|I’m so glad I found this picture, because it’s from 2001. I ran H2C in 1999 and 2000.
Thank you, http://www.davidjamie.com/2001/hoodtocoast.html, from whom I stole this.
I hobbled across the finish line at Hood-to-Coast, with the
help of my co-worker, Doug, some 30 hours or so after we had started our
journey. We stood, posing for pictures. We received finisher medals. Someone
had rented a beach house, and I hobbled to the house for some food before
loading up in the van to head back to Portland.
was very late. I apologized for the lateness. He hadn’t wanted me to do that
stupid race, and here he was, picking me up in the middle of the night.
Literally—because I couldn’t walk. He had to carry me, piggy-back, up to our
third floor apartment. And I’ve never been a particularly light chick.
the wall was a huge, colorful, “CONGRATULATIONS!” banner, with colorful little sprays, and a celebratory cake. He had ridiculed me, he was in the Army and could have helped
me learn to be a runner rather than discourage me from running, and now in the 11th hour, he had chosen to support me, to give me an “atta girl!” I still tear up when I think about that. It’s
one of a small handful of really good memories I have of my now-failed
never run again. Just a day or two after the race I had to take a business
trip. One of the flight attendants asked if I needed a wheelchair. It was THAT
|Nicole (hot red-head in the front) snapped a pic of her copy
of the LiveBridge, Inc Hood to Coast Relay Team photo.
That’s me in the back with my eyes closed, wincing.
The sad thing is that I have NOTHING from that experience.
The race bib is lost. The t-shirt is worn out and tossed. Even the finisher medal
has disappeared, and the few pictures I had were lost when we PCSd from Portland
to Illinois. I lost the toenail on one of my big toes a few weeks after the race, due to my shoes being too small. (It grew back.) Even the banner is now with my almost-ex-husband and all the other things I used to own. All I have is the memory of that amazing experience, and the
memory of seeing that banner pinned to
the wall in the living room of our apartment. And love and admiration for a community of runners—even those who have a
tally mark on their vans to prove that they passed me at least once.
did Hood-to-Coast again the next year. It took a LOT of convincing– me trying to convince the team that I could do it and without killing myself. I shaved more than a minute off my average
mile, ran more miles than the previous year (did NOT do the first leg), and could walk just fine the day after the race. For us not-so-fit
people, super-fit activities like running relay races—or running at all—are intimidating.
Overwhelming. But doable. In 2001, I was no longer working for that company, but I did see the HTC runners on race day. I would have loved to have had another go at it. Who knows– maybe I will.
So if you think you want to become a runner—do!
Just uh, don’t run 5 miles straight down a mountain on the first try. For those of you who already run– link up your “How I started” or your own Hood to Coast/Portland to Coast story here!