Thursday, August 02, 2007
Go back in time with me to last Friday morning. It's 4:30 a.m. I am standing in a parking lot, watching 11 Googlers and friends adding finish decorating the mini-vans and loading coolers filled with Gatorade and snacks. We're planning to drive to Blaine (Washington) and then run 187 miles over two days, relay-style, along the coast, finishing on the south end of Whidbey island. In other words, this is the Ragnar Relay, an event that started in Utah 4 years ago, now in its first year in Washington State. Sounds crazy, huh? Fortunately, I'm working with people who consider no idea too outrageous -- not even the notion that running a multi-day relay would be "fun"!
For the next 30+ hours we're on the road, catching naps in mini-vans and exchange points, overcoming challenges of running through summer Washington heat (who knew?) and total darkness (aided by headlamps), enjoying the roads that take us through the farmland (hello, llamas and blueberries!) and near the coast (over Deception Pass just before sunrise). We're ignoring blisters, scrapes, sore knees and ankles to get over the next hill, and another one after, and another one -- where our van is waiting, full of good cheer and ice-cold water. Then we push even harder to get to the exchange point.
We get into Langley, our last town on the route, Saturday afternoon. We wait for the last runner at the finishing line, and cross it together -- tired, sore, and, astonishingly, ready to do it again next year. And that, dear readers, is the story of how some of us spent last weekend.