Ah, yes. The Adventure of a Lifetime. I am always looking for those. Two weeks from today I am going to be spending a lot of time awake – and running almost 14 miles over a 24-26 hour time period. I am participating in the annual Hood to Coast relay race that stretches from Mount Hood in Oregon 192 miles to Seaside, a beautiful coastal city.
I happened to find myself “recruited” by a fellow Intel co-worker that I had to interview for an article I was writing on living a healthy, balanced life. He mentioned he had started to train for marathons and I said, “Hey, me too! I did three this past year and had a great time. Well, “great” is a somewhat relative term – one marathon I threw up for 30 minutes straight. But it was only because it was 98 degrees and I was dehydrated.”
“You’ve done three marathons? Are you crazy? (Why does everybody ask that? Plainly the answer is yes) So you run then. Have you ever heard of Hood to Coast?”
“Oh my gosh, YES! But I heard it’s hard to get in and you have to register like, a year in advance.”
“Well, sort of. But I participate on a team that has been able to get in every year for the past three years so we think we have a good shot to get in again this year. Would you like to be an alternate for us? We have a full team but usually 2 or 3 people drop out as time goes along. Would you be interested?”
(beat) “Yes!! Absolutely, count me in! If somebody drops out I am definitely there.”
Well, two days later after I had that conversation with Jason over the phone, Mike (the team captain) emailed me and asked if I would like to join. Already an open spot – score! The funny thing is I really don’t know any of the other 11 people who will be on my team. Not that it matters but perhaps it was fateful that I had to interview Jason because in a company of nearly 100,000 employees, we never would have worked together on any project.
So I am thrilled to be making my HTC debut alongside 11 other soon-t0-be friends as we take two vans 192 miles in relay fashion. I fly into Portland on the 23rd, we have a van decorating party (6 people to a van), and then a big carbo fest at The Spaghetti Factory. Our start time is noon on Friday and we should probably finish somewhere between 1-3 p.m. on Saturday.
I’m just glad that my knee is on the mend so that I can participate. When I first tore my MCL in June at Lake Powell, I was devastated that I might not be able to run. But thankfully the healing has progressed enough that I am working my way back. I won’t be the fastest runner on my team but they don’t care. It’s all about the experience of having an all-night party with a 1,000 other teams.
Of course, now that I’m breaking out into out of state races, I decided that I need another great adventure. So I convinced two of my running buddies to register for the Tokyo Marathon as well. 🙂 We won’t know until October if we get in (all results are lottery based) but at least we put forth the effort to try!