Once a year 12,000 crazy people decorate their cars with double andantes, and run through the night from the parking lot at Timberline to the beach, largely on back roads. For a fee of $100+ each, the deal includes smelly bodies and car sickness in dusty stop-and-go traffic after 2 1/2 hrs of sleep in a field to get to a long port-a-potty line before dashing down the road again. It's a special kind of hurry-up and wait.
|team 821, van 2, "before"|
In my defense, I view it as a celebration of running, and is worthwhile if you have a fun team.
This year I got on a team with 3 cardiologist, several of their staff and family, and a couple of friends that I ran with last year. One of the guys, Ken, was former Air Force, served a mission to Korea, and works with the young men's organization in the other stake, so I really enjoyed talking with him.
Mike was on a team named ROUS (Runners of Unusual Stamina). They started before us, but I had hopes initially that our team would catch his and we would see each other. 24 legs into the race, in a field off a small country road miles from civilization, we pulled in to take our last long break. 2 vans down I noticed the ROUS rig, surrounded by sleeping people but I didn't recognize any of their faces as they were each covered to shade from the light. I found an empty patch of grass, and caught a little sleep, until the guy orthogonal to me straightened his legs and kicked me in the head. Sure enough, it was my favorite Andrus brother-in-law. His team was doing well, and we never did catch them, but it was great to see him if only for a moment. At that same transition, I was also greeted by friends Ammon and Ann Ebert from Medford.
|in a hurry. At least, I was.|
A nice part of being on a slow team is that the only pressure is what you put on yourself.
I had leg 8, which starts and ends with fairly flat 4+ mile legs, and has a middle leg that climbs almost 1000' total over 5+ miles. I beat my time estimates, especially on the climb. On my legs, I averaged 5:28/mile, 6:20/mile, and 5:41/mile. I still felt pretty good, so I joined a team mate for the 7 mile next-to-last leg.
We enjoyed good weather this year, and made it back to Forest Grove before dark to rendezvous with my wife. I jumped out of the team van at a stop light to hop into our Honda. She did a little geocaching on our way back to my sister-in-law Tracy's birthday party then arrived at the posh motel-Lake in McMinnville. It was after 10pm, and Esther hadn't run yet. She was dragging Zachary out with her, and not wanting to miss out on the fun, I donned my shoes yet again for 1 more leg. It's an admittedly strange way to have fun.
|our team leader|