Ironically, I started my blog three + years ago with the hopes of one day being selected for a sponsored Hood to Coast Team. Living on the East Coast, I felt my chances of rallying a team and running the epic Mother of all Relays was merely a pipe dream. Little did I know that my blog would assisted me in being selected for the AnotherMotherRunner.com 2014 SanFran to Napa Ragnar Relay Team. This epic adventure ultimately lead me, via #BRF Melissa, to my 2015 Hood to Coast Team! Many thanks to Melissa for extending me an invitation to join her team. There was not a moment of hesitation upon the invite. It was am immediate YES, HELL YES! BUCKET-LIST Baby! I was ecstatic!
No trip to Portland would be complete without a visit with fellow BAMR, Sarah Bowen Shea! After all, she and Dimity are the only reason Melissa and I know each other.
Weeks leading up to the relay there were significant concerns the wild fires might have a negative impact on the race. Fortunately, they winds shifted days before the start and the fires were not going to be an issue. The next issue was rain, which Oregon desperately needed. Rain or no Rain, nothing was going to dampen my spirits.
Ready to go! Warm but not rain! We headed off to the first major exchange Sandy, OR.
Leg 9, 5.38 Moderate, was me! While it was a warm 81 degrees it was nothing like NC 81 degrees. It felt great and I laid down the best pace I had run in months!
Each run got us closer to Portland. Oddly enough exactly where we started earlier in the day. Amy ran leg 12 into the next major exchange on the waterfront downtown Portland. What a treat to see the city at night.
Van 1 was off again and we ( Van #2) had our first break. Oddly enough, we were back where we started in Portland. The perk of running with native Portlanders is we were able to rest at team mates Jenny and Melissa’s houses. Conveniently, they are neighbors! It really could not have gotten any easier. Melissa’s husband ( Sean) had a fabulous meal and beverages ready for us!
This was posh relay running! Real food, hot shower, and a bed for a few hours. I almost felt like I was cheating. It was fabulous! Certainly a “treat” I did not experience on my previous two relays. I embraced it! 12:45am we were off to St. Helens, OR to meet up with Van 1 for our next big exhange.
The weather took a drastic turn. Rain, high winds, and hail.
3:30am, I was off on my 2nd leg 21, 5.06 Moderate. The sky absolutely opened up. It rained so hard I had a hard time seeing in front of me. The thunder and lightning absolutely freaked me out. All I could think about was that I had on Melissa’s bib with her emergency contact. I was going to be dead from a lightning strike and they were going to call her hubs ( Sean) instead of mine. I prayed and ran as fast as I possibly could in the pitch black. Despite being slightly rattled, the run was great and I enjoyed it. I lived to tell! I was completely drenched head to toe when I was done.
Chilly and breezy, the rain ceased and the skys started to clear. We headed to our next exchange so we could get some sleep.
The van lots were a muddy mess so we moved to plan b and slept in the van. While not ideal we all caught some z’s. We got another round of wind and rain. I was so scared a tree was going to fall on our van as we slept. It was insane! It was so windy the “Honey Buckets” aka Porta Potties on the east coast BLEW OVER!
We had gotten word that the finish line had to be moved off the beach in Seaside due to gail force winds. We were just happy the we were able to still run given the crazy hurricane like weather.
We were off on our final legs and our journey to Seaside. The sun came out and temps rose into the low 60’s. Perfect running temps! WINDY!
My last leg 33, 7.72 hard, was beautiful. I enjoyed every minute of it and just took in the beautiful Oregon country side.
My wonderful team mates, who for the first time were able to support me during my leg. I could hear them way before I saw them! They were so great!
Exchange 35-36, we found food and set Amy off on the final leg into Seaside, OR.
4:00pm ish Seaside here we come! The finish line was moved to the boardwalk. The beach finish line area looked like a war zone. The wind was still whipping.
H2C did not disappoint. I had an absolute blast! Fabulous experience! Thanks Melissa for making this happen! I cannot wait for round 2!