What could have inspired my husband to make such an outlandish, uncharacteristic “whoop whoop” gesture in the above photo?  Well, last weekend, Derrick and I enjoyed one of the most scenic, exhilirating and exciting weekend getaways of our married life. Where could we have gone, you might ask? What did we do? Well, I’ll start by telling you what this exotic vacation did not include:

  • First class airfare (or any airfare)
  • Tropical destination
  • Luxury hotel (or any hotel)
  • Luxury rental car (or any rental car)
  • Showers. As in, we did not shower. At all.
  • Running water.
  • Flushable toilets.
  • Sleeping in late. Or any sleeping. As in, we did not sleep. At all.
  • Attractive (clean) clothing.
  • Attractive (clean) hair and makeup.
  • Fresh Breath
  • Basic Personal Hygiene
  • Time alone together (which was probably a good thing, considering the above three items that were not included in this romantic getaway.)

Our exciting weekend did include the following:

  • Cramming into two borrowed, oversized vans with eleven other sweaty passengers.
  • Multiple trips to outhouses, cleverly euphemised by the race sponsors as “Honey Pots.”
  • Multiple shots of hand sanitizer instead of soap and water after Honey Pot use. These were usually followed with the handling and consumption of finger foods, like power bars, bagels or crackers. (I’m still trying not to think about it.)
  • Driving and getting lost for 24 straight hours (did I mention, with no sleep?) through enough windy roads to require additional visits to the Honey Pots
  • Running three legs of 3-7 miles each: uphill, downhill, in the dark, on the freeway as semis zoomed past, and through scary downtown Portland alone at midnight (where was the security, for the love?)
  • Talking, laughing, crying (one of our valiant runners had an unfortunate encounter with a pothole in the dead of night), yelling, cheering and praying (to finish with some sort of dignity.)
  • The curious, aforementioned “whoop-whoop” gesture, which Derrick is still at a loss to explain. (Please don’t judge.)
  • Wondering what lifestyle changes we should make when this really is one of the best weekends we’ve ever spent together. (Please don’t judge.)

Yes, it was Oregon’s very own Hood-to-Coast, also known as the “Mother of all Relays.” This race begins at beautiful Mt. Hood and ends on the equally beautiful beach of Seaside, Oregon. 1500 teams of twelve runners each take turns running for a total of 179 miles. Here’s a few highlights:

Despite minimal training and a knee injury, Derrick runs really well and brings our team across the finish line at the beach. (Classic Derrick, procrasting and then pulling it off at the last minute to hoards of cheers and applause. I’m not bitter about my own training for months ahead of time, really.)

Sporting my wickedhot neon vest just before a midnight run on the freeway. I was terrified, in this order, of a)the long uphill route, b) getting hit by a speeding semi, and c)getting attacked from a psycho in the neighboring woods. I survived all and actually had a fantastic run. (And by the way, I think my upper arm should be alot thinner and more toned for all of the freaking running I’ve been doing. But that’s another post.)

What Derrick will be wearing next year.
How can a weekend involving all the glamour listed above and Captain Underpants not be romantic? Forget Hawaii and the Bahamas…we’ve found our Happy Place.
And all kidding aside, this race was inspiring in every way. 18,000 runners cheering each other on, beautiful scenery and most of all, a truly great team to do it with. Great job Chi, Paul, Dan, James, Derrick, Jason, Jenny, Meg, Amber, Michelle and Rachel! I’ve never had so much miserable fun in my life. Let’s do it again next year!

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