I'm not sure how exactly this team got together except that both Elissa and I wanted to be on the same team.
Our first plan fell out when another friend was unable to be in the area the weekend of the relay. Our backup plan went into action when Elissa found a friend who knew a friend who wanted a team and needed more runners.
Isn't that how all great stories start?
Needless to say, only a few of us knew each other before race day, which is how we ended up with the team name "total strangers".
We ended up in the mixed open category since there were several babies on the team, (not me).. Which means that we were up against other 20-year-olds and up.
We met at 6:15 AM in Roseburg at the TV station-- well, the girls did. The guys had a longer trek, and apparently got lost and got there late. But nobody was too late and our first runner (Elissa) was able to start after getting a good 10 minute warm-up.
|Ready to rock Leg 1|
Promptly, the rest of us took off in the van to try to find exchange, which should have been easy to find, but we drove past.
The guys pulled out the air horn to cheer for Elissa, while I hid in the bushes for a few minutes before it was my turn to start as runner number two.
It was still pretty chilly, but absolutely beautiful outside, and you couldn't ask for better weather to run a relay in. I took off in my shorts and arm warmers, ran a little uphill and began a nice descent for a total of 3.67 miles at 6:40 pace.
Arriving in Lookingglass, I bumped knuckles with Manny, our third runner. He took off at a quick pace, and started the gradual climb to the next exchange.
As we got further into the relay, the climbing got a little more intense.. going over the Coast Range presents some challenges! But the nice thing is that the legs were all pretty short in distance, most between three and 6 miles each.
Alec really proved himself with some challenging sections, as did Kyle, who got to run the steepest portion for our team, up to the top of Reston Ridge.
|Rocking the fairy wings and tutu on the hardest uphill climb of the race! We totally tricked Kyle into thinking he was done, when he still had a mile to go :D|
I was fairly spoiled with some very easy legs, meaning that the ascent and descent were only 700 feet or so for each portion.
While waiting for our runners to show up, we spent some time adding decorations to our van, (which was a big hit).
|I'm not ashamed to own a selfie stick. It's not how fast you run, it's how GOOD you look!|
There were some requests by other teams for free massages (due to some advertising we did on the van), but they changed their minds once they found out Kyle was doing the massaging. :)
And so we rotated a few times going up and over and up and over again. And it was beautiful! The prettiest section was definitely my second leg, with the Coquille river to my left, and then to my right, with waterfalls occasionally along that stretch.
|Running 6:40 pace because it's only my second leg.. and all downhill!|
|Pics by Elissa "faster than colts" Stoltz|
Everything went smoothly, even when we had to drive back when Alec had misplaced his phone at the Fairview exchange.
Kyle drove like a madman past relay racers and vehicles in the wrong direction just to see if it was still there.
|Alec showing some good form, just before losing his iPhone.|
Manny's second and third legs were out in the sun and things started to get pretty warm for all of us. Thankfully it slowed him down a bit to give our team some time to retrieve the phone, which was not where it was supposed to be..
|Manny doing his part through gorgeous green valleys on a warm spring day.|
As we wrapped up the relay, Kyle came in with his wings on, and we relocated Alec's phone at the tent. Then we went over to Abbys pizza for some grub and to listen to the awards ceremony. To our surprise we actually won our division.
Nobody was terribly disappointed by the anchovies ordered for the pizza 😁 , Which is a sure indicator that this team is a winner.
So about 4:30 PM, Kyle drove Elissa and me back to Roseburg.. It was over and done in one day, much to my satisfaction.
I'm looking forward to next year and doing this one again! I love that it raises money for Camp Mellenium, a children's cancer camp in the local area. Crossing my fingers it isn't on Easter or my son's birthday.