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!

17 thoughts on “And WHOOP, there it is

  1. Loved your post! I am reliving Hood 2 Coast at this very moment. I appreciated you mentioning my pot hole encounter. I am healing well and enjoying the laughs and sometimes sympathy from friends and family when I tell them the story! You failed to mention "flip flops". (Some might call these "thongs");)
    Love ya.


  2. Sarah–only if I can be like you!

    Rachel–yeah, the whole laugh/cry thing gets blurred in the world of running, doesn't it? Thank you a million times over for organizing it all. That really IS the hardest part! You are so wonderful to do it.

    Melissa–you are so right! 🙂

    Alyssa–thanks, I needed some reassurance about my upper arm, and I shamefully posted to get it. (You obviously understand that flattery is the first rule of blogging.) And when are YOU going to start a blog? I'm getting impatient!

  3. Way to go! They do a similar type of relay up here, which goes from Skagway Alaska up to Whitehorse, Yukon. It goes up a mountain pass, and runners trade off for the 110 miles. But they do looong turns–14 miles, etc…so yours sounds more fun!

    And I can't believe you would say that about your arm. MISS SKINNY and TONE!! So…don't give us that kind of talk… 😉

  4. Kirsten, go for it! Do you run alot? I think I remember you getting into it a while back…No Jul, we are NOT wearing matching shirts, but wouldn't that make us superduper cool if we were? I noticed how similar they looked in the photo, too–yikes!…Cindy, yes, it was our first time to do HTC, and it was really fun to do it together. Are you running the 1/2 marathon next weekend? Let's talk!

  5. I'm about to cry and I'm not sure if it is because I'm laughing so hard or because I'm about to shed major tears of utter joy over the memory of that weekend. What a perfect description, which is probably why I can't seem to convince any of my family to ever participate…it doesn't sell itself very well, oh but if they only knew the sheer happiness it brings.

  6. You and Derrick are what Ian and I aspire to be. I wish we were as awesome, toned, athletic and motivated as you two. How did I not know that this was part of your weekend that you were gone? I thought we were friends. Secret keeper!

  7. Nice job there, Mr. and Mrs. Smith!! I don't know that I needed the Captain Underpants shot, hopefully he wasn't running near you and hopefully it was dark?? Some friends and I are contemplating doing the Wasatch Back next June–same sweaty/ carb loading/ lack of hygiene with 11 other people idea, mmm…you've most certainly given me some food for thought…Way to go!!

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