One of the most last memories of this year’s Hood to Coast Relay was watching my van-mates, most of whom are extremely accomplished runners, hop around peg-legged like a bunch of first-time marathon runners. The accompanying sound, “ouch, ouch, ouch”, which each step really drove it home. Hood to Coast puts a special beating on the legs. Three hard running efforts, hours sitting in a van, little sleep, little to eat. The quads freeze up like a pair of rusty old tractor parts. As I write this, I’m sitting with my legs elevated, to help with the pain myself.
The race ran smoothly this year for the most part. One notable exception was the grid-lock of vans that happened at the last major van exchange — exchange 30. I happened to be the runner one our team and as I came running down toward the exchange, I came upon the tail end of the line of vans. There’s always a line of vans coming into this exchange, so that wasn’t surprising. The surprise was that I was more than two miles from the exchange. When I past our team van, I thought, “no biggie”, I would just wait for them to get through the traffic at the bottom because we were done running for the day. When I past our other van (van 2), I thought, “huh, that’s not good.” About a quarter mile further down the road, I recognized two of my teammates running along. They had our iPhone (used to collect split times) and they handed it off to me. When I reached the exchange zone, I stood with a number of other runners waiting alone for someone to hand the baton.
In our case, it was only a delay of about four or five minutes. But I’m sure other teams spent much more time waiting there. Grid lock does happen at Hood to Coast sometimes and this year it happened at the last major van exchange.
See also Update #1 which has more photos from the Hood to Coast Relay.
To keep reading and see some great photos from the Hood To Coast Relay, click here.