8/30/09

Hood to Coast (the afterthought)

Let your running lead you to your diet. Bill Rodgers, Olympic marathoner

There is something to be said about a team. There is something to be said about camaraderie and teamwork that many people would never feel when they don't join a team.

Teamwork, camaraderie and self-fish less is something that was experienced from the get go about this Hood to Coast team and in retrospect you really sense these aspects about these people - teammates, friends and moments in life.

Time is of the essence.

Life is experienced, moments are shared and people's daily thoughts, movements and memories are joined into one event.
In retrospect, I have been with many relay teams, each one having a different meaning. Some are far more competitive, while others are just for fun. Day relays are different than full throttle 24 hour relays.

When I take a vacation, I usually take a vacation for the fun of it. Usually this vacation revolves somewhat around a marathon or some capabilities around running.
The Hood to Coast was an investment in relaxing, as I have gone through the craziness in my life prior to this weekend, I needed it. It was a time with teammates and running. It was to experience Oregon and the "mother of all running relays". It was a time of exhaustion, presence and perseverance. But most importantly, it was a test.

A test amongst learning about one self and really searching about what other's have. You learn a whole lot about yourself while grinding up a mountain side and wanting to stop and walk up a "hill" that the elevation charts strike as running up 700 ft. But there was a stance of time, teamwork and togetherness that brought me to the summit and fighting through the pain and agony. Teamwork pushes you a little more to the edge than just running a good race or running for yourself. Teamwork has a high far greater than any kind of adrenaline that you reach when running alone or before, during and after a marathon.

There is no I in team.

Breaking things down, this Hood to Coast team was different than the Reach the Beach team. Reach the beach had members that was in it for the experience, for the fun and for the excitement. Hood to Coast was about business, fun, camaraderie and enjoyment. There is a difference with the element of all wanting to reach a goal, element of all wanting to push yourself to the limits of what you normally would never see or even do for yourself (or ever want to do), but with other people, it brings a more additive factor.

It was a good feeling and the rewards were far greater than anything else. The road along the way was a test. Riding in a van with others, their personalities, no sleep and patience. It was different. Far different than the usual self of going to a marathon by oneself and being in charge of oneself. Togetherness pays a price, where working along with others is an absolute must.

The reward: breaking the flyer's record or tying this average time of 7:44 pace per mile. Experiences with other people and sharing one moments that would last a lifetime. A reality of one's self confidence, persistence and preserverence....determination and life lessons.

That was learned in this Hood to Coast Relay team...an amazing experience.

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