pretty much could "do that route in the dark". HAHA a little humor.

Tysha said...

Awesome! I'm so glad you got to do it! I did it a few years back with a van full of 5 strangers - all male engineers (I knew the driver)...and by the end they were my bros! What a great experience!

mom/Janet said...

Way to go Britty. A friend of Emalei's and Abbie's ran that event too. Way cool

AJ said...

I seriously started to get a little teary eyed when you were talking about Paul. Wow. What an attitude of gratitude you have!

I am so PROUD of you. You are SO amazing. Keep up the good work. Think about what you could have done or those 36 hours and then what you did instead? 10 hours of t.v. or conquered a massive marathon?

Abbie said...

You are a superstar! Seriously... totally admire you and hope someday I can do the Hood to Coast. :)

Andrea said...

YOU ROCK! I'm glad you explained it on your blog because I was one of those clueless virgins. You are a crazy, amazing girl!

As one of my comps used to say, Rock on, Sweet Rocker!

Josette said...

wowza...way to go brit. i always knew you were a superstar runner and took pity upon me and my pathetic running. i kept saying..."you should go ahead of me and get a better workout". but you never did. awe, shucks. but really, this is cool. good job.