And they just keep coming :) I promise once I finish off the end of the relay, I will wrap this up and get on with my life, but for now I am still mourning HTC being over so this is all I have to hold on to…
After I finished my third and final leg of the relay, the rest of the day was all about having fun and supporting my teammates.
Oh and marking out my road kill (well, all 2 that I had…)
I am sure that no one but me would notice this, but this picture was actually taken as I checked off my first relay leg :)
We cheered for all of the Team Brunch runners as they came in…
Then we got Caitlin & Jay all ready to go run the LEG FROM HELL…
Ahem…no additional comments needed regarding the AWESOMENESS of our van driver. (But yes, he was wearing something underneath that skirt.)
I took over van driving duties again and while Jay and Caitlin suffered, the rest of us had a blast during this leg. Because it was hot and Jay & Caitlin basically ran 3 miles straight up a mountain, we stopped several times to give them water…
And to cheer & Power Arch!
And I am not sure what we were doing here, but I had to include this picture because it is basically the best running form that I had all weekend. In flip-flops.
And finally, Van 1 of Team Morning was finished!
And of course Team Brunch Van 1′s celebrated our finishes together!
We were so happy to be done and ready to head to the beach! Or even better yet, to have cell service back and to finally be heading toward real food and a shower.
Nuun completely took care of us and had condos right near the beach in Seaside all ready to go when we arrived. (I must say again how awesome they were in making sure everything was perfect. They treated us like rock stars.)
I took one of the best showers of my life, then relaxed with fellow Team Brunch vanmates before heading to the beach. I thoroughly enjoyed a beer and some snacks to go along with an emotional toast from Nuun CFO, Casey. At this point, I was getting really sad and was trying to soak in every minute that we had left before it was all over.
We didn’t think we had much time left before our teams would start to arrive so we headed down to the beach, drinks in hand.
We checked out the Nuun tent (where I ran into Mary from the Hood to Coast movie!)
And met Bob Foote, who is the race director for Hood to Coast.
The time on the beach was bittersweet. It was fun to see all of our teammates again, but we all knew that our time together was quickly coming to a close.
There was more waiting around than we anticipated as we had originally headed down in kind of a rush to meet our fellow teammates…
One-by-one, Team Noon, Team Night then Team Morning runners finished their final legs. Team Morning crossed the finish line together…with one wounded soldier (Elizabeth‘s story is here) and a lot of pride.
We were very lucky to have been invited to the VIP Nike tent at the beach so we all headed there for some REAL food and beer.
The only problem was that I was really cold at the beach and all I could think about was being warm. I headed back to the condos with Emily, Sarah and Lauren as we were on a mission to “find somewhere warm to drink”.
Everyone was tired, but a few others that were still running on adrenaline and trying to prolong the end of the amazing weekend joined us for a few beers at a local bar. Unfortunately a 5 a.m. wake up call for an early airport departure and the fact that we had only 1.5 hours sleep over the last 2 days rudely interrupted our efforts to make the party last forever and we headed back to the condos for a short night’s sleep.
The next morning, we once again piled back in a van for the drive back to Seattle. It was nice to spend more time with Tiffany, Shanna, Molly, Jess and Jess to chat about running, life, blogging and everything else under the sun. I really, really enjoyed that time to get to know a few girls that I hadn’t spent much time with.
As we got closer to the airport, though, our driver, Tyler started to realize that we may not make it in time for our flights. Molly, Jess and I were cutting our flights the closest, so we got ourselves checked in on-line and were ready to sprint out of the van once we arrived. Long story short, Jess made her flight, but Molly and I didn’t. We were so glad Jess was able to get back home to her babies, but we were both more than a little sad that we wouldn’t be headed home too. We made teary phone calls home to our husbands after we got both re-booked on a red eye together that night.
Word that we missed our flights spread quickly and after few texts from Jocelyn, we suddenly had plans for the whole day! We met Jocelyn at her hotel, had one of my favorite, funniest conversations recapping the weekend, then headed downtown to meet up with the others, who would also be on red eye flights that evening.
Nuun CEO and amazing host, Mason, graciously invited all of us to his home to spend the afternoon with his sweet family. They cooked a huge spread for us, catering to everyone’s various dietary restrictions…
And fed us plenty of wine to get us through an overnight flight…
I enjoyed this afternoon of chatting, sharing stories and getting to know some of these awesome ladies better as much as I enjoyed ANY part of the entire weekend.
Missing my flight turned out to be one of the best things that happened. With so many things going on and so many people to interact with all weekend, having this time to chat in a relaxed, laid back atmosphere was sort of the closure that I needed on the weekend. Sunday afternoon reinforced what amazing people I had the opportunity to meet and share this experience with, from both Nuun and the other runner/bloggers. I left Seattle knowing that my friendships with many of these women were only just beginning.