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This is my first attempt at a race report here. Being a "Kick newbie" from Cool running, I'm not sure of the format here, so this is the cut and pasted version from CR. (Some of the names may not be familiar for that reason)<br><br>
Short version: C’mon now, I spent the better part of 2 days in a van with a bunch of great people, so there is no "short version". You’ll have to read the whole thing, but for those who can’t: Team "Stop Whining Crybabies" 24:27:21 (7:27 pace), 24th out of 101 in the Men’s Sub Masters Division.<br><br>
Long version: When asked to fill in on this team at the last minute, my first concern was that I don’t want to bring down the team’s average with my slow speed. Soundrunner, who’s place I would be taking (as if I could <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> ) assured me that would be no problem, it would be a "fun" experience.<br><br>
I drove up to Portland the night before, knowing this would be my only chance to get some sleep for a few days and met up with Van 1 early Friday afternoon, Van 1 having departed the Seattle area earlier in the day. We fought our way through traffic, arriving at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood an hour or so before our scheduled 4:45 PM start. (The starts are staggered based on estimated team speed, and assuring a massive cluster#%#$ <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> of a traffic jam the last few miles before the finish line). Our van consisted of (in running order) Don, Aaron (who traded legs with me, so I didn’t have to run the steep downhill at the start), Laura, myself, mcsolar, & Sans Souci, along with our van captain, den mother, pep talker, whip cracker, & hammer wielder Soundrunner, AND Vicky, our driver. Most of these people had done this before, having a full time driver made ALL THE DIFFERENCE in the world. Vicky knew where she was going at all times and navigated expertly, be it darkened country roads or downtown Portland, threading her way through traffic like a pro, and arriving at every exchange area well in advance of schedule. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="notworthy"><br><br>
The staging area at the start was a trip!! We hung around watching some of the earlier teams start. The Italian team singing the either the Italian national anthem or a bawdy drinking song, or maybe both (who knew <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> ) at the start. The 12 Elvises (in costume), how soon they tired of "Thank you very much". Then there was the superhero team, do you realize there is a superhero called Captain Underpants. This dude ran all three of his legs in a speedo and cape. (I think he may have passed mcsolar too). Not to mention teams of just regular people, like ours. I never did learn the origin of the name "Stop Whining Crybabies", maybe it was to anticipate and prevent whining, as it didn’t occur, at least not in Van 1.<br><br>
At 4:45 PM, we saw Don, our first runner, off in a wave of about 12-15 runners. We piled back into the van to drive down to the 2nd exchange, this scene was to be repeated many times over the next 24 hours.<br><br><br>
6:30 PM: My first leg was leg 4, 7.18 miles with a net elevation loss of maybe 100 feet per mile. My only plan was to not embarrass myself too badly in front of the rest of the team. Being pretty excited at this point, I took off way too fast, covering the first few miles at maybe a 7 ½ mm pace. Eventually, I realized what I was doing when I started to fade, but tried to hold on and ended up finishing in a respectable (for me) time of 1:00:45 (8:28 mile). The last 2 miles were into the setting sun and I couldn’t see a thing, especially at the handoff point, my eyes were burning from all the sweat dripping into them. I was looking for mcsolar and couldn’t see him, someone finally yelled give it (the wristband baton) to him, he’s standing right next to you. I managed to pass 5 and be passed by 3 on this leg.<br><br>
After this, it was back to the van. We connected with Van 2 at the Fred Meyer parking lot, just outside of Sandy. Somehow, labduck found us, and we had a chance to talk for a few minutes. While Van 2 was running, we drove into downtown Portland, found the next van exchange area, which was under the Hawthorne bridge, and then went to get something to eat. I’d been munching on cold pizza and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and it was nice to get a real salad to eat, even though it was iceberg & not romaine <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad"> .<br><br>
3:00AM: Leg 16, this started at a weigh station on highway 30 just south of Scappoose, some 15 miles NW of Portland, and went to the Fred Meyer in Scappoose, a distance of 3.52 miles and was relatively flat. I carried an old flashlight with two "D" cell batteries and wore a reflective vest. I tried to run this like I would a 5K, but quickly found out that my flashlight wasn’t quite up to the job. I was passed about a mile from the end by this young woman who was wearing extremely short shorts. Being no fool, I recognized my pacing strategy when it was thrown in my face <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> & tried as hard as I could to keep up with her. She did gain on me, but not much, as I ended up finishing this leg in 0:29:42 (8:26 mile). During this leg I passed 5 and was passed by another 5.<br><br>
Our van finished up our legs and drove to the next exchange area, a large grassy field in the mountains somewhere west of Portland. We arrived there just after dawn and I laid down in the back seat and tried to sleep. I didn’t think I had, although I was told I was snoring, so I guess I got maybe 30 minutes of sleep. Most of the people laid sleeping bags out on the grass. When everyone got up, I must of got some kind of second wind, as I felt fantastic. The whole scene was very surreal, with 100’s of vans in this foggy field, people in sleeping bags, people standing in line to use the portable bathrooms. I was waiting for Wavy Gravy to make an announcement about the bad brown acid and the Airplane to kick off the morning with a stirring version of "Volunteers". (Flashback on my part, I guess <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> )<br><br>
11:00 AM: Leg 28, while "warming up" for Leg 28, who should drive by but Labduck and his team, I jogged along side his van for a few moments, and found out he’d been able to run his first two legs, but was going to let another run his 3rd. Anyway, leg 28 was a roller coaster with a net gain of 200 feet or so. By this time, I’d come down off my early morning high and just tried to run this faster than a 9 minute mile. Fortunately it was still overcast for most of the 4.04 mile run. I finished this in 0:35:49 for an 8:52 minute per mile pace. A lot of the other runners must have been tired too, as I passed 11 and was passed by only 4 on this leg.<br><br>
When our van finished their legs, we drove on into Seaside, went to our rented house, and took showers, then went down to the finish area to run the last 100 feet together with the last runner. Van 2 was caught in traffic and unable to get there in time, but it was still a great experience, running across the finish line with our team leader. Afterwards, we found Econo, or maybe Econo found us, and had some beers (7-up for me) and food. Econo accompanied myself, Sans Souci, and mcsolar back to our house for an informal Boomer slumber party ™ , much of what was discussed cannot be repeated here. I think when you’re sleep deprived, you can be accountable for what you may say. Anyway, what happens in Seaside, stays in Seaside <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> . Finally, at around 11PM, the head hit the pillow (improvised pillow, that is), as I slept the sleep of the dead, not stirring for the next 8 hours.<br><br>
Without a doubt, this was the most fun I’ve ever had running, and would do it again in a minute. There was some talk about organizing a "Invisible Friends Team™" to do this again next year.<br><br>
If you’re still reading this, you may not have a life, but I want to say, spending some 24-36 hours together in a van, forms some great kind of bond. After spending all this time together, it felt more like a meeting of old friends and family. mcsolar, by the way, is far more laid back in person than you would think, maybe because we were unable to listen to his infamous Solarmix2.<br><br>
I had a great time and want to thank Soundrunner for inviting me along. Soundrunner, unable to run, came along for the ride and did a fantastic job of organizing and providing moral support, and did it all with a great attitude, in spite of not being able to run.<br><br>
Thanks for reading<br><br>
Fashion report (Ilene's requirement): White singlet, Yellow 2007 Siskiyou Outback dri-fit T, Red Nike dri-fit T; commando under grey shorts, black bb shorts, black long bb shorts; Brooks Adrenalines GT7S (1 & 3), ASR's (2), whatever socks & do-rag came out of the bag, diamond stud, cherry chapstick (inside joke)<br><br>

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3,417 Posts
Johnny, you kicked Whining Crybaby ass (er, if that's okay to do)! We shoulda put you up on the dash as the Smokin' Baby.<br><br>
Better yet, you are so much fun and made me LOL all weekend long.<br><br>
Let's do it again, 'kay?

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6,434 Posts
You were flying high all weekend weren't ya John? I knew you'd have the best of times and after reading these RR's from those of you up there, I'm thinking I need to find a way to make this happen next year. What a great experience!
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