At 8:00 this morning, a van decked out in camouflage cruised along 90 miles outside Portland. Inside were five runners, women from near and far, all headed for the starting line of the 30th Hood to Coast Relay, the largest running relay race in the world. They are part of two teams of 12 recruited and supported by nuun, which invited female bloggers to get creative and apply for a spot. (For a full list of the women and their blogs, click here.) The women arrived in Seattle yesterday, a first meeting for many after getting to know each other in the blogosphere. At 5:45 a.m., the first vans rolled out for the starting line of the 200-mile relay, which ends with a beach party on the Oregon coast tomorrow. Mountain caught up with Van 1 of the Nuun Platuun team for pre-race thoughts. (Click on their names to visit blogs for more about the run-up to the race.)
Tricia: The first thing we did [this morning] was all get coffee. We all came from different time zones so I think everyone was a little off. As soon as we saw our van we got excited. We’ve all got coordinated outfits—we’re Nuun Platuun so we’re all wearing some sort of camo.
Nuun’s been amazing. This is my weekend to not be the one in charge, I have someone else worrying about all the headaches—the food, the hydration, it’s all covered.
The other team is called AfterNUUN Delight. They have sort of a hippy theme going on, they’re all tie dye and bright colors. We’re kind of opposites. We’re the drop and give me 200 miles, they’re the stick a flower behind my ear.
One of the AfterNUUN Delight vans ready to hit the road. Photo courtesy of Dorothy BealKerrie: Some of us have met each other before, most of us know each other from the virtual blogging world. But it’s like we’ve known each other for a really long time. We’ve all got adrenaline going.
Lisa: I actually grew up in Oregon and I’ve wanted to run the Hood to Coast since I was a teenager, before I even started running, because it sounded like a lot of fun. I currently live in Southern California, so the logistics were impossible for me, so [the nuun team] was perfect. I’ve heard so much about team camaraderie and hijinks in the van—I’ve done a lot of races but this one sounds like the most fun.
Margot: I think everyone’s feeling good physically. A lot of us all have different things we’re training for as well as Hood to Coast. A lot of people are in good shape—I definitely heard about some people doing three-a-day workouts to get prepared.
Alyssa: It’s a 200-mile race, there’s 12 runners on each team, and each person assigned a leg in that. It’s divvied up that way. I’m number two, so I’m running [legs] 2, 14, and 26. All the legs vary in distance from two to 7.5 miles. It’s split up based on terrain. The Hood to Coast tries to split start times so everyone finishes on the beach at 5:00 p.m. Saturday.
We’re starting today at 12:30 and anticipated finish time is 5:00 on Saturday, so the race will take 28 to 30 hours. We’ll try to sleep when we can—whenever the van is pulled over maybe we can catch a few minutes. Hood to Coast is a really famous and awesome race that I’ve wanted to take part in for a long time. I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with other runners. —Olivia Dwyer
Follow the progress of the nuun teams on Twitter: @NuunPlatuun and @NUUNdelight. Or get updates from the official nuun account, @ministryofnuun. Use hashtags #nuun and #htcrelay to cheer them on via Twitter. For more information on Hood to Coast, click here.