Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Hood To Coast Weekend

So maybe I will try to write about it again.


Start

Maybe just the highlights, like how Anita and I nested in the backest back seat of the van with our shoes and snacks and warmups and towels, watching the runners through the windows we'd painted and the ribbons we strung onto the rack.

And how we ran the 4th and 5th legs, and then the 16th and 17th legs in the middle of the freezing night totally overdressed after one of our runners from the second van got lost in Portland and ended up on the wrong side of the river putting our team two hours behind our projected finish time and ruining us for sleep...

...but then, 30 hours into the race I ran my fastest time on the 28th leg and passed the relay bracelet off to Anita for the 29th leg and she just flew up the steepest hills of the course like she had winged feet.

I left my running shoes on someone's floor when we took an ill-advised detour to sleep while the second van ran but we only got an hour of rest and I had to borrow shoes. How could I leave my shoes behind?

I am not so sure about the rest of the team. There wasn't a whole lot of common ground, we just didn't really get each other but we got along just fine. I was humming Chariots of Fire to myself as I ran and gave myself goosebumps (which is an odd sensation when you body is overheating) and so I had to stop and started singing Eye of the Tiger instead but when I tried to tell the van girls about it they just looked at me like they didn't speak my language. And in a way, I don't think they do. But they were very nice.


Finish

When we arrived in Seaside the ceremony on the beach was well underway. Runners and drinkers and all sort of celebrants on hotel balconies, announcers and photographers all milling around, wearing finisher medals and grinning silly and proud.

Anita and I took our finisher medals down to the water and got the cuffs of our pants wet then we limped back to the tents. We left for Portland that night still riding in the back, in the dark, in the now empty van whispering about my brother John, about school, told stories, became friends.

She really is a super cool kid. One of the best.

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