Sunday, August 30, 2009

20 Hours 31 Minutes

I figured a 197 mile relay race would be crazy. I had no idea how beautiful, fun, massive and hard it would be. Going into this race I did not know any of the 11 other people on my team. I either got lucky or was meant to end up on this team because they were all absolutely awesome. Every single person was talented, interesting and fun. Oh - and also a rock-star runner!

For those of you who don't know much about Hood to Coast - it is a 197 mile relay from Mt. Hood to the Oregon coast in Seaside. Each team has 12 runners, who run 3 separate legs of the race (each about 10k). Our team goal was to win the mixed submasters division (6 guys / 6 girls, all age 30+). There are 1,000 teams, which = 12,000 runners. It is CRAZY!! Some teams start as early as 6am Friday morning. Our team started at 6:30 Friday evening.


Brian and I were a little overly excited about the free stuff Cliff gave us!

The race literally starts on Mt. Hood - the first leg is brutally all steep DOWNhill. My teammate Nona rocked it.

Sometime around 12:30am I tried on what I thought was the most awesome reflective vest EVER that Jeffrey had snagged for me from work. Apparently my new-found Slughunter friends thought it might slow me down and outfitted me in this reflective vest instead.

My first leg of 6.4 miles took place along a dark river trail at about 1:30am. Running at 10k pace with a headlamp in the middle of the night is somewhat surreal and amazingly weird. In some ways it seemed like an odd dream. I saw people sleeping in tents along the river, bizarre reflections from my headlamp and even though I was running around 6:30 pace, it felt more like I was running a 4:30 pace because everything was coming at me so quickly. Words can't accurately describe it.


As sleep deprivation and miles added up, so did the loopiness. Around leg #8 our team moved into 1st place. What was awesome was to watch the momentum each of us added to the race. We all had predicted times for our legs. Continuously each of us came in slightly under the prediction and our lead started to grow.

This is what the van looks like after you run and try to sleep.

Billy had no trouble sleeping upright.

My 2nd run took place around 8am Saturday morning. It was only 4.9 miles, but I was somewhat worried since I hadn't slept and my legs felt less than frisky. This was probably the hardest leg of the race for me - I got a side stitch and didn't start to feel good until about mile 4. It was motivating how strong our team was running. That combined with some caffeine in my GU kept me moving fast.


Yes, those are jean shorts.


The finish in Seaside was beautiful. My legs were nothing but unhappy with me by the time I hit the final leg around 2:30pm Saturday. But running over the hill to find this view of the fog, ocean and my friends waiting to run through the finishing chute was something I think everyone should experience at some point in their life.

We won our division with a team average pace of 6:15 for the entire 197 miles. It continues to amaze me at how many beautiful places two legs can take you! I have a million more fun pictures to post later this week. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was the fact that by the time I came home today, my abs hurt from laughing so much!

23 comments:

ONEHOURIRONMAN said...

Congratulations!!
And the old man had a 11:45 in Canada?
What a weekend!

Running and living said...

Awesome! Now you got me into thinking about doing a relay! And congrats to your dad as well!

t-odd said...

Jealous! Sounds like a ton of fun. And your dad rocked it! Great weekend for the Bauer family.

Roo said...

I love jean shorts.

D10 said...

You guys rocked it! Looks like a great time was had.

Molly said...

Congratulations - looks like a blast! We cheered for your dad all day, looked great!

K Hutchins said...

WOW! Charisa, you're so awesome! I love the blog entry! What a great depiction of the epic adventure.

I was so happy to have all of you on the team.....what a truly great group of peeps, AND talented athletes. Couldn't have been better! I'm so glad everybody came together, nothing went awry, and we got the big "W!" Bittersweet!

As captain, and a 15 year HTC veteran, I can tell you this was by far the most gratifying! Thanks for blessing us with your presence!

I have a lot of pics of you, and I'll get them to you soon.

YOU ROCK CHARISA!

D said...

Sounds rad. Ok, I guess you're off the hook for bailing on IMC ;)

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

WOW - sounds awesome! Congratulations - love the fact that your core is sore from laughter... :) Definitely a great weekend! NICE work running... running at night is very surreal. Of course - I don't run as fast as you...but still :) Enjoy the recovery!!!!!

Lisa G said...

Wow, congratulations! Speedy team! Sounds like it was a super fun weekend!

IAN said...

CRUSHED!! Just as predicted. Solid work...SOLID!!!

I have a feeling my want to do this race is only going to increase after hearing more.

Jennifer Cunnane said...

Impressive! Now if only I could even bike that fast?!! Geez, you all are FAST runners!

Kathleen @ ForgingAhead said...

Congrats on a great race and embracing the wild and craziness with your usual smile! So happy to hear your dad had a good IMC!

Leah said...

Sounds amazingly fun!

Beth said...

What an awesome experience!! Love the pictures. And especially love the jean shorts. ;)

ADC said...

Wow, that sounds so amazing. Congrats to you and your team on a great race. Can't wait to see the rest of the pics.

Meg Runs said...

How fun! I think I would love running at night...maybe once!

Yipee for your dad...he did so well!

GoBigGreen said...

That is amazing! I am glad your dark run was safe and you didnt yardsale in the woods. I have done that walking at our cabin and it is literally quite a trip!

Alaskan Assassin said...

Awesome!! I am so jealous. You guys killed that course. That time is just plain fast.

rocketpants said...

oooh that looks like sooooooo much fun! One day I hope i get to do it.

solarpowered said...

That.is.awesome! You look like you are flying in that last running pic! Sounds like an experience of a lifetime. Congrats on the win!

Cy said...

What an amazing experience, and a great break in the triathlon routine.

You rock...SIMPLE!

Teresa said...

Super fast running time! Glad you had a blast. That event is so much fun and amazingly beautiful!