For those who don't know, Portland to Coast is a 127 mile walk relay race from downtown Portland to Seaside, Oregon. (You can find more information about it, and the other race that goes on at the same time but a longer distance and for runners, Hood to Coast: HERE.) Basically, you fill a van with 8-12 people and you walk, one at at time to the beach. The coarse is divided into legs of various length and difficulty. Each person takes a turn in sequence and walks a leg. (We were a 10 person team, so 6 people did 2 legs, and 4 people did 3 legs. I was lucky and got to do 3!) Start times are staggered based on fitness level and estimated finish time. (So the slower teams start first and the faster teams start later. There were 102 walking teams this year.)
Now, the fun really begins! The van follows the course along and stops to meet the walker on the side of the road to make sure they are safe and to bring them water and moral support.
Until it was my turn to walk, I had a lot of fun cheering my team on. My Sissy was on my team this year and it was her first year as well as C's. I also had a returning walker J on my team too. (I didn't know any of the other people on my team so they will be left out of the story. Sorry.) I was pretty jacked up on 5 Hour Energy drinks due to lack of sleep so silly things started happening involving self portraits.
At about noon it was time for my first walk. (Yea, noon....which means that in 29 hours I had slept for a blissful 2 hours.) It was a nice and short "Easy" leg that I knocked out in under 45 minutes for a 13 min mile average.
I had her in my sights during the last mile and finally got her. Just as we hit the exchange point she sped up and tried to kill me, but I sped up and made the exchange before her! (My team mate is the one in white with the backpack on. The pink bracelet is what designates the teams 'walker' and is what we exchange at the beginning of each leg.)
The next leg belonged to Sissy:
Yep, those are her legs! HA! Pretty nice, huh? (She has lost over 50lbs on WeightWatchers and is fricken awesome!!)
Here she is at the end of her fist leg just after her exchange with J.
|Sissy is in grey, J is in blue.|
She was really nervous about the walk and didn't think she would be able to do it, but she totally rocked it and I was so proud of her I made this face:
So, when you do PTC you live in the van for 30 hours with 10 other people. You eat and sleep in the van and frequent the Port-o-pottys placed at each exchange stop. (Which is awesome. Nothing like sharing a toilet that is baking in the summer sun with hundreds of sweaty people...especially people jacked up on high fiber, high carb diets...think about it for a second....are you picking up what I am putting down here? Don't make me spell it out for you....)
|J grabbing a bagel in the back of the van!|
At about this point, things start to get really silly....
|I have no idea who this guy is...or why he was dressed like a monkey...|
|All the vans waiting to pick up their walkers at an exchange point|
|I am so sexy!!|
My second leg began around 1 AM. For those keeping track, it would be a grand total of 2.5 hours sleep (I got a nap in) within a 42 hour period.
What? You don't trust my math? How could it be 42 hours, you say? Well, lets to the math:
Thursday, I get up at 7 AM, I work a full day and go to sleep at 12:30. I wake up at 2 AM on Friday morning, catch a half hour nap sometime during the day. So at 1 AM on Saturday it is 42 total hours since my head was on a pillow getting a full nights sleep. Got it? Good! Let's move on.
I have done this leg all four times I participated in PTC and I lovingly call it "My Everest".
A beautiful and painful blood blister on my heel!!
I still had one leg left to do, so I did the best I could padding it with bandages and put my shoes back on.
The sun came up to a new day which meant our race was coming to an end soon.
|My girls: J, C and Sissy gabbing in the van|
I decided to take my camera a long to capture some of the scenery coming into the finish!
|The first section was on a gravel road in the woods!|
|I make this look good!! |
(My visor did a great job of keeping the sun out of my face, but I got a nice sunburn on the top of my head at my part line! Oops!)
|See that white speck? Yea, that bitch was 'Roadkill'!!|
I made it to the finish like which was right on the beach to meet my team and walk across together! The whole crowd cheers, we get beautiful medal, and a team picture taken, then we are free to relax in the sand!! It is a full on party at the beach! They have a big stage with bands playing, a beer garden thanks to Widmer Brothers Brewery, and food vendors.
|C had a cheeseburger, I had chicken yakisoba|
|I wasn't successful....at all...|
After seeing Amy, we stopped for an ice cream and I ate a waffle cone with one scoop of double fudge brownie and it was amazing! (I can't tell you the last time I ate real, full fat, ice cream!!)
We loaded into the van in total silence and all fell asleep (except the person driving, but he had to swap half way home). We cleaned out the van and went our separate ways! I got home around 5 on Saturday, showered, loaded all my pictures onto Facebook, crawled into bed and slept until Monday. (Totally not joking...I really did!)
And, that my friends, is the end of my adventure!
Oh wait...one more thing....remember that blister?
|IT GOT BIGGER!!!|