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Friday, August 21, 2015

Hood to Coast: Vans and legs

This week, most of our HTC team got together to divide up legs.
Our team has undergone some changes: we went from ten runners to twelve, then back down to ten, and now we're at eleven. We are by no means competitive, with an estimated finish time sometime over 30 hours.
So some of us gathered in my living room for sandwiches and sangria to divide up the legs. Turns out that we had very little input. Andrew, who put this team together, had already picked out the hard legs and assigned them. And then everyone else just piled into vans, and that was it.

Andrew's talented wife, Melissa, kindly offered to take the hardest leg assignments, runner 5, while the even more talented Celeste was assigned runner 2 (she wasn't there, so I cheerfully volunteered her for the spot). I have runner 9, which is ranked as the second most difficult assignment, but does not have any "very hard" segments - which should protect my hips somewhat (I didn't want any screaming downhill portions).
My legs are:
Leg 9: Flat, on a trail, no van/water access. No problem. It's five miles. I don't need water for five miles. And flat sounds awesome to me.
Leg 21: Flat or slightly downhill on gravel. Dusty. Five miles, but will be longer because I'll have to be dropped off early. Eh, no biggie. I hate gravel, but whatever. It's only five miles.
Leg 33: Almost 8 miles of rolling hills. Now this will be hard. My legs will be tired already and there will be hills. Probably equates to utter misery.

I think it will be fun, even though my van only contains one person I know (um, David!) and he's the only chap. And we're short a runner. But it should be an adventure! I'm starting to get excited!


  1. I don't think we ever stopped for van/water access, even if the leg was accessible (we would drive by and cowbell/cheer when we saw our runner, but no stopping). I carried a plastic throwaway type bottle on my longer and warmer legs, and my usual handheld on shorter/dark legs.

  2. OH! For your legs, you'll *definitely* want to bring a bandana or buff to wear around your nose and mouth. The gravel portions got super dusty (and can't remember if there's van support, but if there is, it will be even dustier from the tires kicking things up). If there are other folks running gravel legs, you'll want to encourage them to do the same :)

  3. I think Hood to Coast might be the only running relay I might actually consider. It seems like the legs suck less? I did Napa to Santa Cruz with some co-workers twice and both years was sooooo ready for it to be over.

  4. I'm excited to hear about this! I feel like these long relays sound equal parts hellish and equal parts completely awesome. And definitely an adventure!

  5. Ufda, 2nd tough assignment? Darn! Sounds like the first 2 legs won't be too bad, but hopefully your legs/hip feel ok for that 3rd leg!

  6. We're both in for an adventure! You were smart about not taking the steepest runs. I wish I had some gravel. I run right down the middle of the road normally, and all my runs are on the shoulder on pavement. That has me a bit concerned for peroneal tendon issues. What time do you guys start? I hope you can get one more runner!

    1. We start at 2:15, which seems late given the slowness of our team, but start times were assigned prior to the most recent last-minute shuffling.

  7. Should be heaps of fun. Even the misery part can be fun when you're in a bus of stinky runners.

  8. Hooray Runner 9! That was my assignment the first time I ran HTC - here's a recap if you want the most accurate description because I only remember bits and pieces from five years ago.

    I don't remember the gravel being a big deal during the run, so I'm not sure what to say about that. Otherwise, I think the rankings of "hard" are mostly for the distance of the legs, not so much actual hill difficulties.

    Good luck!! HTC is so fun and I can't wait to hear your take on the same legs!