Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Solstice Stupidity 2016: EPIC Relay

EPIC Relay 2016 - two vans, 187 miles, TONS of fun!

** Warning - this was a long relay... and a lot of photos! **

We did EPIC in 2014 and had a blast! When enticing e-mail offers appeared this year, we jumped at the chance to do it again.

On June 17, Team Solstice Stupidity had a 10 a.m. start at Al's Garden Center just outside Sherwood/Tigard. (Construction forced organizers to move the start line a few miles from Big Al's in Beaverton)
Kati (Van 1 Driver), Eryn, Marc, Connie, Elise, Heidi, Tyler, Nolan, Brad and Liz:
Runner 1 Nolan ready to go:
He's off! See you in a few hours :)
While Van 1 was running through Yamhill County, Van 2 gathered at our house and then drove to St. Paul High School for the first van exchange. Van 2 (minus Eryn): Liz, Rodger, Brad, Christi, Driver Kurt and Diane:

We got there super early and had time to decorate the van:

Brad and Rodger were hungry, so we walked to a nearby gas station for burritos.
Pre-race fuel? Yikes!
Finally, it was time for Van 2 to take over. Here comes Heidi:
Eryn was our first runner, but because she had to work Friday, I took her first leg. 
Here I go!
Rural running!
Brad was next up:
Waiting at Exchange 8:
Christi is ready!
Here comes Brad!
All done!
Christi, getting it done!
Water break! Care for a giant Otter Pop?? 
She JUST missed the train!
And out goes Rodger!
Rodger's done... my turn again - for my first official leg as Runner 11:
Van 2 was the BEST at cheering - check out these guys as I passed:
I blew past all that rush-hour traffic:
Go get 'em, Diane!
Favorite shot of the weekend!
We had to play on the swings while we waited... it's tradition :)
Look at Diane FLY into the van exchange in Silverton!
Nolan and Van 1 take over:
Meantime, Van 2 went to dinner in Silverton and almost got into a bar fight with a crazy guy! I have no pics of that excitement.

Then on to Scio High School for a little tiny bit of rest before it was our turn again.

Eryn joined us in Scio and was our first runner:
Waiting in the dark:

Here she comes:
She's done... Brad's turn in the dark:
And now Christi to Rodger:
And Rodger to me:
My night leg was so great! I wasn't at all nervous like the first time and just enjoyed the solitude. Aside from my van stopping a couple times, I was alone out there, and it was great! I ignored the lightning I kept seeing way off to my left. Oh, and the nearly full moon was amazing as it set in front of me!
Here I come... Diane's turn:
Our window decorations were reflecting on the car next to us. (Traffic Cone's car!)
Diane came in to Corvallis High School just as it was getting light. Nolan's off, and it's time for Van 2 to sleep!!!
After a solid 2 hours of beautiful sleep, it was time to rise and shine.

I kept hearing people run past on the track. When I poked out my head, I saw the football team practicing on the other end of the field:
HA! There was a full-on practice going on... the quietest practice I've ever heard. I wonder if coach told them to keep it down since there were runner bums sleeping in the other end zone?!
As soon as we got up, they moved to the other end of the field. Thank you for letting us sleep, fellas! 

After breakfast at Subway (our "usual" place was too packed), we headed to our last van exchange. Eryn's turn again:
Heidi to Eryn:
Eryn's all done! Brad's off:
A big, big storm front was behind Brad. We saw big lightning bolts and heard rolling boomers. He couldn't see it since it was behind, so we asked him if he wanted to take shelter. He said he wanted to out run the storm. 

Well, he outran the lightning but not the torrential sideways rain! He was absolutely soaked as he came in to the exchange:
Brad's done! Go, Christi:
The rain was exhilarating, and Brad had his best run on this leg!
The sun returned! And Rodger is READY! Go Cougs ;)
Christi's done! Go, Rodger:
Done is a wonderful feeling :)
I think that's a fake smile!
Rodger's DONE! And here I go for my fourth leg:
After 19 miles, my legs were so done. I kept going, but I was hurting pretty bad. I saw Brad crouched on the sidewalk with his camera, but I honestly didn't see this skunk at all! So tired :)
DONE! Go, Diane... finish this off!
While Diane ran her final leg, we drove to Alton Baker Park in Eugene to meet the rest of our team and run across the finish line as a group.
187 miles DONE!
We had SUCH a great time! My abs hurt almost as much as my legs from all the laughing. Seriously, what an awesome group of people. I can't wait to do it again!

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