Interested in joining Team LIVESTRONG for a ride, run or tri this year or next? Visit www.teamlivestrong.org for more information.
This past weekend, Team LIVESTRONG took on the ?Mother of all Relays.? Two teams of 12 runners each set off from Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood with one goal in mind, reaching the coast in Seaside, Oregon, 199 miles away at Hood to Coast. Together, our team of runners and our luggage transportation manager raised over $36,000 for the fight against cancer.
The night before the race, everyone gathered for a team dinner to get to know the people who would become family for the next 30+ hours. Some runners joined the team wanting to make a statement against cancer. Others joined for the thrill of the adventure, only to find out cancer touched their lives in more ways than they had thought.
We would be running in honor and in memory of many loved ones?grandmothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, coworkers and countless others. And August 24, race day, would not only mark four weeks from the passing of Daphne?s mother, but it would mark day one of chemo for Tammy?s sister. No mile on our 199-mile journey would be harder than taking on cancer.
For those of you who aren?t familiar with Hood to Coast the concept is pretty simple. You have two vans with six runners each. Van 1 starts on Mount Hood and as the first runner sets off the van drives ahead of them to an exchange point where runner 2 waits to take the slap bracelet baton and start their own leg. While Van 1 is running, Van 2 drives out to meet Van 1 at a larger exchange point where the sixth runner in Van 1 will hand off to the first runner in Van 2. Each runner will run three legs for a total of 13 to 20 miles. While your van is ?resting? you may or may not have the opportunity to shower and sleep before joining the trail of vans driving out to the next major exchange.
Whether it?s 2 a.m. or 7 p.m. you?re ready to run hills, highways, gravel trails and city streets. Each person you pass on your run is considered ?road kill? which is proudly tallied on van windows. Honey Buckets and grass fields roped off for sleeping bags are welcome sights. And when the beach is in your sights, you know you?ve made it. Team LIVESTRONG Team 1 finished in 31:09:20 and Team LIVESTRONG Team 2 finished in 32:01:27. Congratulations to all our Team LIVESTRONG runners and our wonderful luggage transportation manager, Chris Jackson.
This year marked my fourth time at Hood to Coast, truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and nothing beats getting to take the opportunity to suit up in LIVESTRONG yellow and make a statement. The adventure never gets old and I am continuously humbled by my teammates each year. In the LIVESTRONG community, we are all family. Thank you for being a part of the adventure.
Lee Ann Riley