hood to coast, 3.
I started off these posts saying that Hood to Coast was hardly about the running, but changed me as a runner.
And what I tried to explain but probably didn’t get across all that well was this: In the end, it wasn’t about splits, or pace, or passing people. Sure, we’re all runners, and have an innate desire to push ourselves. But the challenge of Hood to Coast wasn’t trying to win, or even PR. (Oh hello, remember that time we were waiting at the wrong exchange for ten minutes in the middle of the night? Sorry Mollly and Sarah!)
What Hood to Coast really encompassed (for me, at least) was this:
Being thrown into a completely new (and amazing) social situation.
Meeting 25+ strangers can be tough, and trying to be yourself without feeling a liiiittle uncomfortable at first is definitely hard. But it’s so worth it. We are all pretty different people too, but came together because of our shared, genuine love for running and writing.
Experiencing a new part of the country.
Most of us arrived from around the country, and many had never been to Washington or Oregon before (hellllo!). Every turn was awesome; Seattle was a fun, vibrant city, the bends along HTC’s route was beautiful, and Mt.Hood was absolutely gorgeous.
Running the Mother of All Relays.
Hood to Coast is a running adventure all on its own. It’s no Saturday long run, no hill workout, no fartlek. It’s running down a mountain, in the middle of the night, through the fog, up and down hills, in trails, through cities, down highways, and onto the beach. It’s 199 miles. It’s hot. It’s freezing. It’s beautiful. It’s tough.
Spreading the Nuun Love.
Running Hood to Coast would not have been the same had it not been for Nuun. We were running to help spread the word of HTC’s hydration sponsor. To tell people: Yo dude, you need to drink more water, and take more electrolytes. And will you stop drinking sugary Gatorade and wasting plastic bottles while you’re at it? Moreover, the energy at Nuun was contagious, and their mission and goals inspiring. I think I can speak for everyone that we were super proud to represent Nuun. (And put their tattoos all over our bodies..)
Motivating each other to reach for our goals.
So yes: HTC wasn’t just about the running, but running is still at the core. Never have I been more motivated to continue running, and fast. I have my first marathon in a month, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t freaking out. I want to be proud of this race and continue to create long term goals, now that I know I have a “family” of runners around the country who will join me on the starting line.
I didn’t have the time to talk up a storm with every person (I truly wish I had!) but what’s so wonderful about all of this is the relay may be over, but these new-found friendships have just begun. (Do I sound like a Hallmark Card? Darnit.) But it’s true. I mean…I’ve made so many new friends, and I plan on keeping them. And forcing people to come to NYC and sleep on my futon. And asking to crash when I now sign up for a billiion races in their towns and cities. I hope you’re ready !