It's my favorite non-holiday time of year! I'm so lucky that I got to participate in the Portland to Coast for a third time. It really is a great experience.
One of our team-mates this year as amazing at art and lettering. We got some awesome window art this year!
We had a bit of a rough beginning this year. We had a 5:30 am start time, which wasn't as early as last year, so we were pretty confident that meeting and leaving by 3:45-ish would be fine. But then one of our team members was feeling sick. Like, stomach bug sick. So after filling up with gas, we took her home. Thankfully, we had an alternate in the vehicle with us (another team member had had some unrelated last-minute medical issues come up, and we weren't sure if she'd be able do both of her legs, so we had an extra come along just in case). So that put us about 10 minutes behind time-wise. And then we got lost trying to find the starting point. It was so stressful! We checked in like 10 minutes before our start time. We were cutting it waaaay too close!
It's funny...I had kind of suggested to our team leader, Karen, that she could give the 7-mile leg (the one that I'd done the past two times participating) to a young person joining our team this year, and she did. And then I got all goofy and possessive because I felt like it was MY leg! I was the second one to walk in my van this go-around (as opposed to the second to last), and my first leg was 6.04 miles, and the second 5.65 miles. And I'll tell ya what - it was awesome!
We had record heat on the first day of the race - 100+ temps. And because I was the second to walk, I was finishing around 7:30 am. It was perfect walking weather. By the time our last walker was out, we were seeing ambulances on the route to help out walkers who hadn't hydrated enough.
I took advantage of the tent city at the first exchange for the first time this year.
It was so hot with very little breeze though, so most of the time I just lay there like this:
Here's the team this year, waiting for our second round of legs to begin. Cheryl, Dierden, Julie, Jana, Marie, and me.
Yeah, so we wore these stupid things to try to help in finding the other van at the exchange in the dark and amongst a sea of people. Here's Marie with Heidi and Anita.
My second leg was awesome. My first leg was through the city, so we're talking along train tracks, nasty smells, etc. My second leg was in the country where I would get alternating whiffs of hay and blackberries growing off the side of the road. It was fantastic. I didn't write down my times this year, so I don't remember how I did, but I think my first leg was about 14.07-ish miles/min, and my second was about 13.9. Not stellar, but my goal was to be under 14 minutes a mile, so I barely missed it the first leg, and achieved it the second leg.
It was funny to go from 100+ temps on Friday, and Saturday I actually had to go buy a sweatshirt because it was about 60 degrees and windy at the beach. Our team finished in 29:58:41, which put us 15th in our division (out of 115 in Women's Walking) and 72nd overall (out of 400 teams).
I loved the medals this year!