Race Report: I Hood to Coasted!

The "mother of all relays" is made up of a few fun elements: 197 miles, 12 team members, 2 vans, 2 drivers, clif bars, bottled water, smelly socks, porta pots, head lamps and reflective vests, and little to no sleep. The team's goal is to run from the base of a mountain (Mt. Hood) to the ocean in Seaside, OR as fast as possible.

Our team was made up of 6 men and 6 women from the local running store (that paid for half our race entree fees! Thank you ERC!) group I run with a few times a week. Every six legs the two vans switch so that Van 1 ran the first 6 legs, then handed the timer and time sheets off to our van while their final runner passes on the wrist baton on to our first runner and so on. Basically each van has three rounds of running with a few 3-4 hr breaks in between. The faster you are, the less time you have to rest between your legs. So, in almost 40 hrs I think I got MAYBE an hour of sleep total. This includes 10 min cat naps on the way to the next exchange point and the 30 min of sleeping bag time I logged in a grassy field where tons of teams/vans are constantly coming in and out.

Now on to the good stuff...

My stats:
4.39 mi EASY in 34 min (7:44 pace)
4.18 mi EASY in 32 min (7:40 pace)
7.28 mi HARD in 62 min (8:30 pace)

Let me tell you, after those first two fairly flat and semi-fast (for me anyway) legs, my physical legs were done. The thought of running 7+ miles (all of which was a gradual incline) did not sound like my recipe for fun. But carry on I did.

Going into this final leg, I told myself "hey, you can walk or slow down if you need to." But once I got truckin', there was no slowing down or stopping. This leg was especially boring because it was in the midst of an old gravel logging road with clear cut all around us. The nice part was, our fast team was catching up to some slower teams so I had a ton of "road kills" on this leg. When the path reached the main road about 3/4 of a mile before the finish I was like "what? already there?!" I asked a volunteer just for clarification how much further we had to the exchange point. "About a half a mile" he responded. Halleluiah! So these legs kept on chugging.

After we reached the beach and ran our last runner in, we hung out for a bit to enjoy the views, take some pics, and some even enjoyed a few beers. Then it was off to our campground to set up tents. After setting up camp, we headed straight for a brewery in Astoria. After 24 hrs with no "real" food, our stomachs were eager for something that resembled a meal. The food was so so, but the beer was much better. I opted for an albacore tuna melt w/ green side salad. Gotta get a little protein in!

Bellies full, we headed back to camp for a little shut eye. The next morning we made our way to the store for a little food and Starbucks and headed home. I'm a little sore today, but nothing like after a marathon.

Team finish: 23 hrs and 19 min. This was fast people! It didn't feel super fast, but looking back, it was. And we finished 12th in our category out of 313 teams with half and half women/men (mixed open category). Looks like we averaged 7 min/mile over those 197 miles. Not too shabby!


sneakersister said…
That is one huge accomplishment (the race) and it sounds like a ton of fun!! I can just picture it, the base of Hood (how I miss seeing Mt. Hood from my window!) all those downhill miles in the beginning. I can even smell the ocean in Seaside. (I really miss life in Oregon, can you tell?)

You did an amazing job, that sounds like it was pretty tough with all that running and cheering with such little sleep.

Your team did amazingly well also!

Congratulations. Rest well.
Wow. Super impressed. Your times were awesome. You are so speedy!!
Wowza - you are FAST! Good job, girl! That sounds like a really fun thing to do!
All three of your legs were fast!!! The first two? WOW Sass!!! :) YOU DID AWESOME!! Sounds like your team was speedy too, gooooood stuff

this is very cool - maybe next year we can put together a blogger team. how fun would that be?! You'll be the pro - knowing the tricks of the trade! ;)

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