Monday, August 25, 2008

Hood to Coast Recap

What a trip! 4 intense days in Oregon. We did very well as a team (10th out of 1,000 teams). We actually were about an hour slower than we expected due to a missed exchange point and not everyone being in top shape, but it was a blast. I will keep this high level.

Day 1 - Thursday - Got picked up at the airport, hooked up with the team at an IHOP, then went directly to the Nike Employee Store. Deep deep discounts on all items. We have a friend who is a Nike employee and she was able to get us guest passes. Saw lots of international teams shopping there.









Next we headed to the Nike World Campus. Very cool. Each building is named after one of their athletes. We hit the Lance Armstrong building, the Michael Jordan building, the Steve Prefontaine building, the Alberto Salazar building, and ended up crashing a party at the Tiger Woods building. The party was for the international teams that Nike brought in, as well as the employee based teams. We decided if anyone asked us for credentials...we would simply smile and nod our heads as if we didn't speak English.










Ended the day with a drive to our house in Seaside located about a half mile from the finish line.



Day 2 - Friday - Got up and went for a nice short run to loosen up the legs. Left around 2pm to head to the start. Stopped for groceries along the way. Made it to the start at the top of Mt. Hood by 6:15pm, which was plenty of time before our actual 7:00pm start. Took the team picture there.











The race started right at 7pm. My first leg was at 11:15pm. I ran 4.5 miles averaging 5:45 per mile. Unfortunately our van went to the wrong exchange point and Dave D had to wait for us to figure this out and get back there before he could hand off to me. We lost 25 minutes right there. My run was rolling and in the pitch black. I passed 22 people during this leg. I quickly realized that the theme for the race would be hurry up and wait. I finished my leg and passed the baton to Al. One done...two to go.
Day 3 - Saturday - Our van had a few hours of down time at leg 16. We found the exchange point at the Fred Meyer grocery store. Everyone got in about an hours worth of sleep. I slept on the ground in the parking lot. Once we were back on duty it started to get congested at each exchange point. My next leg would be a 5 mile climb with a 0.7 mile drop. I was handed the baton at 5:20am just as dawn began to break. I worked hard over the next 5 miles....running between 6:15 and 7:00 pace. I passed 20-30 people along the way. My final 0.7 miles downhill were run at 5:15 pace. I was officially tired and exhausted...but daylight brought renewed energy to the team and we were getting stronger. As the race progressed the traffic got really bad. On average the vans were backed up for a half mile before each exchange point. We were barely able to get to the next point to pick up the runner and get the next runner going. My last leg came at 11:20am. It was a nice 4.1 mile run. Unfortunately I was over-amped up for this one and took off too hard. My first mile split was 5:10. Dumb. I paid for it around mile 3 with a 6:30 mile...but came back for my final mile in 5:35. We finished in 19hrs 46mins which put us in 10th overall and 5th in the Open Male division. Once we were back in Seaside we quickly took showers and made our way to the beach party. We had fun but I was done around 9pm. A few of us headed back and crashed.
Day 4 - Sunday - Got up early and headed for the airport. Long travel day back. Lay over in Denver was hampered by thunderstorms and the Democratic National Convention! Arrived back in Akron around 1:30am on Monday.

1 comments:

Nick Billock August 25, 2008 at 12:46 PM  

Thanks for the report, Jim. I was checking the event website but very little info at all was posted so I've been wondering about you guys. Congrats to an AWESOME finish and time. I'd love to make the trip someday. It sounds like a fun trip from start to finish. Way to go!

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