Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2008 Hood to Coast Relay

For the 4th year in a row, I ran the Hood to Coast Relay with Kult Kevorkian. This is one of those legacy teams that has been around for something like 20 years. Look for our team on the Hood to Coast documentary. So how did I get hooked up with them? Well, it just so happens that one of Tonya's friends from grad school, Leah Henriksen, has been on the team for a number of years. In 2005 they needed runners, so Tonya and I both ran...and in the years since then, Tonya has been nice enough to let me continue to run with the team now that we have kids.

This van probably has more HTC's under its belt than I do

I have really enjoyed running with this team...they're out to have fun...they're not overly competitive, but they are very particular about getting the numbers right and keeping track of the details...time, pace, etc. And I have to admit, it's been a big ego boost for me every year...I am known as the fast guy and the long-distance runner. Because of this I have been type cast as the guy who should run the longest legs every year. I don't mind...it's been interesting to look back over the years and see my improvement. Some of the legs have changed slightly over the years, but they're more or less the same.

2008 Kult Kevorkian T-shirts and theme: 'Cause Tramps Like Us, Baby We Were Born to Run'

One other important note about Kult Kevorkian...they are organized! This is a very good thing, but it means commitment to participate has to be made close to 10 months in advance...at the time last year, I knew HTC was the week after the Where's Waldo 100K, but I wasn't too worried...I thought if I had nothing left after Waldo it wouldn't be a big deal...like I said before, this HTC team is not super competitive. Well, I had a tough time at Waldo, so I was really curious how HTC would go...was I over tired and in need of a break...if HTC went poorly, there would be no question. I made sure to wear my Waldo shirt because I was sure I was the only one out there crazy enough to run HTC less than a week later...but I wasn't...I saw Gary Lear in his shirt and I also recently heard that Randy Benthin ran both. Surprisingly, HTC went very well...I ran it all out...I guess I had something left in the tank after all...below are my stats.

Leg 9 - According to the HTC handbook this leg is a gentle downhill run...there is no way...it is definitely a gentle uphill run. By the time I was getting ready to start (about 9:00PM), the conditions were perfect for a fast run, except for the darkness...footing was sometimes tricky...part of the Springwater Trail is gravel. When I started off, I had no idea how fast I was going. There was one guy up ahead of me that I wasn't catching very quickly...I ended up catching him within the first mile, but I could tell he was going a little too fast for me...I let him go, but shortly afterward he stopped to tie his shoe or something. He caught me again with a couple miles to go, I think...I tried to find him after I finished because I wanted to know what his 10K PR was! I was surprised with my pace considering I'd never run that fast in a 10K.
2005 - 7.30 miles, 50:30, 6:55 pace
2006 - 7.30 miles, 46:18, 6:21 pace
2007 - 6.89 miles, 44:28, 6:27 pace
2008 - 6.89 miles, 40:48, 5:55 pace

After our first set of legs, our van stopped at St. Helens High School to sleep for a few hours. I was really looking forward to getting some Burgerville burgers and a milkshake...but our team had started from Mt. Hood much later than we had in the past, so it was too late when we got to St. Helens...Burgerville was closed! I paid a couple bucks to sleep on the floor of the St. Helens High School gym.

Leg 21 - I've decided that this leg is much better at night...you can't see all the dust you're breathing (it's a gravel road). In years past, I've always run it in the dark...this year I ran a little after sunrise. After my first leg, I definitely wanted to run under 6:00 minute miles. I knew the leg had a pretty nice downhill, but early on, I was wondering where it was...finally I found it and cruised.
2005 - 5.00 miles, 34:09, 6:50 pace
2006 - 5.00 miles, 32:15, 6:27 pace
2007 - 5.00 miles, 31:08, 6:14 pace
2008 - 5.00 miles, 29:26, 5:53 pace

After Leg 21

After our second set of legs, our van stopped in a big field near the last van exchange to sleep...it was hot and noisy. Darin Swanson describes this well.

Leg 33 - This leg is long and rolling...I knew there was no way I was going to run sub 6:00 minute miles again, so I just went hard...I definitely faded toward the end...probably the last two miles. It was early afternoon, so it was warm...I was glad I took some water with me. And it's always good to be done...we made it to Seaside, found a place to park, and got to the finish in time to run across the finish line with the whole team. Then, as is tradition for our van, it was off to pizza...I was so hungry. As we sat down to eat we got to watch the finish of the Men's Olympic Marathon...cool, I had wanted to watch it.
2005 - 7.90 miles, 58:46, 7:26 pace
2006 - 7.10 miles, 50:32, 7:07 pace (Leg 32)
2007 - 7.72 miles, 51:49, 6:42 pace
2008 - 7.72 miles, 49:37, 6:25 pace

Thanks again to everyone in the Kult for another great year. And good news...Waldo and HTC do not fall on the same weekend next year! I'm in....


Darin Swanson said...

Wow...those split times just keep getting better and better! First leg time is awesome.

If you keep up the trend some day you will be done before you start :-)

Gives me something to shoot for next year.

Mike Rosling said...

Thanks, Darin...I keep expecting my times to level off, but thankfully they haven't...it keeps me motivated.

Mike Rosling said...

Not so sure I'm in now...might have to pace the Pain Train at the Cascade Crest 100.