Last year during H2C, I was pregnant with twins. 8 months ago last Saturday, they were born. I tackled this years H2C this past weekend, and I survived!
There are 12 people per team, with 2 vans of 6 people. I was in van 2 this year, and the anchor of the team running leg 12. The first van started at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood at 6:30am. We arrived at our exchange point at about 9:30am. This is the spot where the last runner of van 1 hands off to the first runner of van 2. By 11:00am, my van was off and running! Being that I was the last runner of our van and our team, I had another 4+ hours to wait until my turn. The time in between is spent cheering on the current runner as we passed them to get to the next exchange point to drop off the next runner. Finally, it was my turn and I survived the 6.29 miles of my first leg. It took me 1:22:45 to complete at a pace of 13:09. Boy, was it hot! It was only 81* out, but it felt much hotter than that with the sun beating down while we were running on the hot pavement with little shade.
|After completing my 1st leg of the race.|
By the time my turn came around again, it was 3:30am the next morning. My 2nd leg was 4.92 miles and I did it in 1:05:17, at a 13:16 pace. Van 1 was off and running and we headed to the next major van exchange to wait for them. After this point, we no longer had cell phone service, so it was a guessing game as to how long it was going to take them to get to the next location.
|Stuck in traffic after my 2nd run, 4:45am|
Our goal was to get to exchange 30 to meet up with the other van, but we made a pit stop at exchange 28 so one of the teammates in my van could use a port-a-potty. I used this time to lay out in the very back of the van and try to get some sleep. When we arrived at exchange 30, everyone was geared up to settle in for a few hours of much needed sleep. It was 7:15am at this point and we weren't expecting the other van until 9:30am at the very earliest.
But....I noticed that one of our runners wasn't in the van. I asked where T was. Nobody knew. Oh SHIT! He must have gotten out at exchange 28 and nobody knew it! Crap! What do we do now?!!? Two of our van teammates went to the emergency communication station (ECS) to see if they could contact the ECS at the other exchange. Nope. For some reason they lost communication with exchange 28.
So back in the van we went to drive back to exchange 28. The other van happened to be there and they wondered how in the world we lost a runner! They still had to run their next two legs, so we had time but not much. We checked in with the ECS and they let us know our runner hitched a ride with another team to the next exchange. We didn't know if that meant he would go to exchange 29 or 30. This was T's first time running H2C so we weren't sure if he would know where to go. So we stopped at exchange 29, just to be sure we didn't miss him. He wasn't there so on to exchange 30. As we pulled up to the exchange, there was T, sitting under a tree waiting for us. He jumped in the van and we went to find a parking spot.
This makes it sound like we are in a big city with all the traffic and trying to find parking, when in actuality we were in the middle of nowhere, with no cell service and parking in a giant field. H2C has 1050 teams, times 12 people/team. Then there are also the Portland to Coast Walkers which is another 500 teams times 12 people and 300 High School Challenge teams... you get the idea. There are literally thousands of people, times 2 vans/team.
Turns out, T actually saw us pulling out of exchange 28 the first time and tried to chase us down to no avail. He hitched a ride with 3 different vans to catch up with us at exchange 30. Now here's the REALLY funny part. He had made good time catching up to us and also saw us pull out at exchange 30, heading back to get him. He made a fool of himself running after us and hollering, but again we didn't see him! That's when he hunkered under a tree to wait for us. All this took an hour and a half to drive back and forth!
By the time we had everyone accounted for again, it was time for our first runner to start getting ready. We all had time to wait in the loooonnnnnggggg port-a-potty line, grab a bite to eat, and we were off and running again.
I started my 3rd and final leg of the race around 3:00pm. I had the pleasure of running into Seaside, where I met my team and we crossed the finish line on the beach. This last leg was 5.23 miles and took me 1:10:47 at a pace of 13:32.
|About to cross the finish line!|
Surprisingly, I didn't even get as sore as I usually do after the race! I was sore, but I was still able to walk around. The biggie was that I was able to still sit down on the toilet! Haha! That's been a challenge in previous years because I got so sore I actually needed to hold onto something to sit down, otherwise I would have just collapsed because my legs hurt so bad.
|Our team at the finish|