Wednesday’s Weakest Link

Hood to Coast Finish Line by Jean James

199 miles through the Oregon countryside…check!  Consider this Hood to Coast cherry popped!  Would I do it again?  Hell yeah!  Hood to Coast is one of the largest relay races in the country with 1087 teams entered this year.  Each team consists of twelve runners, two vans, and a crazy theme that defines who you are, where you come from, and how you got there.  There was no shortage of creativity.  I saw men running in kilts and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader outfits, and women running in tutu’s and sparkle skirts.  I ran past wigs, and makeup, crazy socks and superhero capes, and a whole lotta chutzpah!  Who knew runners could be so much fun?

With only two months to train, and no clue what I was in for, I’m happy to report I managed to run all three of my legs within my estimated time.  My teammates were amazing.  With only three hours of sleep, this band of brothers (and sista’s) ate, slept and ran together in perfect harmony.  As a newcomer to my running group, I was greeted warmly, and treated like an old friend.  Many thanks to my awesome teammates for making me feel like one of the gang.

Oregon is a beautiful place to run, that is when you’re not running at night, solo, on a lonely trail, blind to anything but your flashlight beam.  But at early morning light, as the sun glimmers through the forest trees, and the sound of the stream running down the mountain greets you like your first cup of coffee, and the steam from your hot breath on the crisp mountain air sparkles like a vaporous memory, you’re reminded of what feeling alive is like without the static of modern-day life, and for that brief 6.8 miles of road it’s just you (and maybe a few people passing you if you’re a bit slow like me) and that is what I would describe as runners bliss.

To everyone who ran the Hood to Coast relay my sincere congratulations.  This was no easy feat no matter how great a runner you consider yourself to be.  If anyone out there is considering running this race I would highly recommend it.  This was truly a combination of fun and hard work; a test of endurance and patience, and a balance of nutrition and digestion while on the run.  FYI, if you’re too shy to poop in the port-a-potty known as the Honey Pot, then this race is definitely not for you!

I had a lot of fun with the Wednesday’s Weakest Link posts, and I’m not feeling so weak anymore, but it’s time to sign off on this one for good (or at least until next year).  Thanks for taking the time to read my posts.

Happy Running!

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