Thursday, September 5, 2013

2013 Hood to Coast Relay - Part 3

Catch up on part 1 and part 2 and my love letter to Nuun and my teammates...if you want.

So, it's super super early Saturday morning and we are all sleeping as best we can in the van.  I got about an hour of shuteye before I woke up and briefly glanced at the clock...7:15...good, I still have an hour.  As I drifted back to sleep we were all VERY suddenly awoken by the lovely Leslie who proclaimed screamed "OMG, it's 9:15!!!"(I was supposed to be running by 8:45 FYI).  If you were walking by our van at that exact moment you would have seen 6 heads pop up in a nanosecond with terrified looks in their eyes.  I'm surprised none of us pulled a muscle.  I freaked out briefly until I remembered just glancing at the clock and proclaiming "NO, it's only 7:15!!" It is a good thing we all already loved Leslie way too much so no one seemed to care about their rude awakening ;).

I didn't really sleep much after that mostly because I was wondering what my stomach might do on my final 3.75 miles.  I got ready to run, ate half a banana and gulped down a Kona Cola Nuun.  My legs were HURTIN but I figured I had nothing to loose and might as well run all out since I could rest forever after.

At about 8:45AM Holly came screaming into the exchange and I was off on my final leg of Hood to Coast!

Do you like my totally un-matching outfit? Dressing after 1 hour of sleep isn't that easy!
My run was pretty uneventful, the scenery was pretty, and it was gently rolling hills most of the way.  My quads and calves hurt with every step (thanks leg 1!!) but I tried to leave everything on the road and give it all I had to finish strong.  I was actually pretty shocked I kept my pace right around 9:00 miles for the whole thing...thanks relay adrenaline!

I finished the 3.75 miles in 32:20 and was very thankful to be DONEZO!

Lisa being sneaky catching a pic of me checking off my last leg!
Since I didn't have to worry about stomach issues anymore I pretty much started inhaling all the van snacks!  I ran that whole run on pretty much an empty stomach from the day before so I was starving.  My adrenaline stayed strong and there was lots of cheering and power arches for the rest of my van!

Many power arches were needed for Dre...she literally climbed a mountain during her last leg!

We handed off to van 2 and just like that we were DONE!!

We proceeded directly to Seaside, checked into our amazing condo (thanks Nuun!!) and proceeded directly to beer and fried food...sweet victory!  We cheered Team Watermelon into the finish, took some obligatory ocean photos and waited for Team Lemonade to finish.

Team Lemonade Van 1 on the beach
 Pretty much exactly on predicted time, Holly anchored in Team Lemonade just before 6PM for a total relay time of 28:45:31, good enough for 9th in Women's Open!! The finish line was a madhouse and we actually didn't get to run through but had to wait in a giant group and be herded like cows to be announced as was pretty anti-climatic.  We were shuttled through to get our medals and finish photo...which I stole of course ;)
With over a 1000 teams finishing that have not 1 but 4 backdrops!

I'm not gonna lie, I got a little sad for it all to end. My whole van was starting to feel the sadness and we decided we basically needed to spend every minute we could together for the rest of our time in Seaside.  We partied with all the teams for a while but then had some romantic time for just the six of us with legs up the wall, ice cream, and fireworks before crashing HARD in a real bed!  I feel lucky to have met a group of 35 amazing women, but the bonds created with just the 6 of us during our 30+ hours in a van together are seriously unbreakable and I wish I could hang out with all of them every weekend!  Luckily, now I have 5 other BFF's that live around the country to visit!

Hood to Coast was an experience of a lifetime and after doing only Ragnar relays it is definitely different!  I hope to do a post on that in the near future because minus the whole running a 200 mile relay they are really different experiences.

For now I'll wrap up this whole experience by thanking Nuun once again for letting me part of the family for the weekend and my offer to run relay with you every single weekend still stands!

Question: Who wants to try and get a team for the 2014 Hood to Coast Relay together??!!

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