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Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Hood to Coast Relay!! The Non-Passive Failures ROCKED it!!

When I got an email from Jim Levy asking me if I wanted to run Hood to Coast this year (someone on his team dropped out), I jumped at the opportunity! I had done the Wasatch Back and knew how much fun these overnight relays could be, but Hood to Coast (in their words) is "the mother of all relays"! Hood to Coast is the original over night relay in which 12 runners (in two vans) run 198 miles from Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean.

Our team was made up of mostly people in the lighting business from all over (Portland, Salt Lake City, Sacramento and Chicago) so our team name was "Non-Passive Failures"! The few of us on the team not in the lighting business had no idea what it meant. Apparently when a light bulb goes out all on it's own, it's called a non-passive failure. It was funny to tell people our name and watch them crack up knowing they too had no idea what it meant!

Van 1 runners were Jim Levy, Teresa Baker, Lindsay Baker Jen and Brett Hilkemann, Kandy Welch (our awesome team captain) and Michael (driver extraordinaire).

Van 2 runners were Me, Jennifer Dyer, Jennifer Durham, Jim Rose, Greg Volz and Shannon Markey

After we flew in Thursday night, we headed over to Michael's house to meet the rest of the team and to have a nice dinner. What a beautiful house he has! We ate sitting out on the patio around a warm fire while Kandy gave us our t-shirts and last minute instructions. Then it was off to the hotel. Teresa, Lindsay and Jim had to be up early. Our start time was 9:00am and it was a good hour drive to Mt. Hood from where we were staying.

The next morning, Teresa, Jim and Lindsay hit the road, while Jen Dyer. and I ate some breakfast and hung out in my room watching "Wayne's World" on TV. About 11:30am our van came and picked us up and the adventure began!

When we got to our first exchange in Sandy, the guys put the flame lights on our van (awesome!) and I got spruced up in our "electric" themed costume.

It was at the 1st major exchange that we got our first look at some of the great vans!

The Nads, with their big blue balls on the top of their van, were handing out Go! Nads! antenna balls!

Not to be out done, the No Nads with their pink balls on top were great!

This van said it all!

The Hood to Coast Movie team! The movie will be in theaters on 1-11-11! To see a trailer of the movie, go to They filmed Jen Dyer. and I for a promo as we were walking around!
The Valley Girls

Teresa after her 1st leg holding the nectar of the gods, Diet Coke!

Teresa was the last runner in Van 1. She handed off to Jim R. and it was our van's turn to run! I was the 4th runner in our van so my leg didn't get started until late in the afternoon. My 1st leg was 6.19 miles. It ran along a paved path similar to the Jordan River Parkway, with one exception, there was no shade! It was a hot run. I kept leap frogging a girl named Annie (after passing her 10 times, I asked her name). I was hoping to smoke her at the end, but she had a nice pace going and got me in the end! We laughed and congratulated each other and it was off to the next exchange.

Waiting for Jen D. to hand off to Van 1 for the second leg! 

The girls at Van exchange 2 sans Jen D (she was running)!

Brett getting ready to run in style!

Greg & Jim R. picking up chicks!
Jen D. was our last runner and after she handed off to Brett (Van 1), we headed over to her and Shannon's house for some food and a little R&R. We were all aware that we would be running through the night. Once there, I sat in this nice leather chair and it was not long before I zonked out in it! When I woke up, I wasn't sure if the nap did more harm than good, because I was sleepy!

We left Jen and Shannon's house about 12:00am and headed to meet Van 1 for Van exchange 3! This is where the exchanges got really crowded. It was dark and the roads were small, making traffic a nightmare. Greg ran the leg right before me. His 2nd leg was on a dirt road and the vans were kicking up so much dirt, I don't know how he did it! I was worried that my leg was going to be much of the same.

My 2nd leg started about 3:00-4:00am. I was running 6.81 miles. The leg started out up hill on that dusty dirt road but I was quickly diverted onto a paved road. Whew! I went up-hill a little while than went down. It was nice and cool outside, perfect for running and the downhill running was nice! I knew I still had another leg to run so I tried to go somewhat easy down that hill as not to wreck my quads.

Running in the dark (and I mean dark) is kind of scary and fun at the same time. I was running through a wooded area and it was kind of scary/exciting to see nothing, but hear footsteps coming fast right behind you! Luckily it was always just one of the really fast runners killing me (you are called road kill when you get passed). The only trouble I had was running out of water, but I sucked it up ran the rest of the leg pretty strong.

After I finished, I got in the van, changed my clothes and crashed hard! So hard in fact, I didn't even stir when poor Jen D. fell, twisting her ankle, which swelled up like a balloon! There was no way she was going to be able to run her last leg. After talking to the race officials, it was determined that Shannon would run her last leg for her. Way to go Shannon! 

My last leg was the shortest one of all, 4.13 miles! By this time my right hamstring was so tight I was worried that it was not going to loosen up, but buy 1 mile in, I was feeling good. My last leg had some nice rolling hills, but I must admit the last mile was tough. I was "smelling the barn" and ready to be done! I tackled that last hill and handed off to Jen Dyer for her last leg two minutes over my projected time (I was OK with that). WHEW!! I was DONE!! Now all I had to do was cheer for the rest of our team to finish!

Shannon before taking off on the final leg, taped a air freshener to his shirt as not to offend others with his smell! Ha Ha! No worries Shannon, it worked!

We met the rest of our team at the beach and ran (or walked) in the sand for the ceremonial team finish! We were done!! Official time 29:52:49!!

After the finish, we all headed to the beach house that Kandy rented for a shower and some good food! We ate, drank, went down to the beach for a camp fire, and came back for a good nights sleep in a bed (not in a van)! 

The next morning we woke up to another great meal (thanks to Shannon, Greg and everyone else who helped prepare it)!

Jen Dyer and Shannon cooking up some good grub!

Teresa chopping away!

I took a walk down to the beach after breakfast.

Before we knew it it was time to head to the airport. It was so great to get to meet/run with such a nice group of people. THANKS TO YOU ALL!! Hood to Coast was a BLAST!!

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