::Hood to Coast 2014::

7:30 am we headed South to Portland for our 5-6 hours drive.  After the usual slow downs through Seattle we got in and settled in Gresham around 1.  We did  a 200 dollar shop at Safeway, hoping it would carry us through the whole relay.

Beer, bread, peanut butter, coffee,chips, trail-mix, grapes, oranges, chips, muscle milk, chips, and cliff bars

After a few too many  beers before bed our late start up time of 3:15 seemed to make the next morning drag a bit.  I got up around 6:00 and caught tje local coverage of the relay start on the bike in the hotel.  After watching every news channel in the state covering the race,  this was definitely “The Mother of all Relays.”

Getting the truck ready.

Getting the truck ready.

Everyone was pretty excited to get the show on the road, our second van actually started the race off for us then we took over at the first exchange at Government Camp, a cool little ski village on the way up to the lodge.  I was kinda bummed that I didn’t get to the top to check out the start line.  On the TV it looked pretty amazing.   On the way up to Government Camp, you could see all the vans and how big the relay really is and the reason why every van wasn’t aloud at the top.


Id you didn't look something like this, you would have a problem.

If you didn’t look something like this, you don’t fit in.

Since we started so late, we didn’t see many people til  til about 10-15 miles into the race.  As the race went on we really climbed through the teams, and by our first van switch over. (when the second van full of racers take over.)  I think we had about 50 panties.  (our version of road kills. -passing girls on other teams.)  The first van switch over was also our first taste of the sense of humor each team had, of course judging by their van graffiti.  Basically one of the only times you can drive around town with a giant penis on the side of your van.

Always good to have someone on the team to make sure the truck doesn't tip.

Always good to have someone on the team to make sure the truck doesn’t tip.

   (some interesting stuff going on, right from the start…)

At about 11pm our second turn came around and we were all caffeine d  up with our mobile coffee shop equipped with Muscle milk as our sweetener/recover fuel.  We were really starting to see the spirit of the race and the reason why its tough race to gain entry.  From what I read it gets up to 1000-1100 teams each year and judging by the vans, they come from all over the world.

I think our Team Van really started to shine through and started really getting into it was when it was getting dark.  We all started to feel the tired come on, almost like we were still hungover and or drunk from Friday.  We got lost, got back on track, did some missed turns, and made up a few of our our routes to the next exchange.  Just as I am typing this, I’m having a hard time remember a lot of stuff just because there is so much going on and no sleep.  You just kept trying to stay ahead of your runner!

Note the chips

Note the chips

With 36 exchanges, it was just a matter of time when the dreaded finish your leg, where the f#ck is the next guy.  I bet every single team had at lease one of these.  As the night when on so did our sense of direction and our sanity.  Our van messed up and was late grabbing our last guy which finished his second leg, but this would also be the start of Van 2s second legs.  They ended up doing the same as what we did, but at the same time, this is when the race started to really get backed up. Van 2 came in about 40 minutes later and then was off to run through the night /early morning.  At this point traffic was started to get totally crazy.

6 am fog

6 am fog

Our 40 min nap spot, equipped with van alarms going off all night

Our 40 min nap spot, equipped with van alarms going off all night

We drove ahead to set us up for our third leg for 6:00am, thinking we might get some sleep.  We got to the exchange point for our third legs, and it was backed up for a mile.  At this point it was 3am and probably the highlight of the trip for me and the boyz, a time when Neil and the megaphone came important part of the team keeping us awake at 3:40 am.  Sweet Caroline full tune waiting in line waiting for a quick nap didn’t seem to go over well with others.  Once we started seeing the runners again, the blood started flowing again and we just started singing after driving about 30 minutes off the course. Neil really pulled through. Sorry no video for that part.

  the lady video bombed my mini horse video.

Unfortunately this is also when the traffic jam started.  We got up at about 6am with about 40 minutes of shut eye and back in the line up of cars.  At this point we new we caught up with  the majority other teams and our Panty count was through the roof.  As the morning went on, so did the megaphone and the endless stream of people all the way to the finish.  I still can’t get over the amount of people…all day long, not any more then a mile gap between people.

I think I looked how I felt.

I think I looked how I felt all weekend.

I was lucky enough to run a fourth  leg into town where the race finish in Seaside.  I was busting at the seems since I felt like I sat in traffic from midnight til 2pm.  After the race I was the wrong guy to talk to for any sort of promotion for the relay.  I was so sick of waiting, teams ran faster then what it took for the team van to drive it.  Our team was one of those.  It was stressful trying to keep up with the runner when you had to stop 1 mile before every exchange point.  The finish was just as much as a mess as the road, with more waiting and finally getting our metal and a little cup of water.  Man I waited a long time for that Beer!

  It was cool driving along the hwy with all the blinking lights.  I bet a lot a people driving at 2, 3 am wondered what was going on.

The next morning we chatted with a few people that have done it before and said this year was a mess.  It wasn’t normally like the way it was.  I sure hope so!  I was wondering why someone would do a relay when your in stop and go traffic half your race.  I could see if that wasn’t an issue, how much fun it could be and you would probably be able to get a little more sleep.  It was good to smash it out with buddies and do a pretty good road trip, but I don’t think I will be back.  I think it might be worth while looking at a new challenge.

Result- 73rd overal/l just over 24hrs

Thank you Tri Geeks and Muscle milk for keeping us bright with reflective gear and recovered.

Twitter links :: TRI GEEKS / EVERY MAN JACK / Muscle Milk/

Some hwy runnin

Some hwy runnin