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Where are the HTC reports & stories? Let's hear 'em!

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#1 Tim


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Posted 25 August 2014 - 08:46 PM

I'm surprised no one has posted up any HTC stories yet. Or maybe they're all over on Facebook. :(


I heard traffic was even more of a disaster this year. Let's hear your race stories & experiences! Especially some of you first-timers.



#2 allezvita


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Posted 26 August 2014 - 11:53 AM

This was year number 8 with the core of my same team since the beginning. This was by far the most stressful H2C as far as planning went for me. 


We went off in the first wave as one of my team mates gaffed her race pace. I had to scramble to change our predicted time which thankfully the race officials did. Then all the runner changes and drop outs. The start time necessitated a scramble for new vehicles which worked out more or less. When my cousin and I got to Alamo, they had one Suburban and had given the other one away to someone who wanted to upgrade just as we arrived. They found a mini van for us which thankfully worked out. 


We left at 445 am. The start and run down Timberline was amazing in the 48 degree windy weather. Probably one of my best runs of that leg in years despite my egregious lack of training. Unfortunately in the rush to get through check in, they didn't give me the timing chip which I realized somewhere around leg 4. Once we handed off in Sandy (that was just becoming a mess as we got there), we headed back up, got the chip and away we went --- again. 


A quick rest and a shower and I was off. It was about 4 pm and the moment I hit the unshaded pavement after the Broadway Bridge, I started to dry heave despite having water. I was cooking. By the time I got to the next transition, I thought I was going to pass out. After two bottles of gatorade, we took off and then found our runner misdirected - the volunteers at Kittredge and 30 were making people cross over 30 and then they had to find their way back over. I called the Exchange captain and explained the issue. I'm assuming it got changed. 


The rest of it went pretty smoothly. Our early start was a saving grace as we missed all the traffic. in the beginning we were getting to transitions as they were opening. We got into Mist without a problem around 1130pm and by the time we left at 2am, it was becoming the disaster I heard about. We had no problem at the beach, either. 


This was our slowest year. I'm kinda disappointed, but I lost a few fast people that were replaced with much slower runners. We ran into all the walkers. I complained at the end about how many of them were parked and obstructing traffic. We were 77th in mixed open out of 334 and 306th overall. Alamo made it right for me and essentially cut the rental fees in half. 


I wish they could find a way to do PTC and the high schoolers one day and then HTC the next so the bottle necks would lessen. 


I took advantage of the massage at 17 and again at the beach. I highly recommend this. It really made my third run a lot better. 


Yeah, I'll send the check in again in October. 

"unless you're doing chest compressions, you always have time to go to the bathroom"

"bonum certamen certavi, cursum consumavi, fidem servavi"
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept my word

Plan your dive, dive your plan

when life gives you lemons, add booze

#3 BrianH


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Posted 26 August 2014 - 10:35 PM

Team "We Need a Team Name" was my 9th straight HTC and 4th year of what was an OfficeMax team and has now morphed into 1 OfficeMax person, some mutual friends and 5 Lizards.
I, along with Shannon (who was on the team with me last year) Clover, Julie, a friend from 1st years team Kerrie, and my 19 y.o. daughter Kim
comprised the cargo of Van 2.
During the compiling of cargo, Kim mentioned she wanted to be on the team, she doesn't run much so I figured in a month, she'd change her mind but instead she ran almost every day in preparation for HTC. As launch date approached I think I was getting most excited because of Kim's excitement.
My running was certainly not my best but the excitement that built as I approached exchange 9 and saw Kim's face, she eagerly waiting to run leg 10, was off the charts!
My second leg was at oh dark thirty and 5 miles of downhill gravel. Between my wussy light and the dust, I never saw the road and just hoped I wouldn't twist my ankle in a pot hole. Had to keep my bearings by tail lights in the distance. I ran the leg sooooo fast, I beat the van to the exchange :-).....Kim, where are you????
Leg three, 7.7? Miles of upndown. Afternoon heat and trudging. About 1/2 way, I spotted a neighborhood hosing station operated by an over eager 5? year old with what turned out to be a very high pressure hose. She blasted me good when I noticed a table with FREE WATER and FREE CANDY behind her. I determined to get candy and Annie Oakly was determined to blast me in the face! As her mother keeps yelling at her to stop! She keeps laughing and blasting as I'm being driven into the ditch! You think that deterred me from my goal? NO WAY!!!
I got my root beer sucker and my bottle of water!
Drenched but satisfied, I got back on the road and handed off to Kim for her last leg!

Yeah, along the road there were some major traffic back ups, worst I've experienced, but we still made it work, and managed 32nd in Mixed Open.

I am sooo looking forward to #10!!!

Marathon training skulker

#4 Clover


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Posted 27 August 2014 - 10:46 AM

This was my 11th Hood to Coast, and one of the best I've had. I ran on a team with Brian, Kim, Shannon, Julie, and Kerrie. I knew everyone in my van except Kerrie.


We arrived on Friday afternoon at Brian's house for the requisite van adornment. Brian was running around like a mad scientist, wiring speakers to the roof of the van and weaving glow-sticks around the van antenna so we'd be able to find it in the dark. (Genius!) He, Kim, and I wrangled water bottles, discussed musical selection, and soaked up sun out in Milwaukie while we waited for our van-mates.


Julie, Shannon, and Kerrie arrived in short order. We packed up and were off to our first exchange in Sandy.


As the Van 7 runner, I got to lead off in the early evening. I love running first! I don't have to figure out how to manage my nervous energy while waiting to run, and I can kick back and enjoy the post-run journey. I ran faster than anticipated on my first leg, which is 100% normal for me. I then crashed in the back seat of the van, which is also 100% normal for me.


Here's where I digress, and I promise this will be relevant. Every single year I've run HTC, I've been my van's sleep champion. I don't know how I do it, but I can sleep like a cat in the sun even while crammed into a minivan in sweaty clothes with my teammates coming and going and music playing and doors slamming. I bring my favorite pillow, my lucky quilt (made by my mother out of old race shirts), and my foo-foo sleep mask, and I am out cold in seconds. I always feel a little guilty about this. I can tell my van-mates usually do NOT sleep as well as I do, and I always tell myself, "Well, if someone in my van can't run their legs, I'll be the one to step up, because I'll be most well-rested."


I am embarrassed to admit that I remember nothing--seriously, nothing whatsoever--about my second leg. I definitely ran it! I have digital evidence that I ran it. I also have a vague recollection that as I was running, it occurred to me that I HAD run this set of legs before. Man, the mind goes first. Anyway, the leg went by quickly, it felt good, and the pace was respectable.


Back in the van, it became clear that Shannon wasn't doing well. She'd had a bad headache and a queasy stomach for the entire race, and had felt even worse after running her first leg flat-out. We decided I'd run her second leg for her and we'd hope that she felt better after some rest.


Rest. Bwahahahaha. There WAS no rest. We drove straight through after a brief catnap during Van One's second set of legs. After that, the gridlock prevented us from stopping at most of the exchanges. If we were lucky, our on-deck runner didn't have to run to make it to the next exchange. The course was a total and utter cluster. I've run this race a bunch of times, and it has NEVER been this bad. 


As I prepared to run Shannon's second leg, it became clear we weren't going to be able to drive to the exchange ahead of Julie, who was handing off to me. I got out of the van and walked purposefully toward the exchange. When Julie caught me with a mile to go, we ran together into the exchange and she slapped the bracelet onto my arm. 


Soon, I fell into step with a slow but steady woman who was also running her jillionth HTC. We had a lovely time chatting about I have no idea what. The miles flew by--not fast, but quite enjoyably. I don't think I would've paced myself nearly so well without her help. We said goodbye at the exchange, and I waited for my runner.


And waited. And waited. I was worried that my runner might be there, looking for Shannon instead of me, so I yelled my number while dancing around in the exchange to stay warm. I'm sure I looked ridiculous, but so it goes.


My runner eventually found me, and my Van One teammates gave me a blanket to wear for the possibly long walk back to the van. (At this point, knowing that I still had another leg to run and knowing there was at least an outside chance I'd do Shannon's third leg as well, I figured there was no sense running extra miles.) 


As I was walking back to the van, a man in a van with Idaho plates shouted some kind of generic pleasantry at me. "Way to go, Idaho," I shouted back. A moment later, a head popped out of the rear window and one of my old college sorority sisters yelled, "Hey, Clover!" I ran back to their van and did twenty years' worth of catching up with Lauri in about five minutes before continuing my long mosey back to the van.


A little more catnapping and a lot more van time followed. It was determined that I would indeed run Shannon's last leg, in part because the chip was attached to her shoe and we wear the same size.


With that in mind, I paced my fourth leg steady and easy. It was warm by then, but the leg was short and flat and I felt surprisingly good.


For the final leg, I talked Kerrie into running with me. We agreed that we'd probably walk at least some of the leg, and even all of it if necessary. Because we didn't know whether our van would get stuck in traffic on the way to the beach, I brought a spike bag with my phone and a long-sleeve and some water. Running with it proved clumsy but do-able. We walked briskly on the uphills, ran the downhills, and enjoyed the progressively cooler air as we approached the beach. A block from the boardwalk, we saw the rest of our teammates and handed off the spike bag to them. It felt so great to run unimpeded! We ran down the boardwalk on what honestly felt like fresh legs. I've always wanted to run the anchor leg of HTC, and it was every bit as fun as I'd hoped it would be.


At the beach, we rounded up our team for a couple of quick cell phone pics and a quick stop in the merchandise tent for Kim to pick up a shirt to commemorate her first HTC. Then we were more than ready to hit the road home.


What a great team I had. Brian, you were a steady-handed, reliable, and fun captain. Kim, you were an EXCELLENT HTC first-timer--you should be really proud of how well you ran. Shannon, I'm sorry you felt so lousy. You were a trooper. Julie and Kerrie, you two were so much fun. I felt like I was hanging out with my college buddies, making jokes and talking smack about the other runners' outfits. What a fun, fun team. I thoroughly enjoyed my HTC ultra.

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"I'd never be able to run that far."


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#5 Angela Z

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 04:29 PM

Firstly, let me state I'm a HTC addict. This is my 7th year.  Despite the horrific traffic nightmares, I look forward to it every year. I'm on a team of masters women, 'Desperate Housewives'. We have many women come and go over the years, but we're all connected by friend of friend etc. One of our new members this year is Laural Porter, evening anchor woman on KGW news. So fun meeting her and getting to know her even though she was in van1 and I'm in van 2, last runner. She is super nice, genuine and even prettier in person than on TV.

The team started at 1:15. My van drove to Sandy High School for the exchange and right away I did not like it as much as the Safeway or Fred Meyer locations. Yes the high school had plenty of parking but people were spread out. I loved being in the congested crowded parking lots of the grocery store instead. There was always so much energy, so many un-tired happy people milling around the lot and store.   Loved raiding the store for snacks, a latte...

While waiting for my van 1 to arrive, I saw Melissa starting her leg!  Looked around for other Lizards, but didn't see them.

Ran my first leg (12) at around 9:30 pm.  Leg 24 was the disaster leg, like it was for so many teams. I ran 1.5 miles to get to the exchange, start running my leg, and passed my Van 1, who had been sitting in traffic for hours. And the leg 26 runner was still in the van! But she started running right away and came to the exchange about a minute behind me. Then I had to run over 2 miles back to my van. So my 4.9 leg became an 8 mile leg. But I got to check out all the van decorations, and saw  other friends in their vans stuck in traffic as well as met one of the famous Baba Yaga runners as we were both doing our 'cool down' run back to our respective vans.

Leg 36 was so fun. I've been the 'closer' for the last 3 years. Loved the downhill and running along promenade at Seaside. Too bad the weather was cool and cloudy. The beer is always the best. We finished in 27:40, came in 4th place which I was initially bummed about , hoping for a podium finish. (We do have a history of placing 2nd several times, 3rd several times and a few years ago we were 1st place!) But then realized we finished 4th out of 25 women's masters team. Crazy! There's never been that many women's masters team ever in all the previous years, like the highest I've seen is 8!

Another absolutely awesome year of team bonding and camaraderie. Here's a link to the video Laural sent from Seaside back to KGW



I wish HTC would reduce the number of teams by ...oh a hundred, two hundred.  We would still have that huge relay feel and maybe just a little less traffic.   Wishful dreaming. 

#6 figuresc8er


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Posted 27 August 2014 - 06:12 PM

Well, Brian and Clover summed up our team experience quite well.
I had actually started out feeling great - enjoying the comraderie and humor with my van-mates, shaking our cowbell stick at runners if they happened to be on the right side of the van, dancing in response to people at the exchanges who started dancing to the music we were piping out on speakers on top of the van, playing 80s music on the iPod inside the van, hanging out at the exchanges, visiting with friends on other teams. My first leg (12) started around 10:30 p.m. I took off with a calm resolve and a competitive spirit. The run was excellent. I passed 16 runners. My pace was 30 seconds per mile faster than projected. Getting in to the van, I was detecting an oncoming headache. I loaded up on more ibuprofen to keep it at bay. I had been taking ibuprofen around the clock for 7 or 8 doses for a knee tendonitis problem. After a short and fitful sleep (if it can be called that) in the van in St Helens, we took off again, and I was dismayed to realize the headache was not gone and, in fact, was a little stronger. The nausea started around exchange 20. Since Brian had put me in charge of the timer when he was running, I still got out and wandered, totally missing him and wandering back and forth until my van found me. The nausea was no worse with walking, so I figured I would walk my next leg if I had to. Brian suggested that I rest more, and Clover cheerfully took my next leg. Pounding headache, no real food and minimal rest just made things worse. I silently suffered through it all, feeling trapped. Traffic was so bad that there was no way out and no way in for someone to get me. We would not have been able to reach anyone anyway. There was no cell service. Finally, driving up leg 29, I decided it wasn't worth holding it in any longer. I leaned out the window and lost what little food I had taken in. Since this is the hardest leg, there were many other teams hanging out on the side of the road to support their teammates. The look of surprise and disgust from them made my experience that much more "special." Now I was feeling better and thought I could finish the race. I still had a headache but figured I could deal with it. I tried some water. The nausea returned. At exchange 34, I wandered around a bit to find some shade and, again, felt that I could walk the last leg. My team nixed it. It was 85 degrees at that point. Brian said I had not kept anything down nor taken anything in. I said I did not want to be a burden to the team. Kerrie made a good point that some extra fatigue on their part was less of a burden than having to get an ambulance out there to pick me off the road. They won the argument, and Clover got to put in her 5th leg. She was our hero this year.
Kim had such great enthusiasm. Julie's laughter was infectious. Clover's sense of humor was entertaining. Brian's patience was appreciated his and efforts at our high-tech van embellishments were excellent. I made a new friend with Kerrie.
I absolutely loved my team this year and their energy. I want a do-over!
We all win together or we all lose together.

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