Jenelle ran in the Hood to Coast relay race on Friday and Saturday. Hood to Coast (or "H2C", as the locals call it) is one of the largest relay races in the world, with over 1000 teams of 12 runners each. The 197-mile course starts at Timberline Lodge on the slopes of Mt. Hood and finishes on the beach in Seaside, Oregon. (If you think this sounds foolish, stop reading now.)
It takes most teams more than 24 hours to finish the course, and some team member is always running somewhere, even in the middle of the night. Each team member runs three legs of 5-7 miles each in varying terrain. Jenelle ran about 17 miles, discovering that her training runs were not quite long enough to prepare her for the experience. But least she got two hours of sleep in a stinky van between the second and third legs. She was very sore on Saturday afternoon when Jonathan picked her up in Seaside and drove her home. But even before the aches and pains disappeared, she began talking about "next year."
Jonathan "Bad-Knees" Vance got involved in the race by volunteering to help at one of the exchange points. On Saturday morning he found himself in the tiny town of Mist and quickly came to the conclusion that H2C was more excitement than the town saw the rest of the year. He parked in a big field filled with vans and exhausted runners dozing in sleeping bags on the grass.
Most of the team vans (each team has two) were decorated, some with signs, slogans, large pictures of celebrities. A few inflated dolphins could also be found. Jonathan’s favorite slogan was, "Remember — you paid to do this."
During his 4-hour shift at Exchange 24, Jonathan got to be a volunteer captain, which meant doing a little bit of everything, including:
- directing traffic
- calling out number of approaching runners
- asking spectators to please stand behind the white line on the road
- pretending to know what was going on
Best of all, Jenelle and Jonathan both got free T-shirts!