Being a Coastie may *sound* glamourous but, in retrospect, it was kind of like being fit and homeless with seven of your closest friends and a couple thousand of your closest competitors. But I'm going to step away from that thought and focus on the REALLY good stuff.
The way this race works, for those of you NOT in my Rookie Runner or HTC groups, is you get a team of 12 together (plus 2 drivers, plus 3 volunteers, plus -in our case- two crazy ladies that came along to do whatever we told them to do - LOVE YOU!) and split up into two vehicles. The 197 miles of HTC is divided into 36 legs, each runner doing 3 legs. Those running the first six legs of twelve go in Vehicle #1 (my van) and those running the last six go in Vehicle #2. My sub-team consisted of: Kate, Trish, Leah, Jackie, Cary and myself. (BIG SHOUT OUT TO Robin, our time keeper, Bob, our driver, and Gaye, our inner cheerleader) We ran in that order... once I completed my leg, I handed the slap-bracelet off to Maria and Vehicle #2 took over. At which point, Vehicle #1 gets to rest for a few hours, eat and dream about not living in a van. Along the way, I learned a few things that I began, mostly to keep my mind off the comforts of home, food cravings, needing to pee and the fact that I was missing my boyfriend back home (not necessarily in that order), compiling and uploading to FaceBook. These included, but are not limited to:
Rule #1 - Always check under your butt first.
Rule #2 - Slide the door lock ALL the way over in the honey buckets :)
Rule #3 - Know whether you're coming or going.
Rule #4 - If you're running downhill & you've had children Kegals & Kotex are your friends.
Rule #5 - Make sure all your gadgets are secure.
Rule #6 - Wipe before you slap :)
Rule #7 - Be careful when you ask your angels for help.
Rule #12 - You can never make too many potty breaks.
Rule #13 - Knowing which side is up is as important as knowing whether you¡¦re coming or going.
My first leg, number 6, was the longest of the three at 7.42 miles. It was deemed "hard¨ because it had"challenging uphills and gradual downhills along Highway 26 on paved shoulder¨. I began running some time after 11:00 a.m. I'm looking at the HTC legend now and it says I lost 500 feet in elevation. Huh, interesting...... see here's what I remember: screaming tractor trailers, hot sun, nice people, one lady driver that tried to take out my temporary running buddy, Christie, and I and seeing Maria waiting for me at my first "Finish¨ line. Strangely enough, I remember no rolling hills and not much of anything else...then it was time to find the team, down a chocolate milk and jump into the van to head to Kate's house. During our "break¨ (legs 7 through 12 - remember, Vehicle #2), we had the opportunity to clean up a little, do some laundry, eat a Subway sub (turkey and veggies on whole wheat -YUM!) pass out for an undermined amount of time ANNNNND get back in the van.
Want to see some more great photos? These ones were taken by Bob, our driver (packer, coffee-finder & all around good guy).
Our next legs, began in the dark. I believe that my fellow Coasties have already covered this experience rather nicely so I¡¦m going to keep this simple. For leg 18, I was glowing like a Christmas tree, running uphill for 4.15 miles. The HTC deemed this one "Hard¨ because it was a "short leg over gradual uphill terrain on paved back country roads". Yeh. I learned a couple more things on this route. The first being, when you pay $2 for a headlamp at the dollar store, you get what you pay for. Second, I run a little faster when the bushes rustle. Third, some drivers are just plain rude and/or dumb. I actually had to stop a la "deer in the headlights¨ in front of a car because he didn't dim his lights and I couldn't see where the road was ahead of me because of him. GRRR. Oh yes, short... I finished in 44:57. Jumped back in the van and nestled down for a good night's sleep - NOT. I tried to take my shoe off and caused a really nasty charlie horse in my hamstring. Good thing Trish was there and that we're really super close because the next thing I heard was "I'm taking off your pants¨. I'm not sure what magic lotion, potion or spray she used but my next recollection was of someone telling me it was time to move on to the third and final portion of Kate's run.
Stopping here because I don't know if Spark has a limit on blog size and I don't want to lose anything.