Runners waiting at the end of Leg 12 were the first to start the second go-round... the last runners in the rotation were handing off to those who had gone first. Major Miles was ready and waiting and had her trusty sidekick, Julie from Adventure is Out There, at her... ummmm... side.
When I handed off to Major Miles, I was in a complete daze. Running hard in the heat without water had fried my brain. I saw neither her (though I did complete the hand-off) nor Julie in the dark of night....
While Van 2 sped off to secure a place to sleep at the next major van exchange and Maj. Miles was running madly in the darkness, the rest of our Van 1 teammates were all gearing up...
Capt. Cupcake is all about fashion and needed her vest adjusted just so...
She and Dorothy (red sparkle skirt) from AfterNuun Delight were anxiously awaiting their runners... one of whom got stuck at a train crossing for about 15 minutes and the other of whom was having some significant g.i. issues... a bummer for both teams, no matter how you slice it.
There were not a whole lot of pictures taken by either team during these night legs.
Things were very chaotic and traffic was a nightmare...
and I think many of us were kind of out of it ;-)
But someone did snap this one of Capt. Underpants before she headed out for her second leg...
you can tell she is getting ready to go and hasn't already gone because
she is super smiley and giving us the peace fingers.
This is the night scene inside the van... I'm pretty sure all three ladies pictured are done for the night.
It's probably General Confusion's turn out there running... and Captains Obvious and Crunch are probably sleeping...or maybe one of them is taking the picture!
is the scene outside the van.
It was actually only this bad leading up to exchanges. In between, it was pretty smooth sailing and super cool to see the runners strung out along the road, running on the shoulder in the darkness in their glowing, flashing vests. And the stars... the stars were amazing. It was amazing for this city girl to see how illuminated the night sky is when there is very little light pollution.
I mentioned in yesterday's post that we did get a little sleep and then had to wake up for Pvt. Chafe's (AKA The Blonde Ponytail) middle of the night booty call... hand-off at 0300 hours on the schedule... might be a little earlier... might be a little later... had to be ready. Even though it was the middle of the night, there was so much commotion in the parking lot and at the exchange. I really wish I had gotten pictures of this part and what ensued because it was very, very cool and totally different from anything I have ever experienced. However, my awesome new camera that I had gotten specifically for this trip... the shock-proof, water-proof, dust-proof, teeny-tiny spy camera... perfect for a 200-mile relay... had run out of juice.
"Charge it" you say?
Could have done that if I had brought the right freakin' charger!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrr...
Huge lesson in properly documenting and reporting your HTCRelay experience... make extra sure you have all the right chargers! I had the wrong camera and phone chargers... fortunately, Sgt. Style had her Droid charger and us Droiders got to mooch. Thanks so much, T :)
A few of us remained semicomatose in the van while a few of us walked Pvt. Chafe down to her exchange... she got the slappy strap from Gen. Confusion and set off into the blackness. We were able to see her briefly. She looked so forlorn... in the dark... alone :( But we had to high-tail it to the next exchange. Traffic was already getting very thick. We had to keep movin' movin' movin' to stay one step ahead of our runners and make our exchanges smoothly.
Next up was Capt. Phoenix. It is worth it to see the Hood to Coast Movie just to get a good visual on what this leg was like. Long, dusty, gravel UPhill with a bazillion vans going up making it even dustier and very glare-y with the headlights and the headlamps. "Brutal" is an excellent adjective for this piece. If you wear contacts... not recommended on this leg. And glasses get pretty horrible, too. The dust and the condensation from the moist night air make mud on your lenses. I was thinking goggles of some sort might be useful on this leg and the next. Capt. Phoenix opted for glasses and then as we passed her cranking on the hill, she chucked the glasses into the van... and hauled ass, blind, up the hill.
Traffic was bumper to bumper up this dusty, gravel hill. And the hand-off to Nightingale was coming up. We got to the exchange in time and she set off... she chose to wear her contacts. "It was really gritty" is what I think she said. The woman is amazing. She is all biz and no b.s. when it comes to the road. Watching her as we passed quickly on the way to the next exchange (her leg was relatively short and she is super speedy and since traffic was horrific, we made haste), she was like a guerrilla ... on a mission and ready to take NO prisoners.
When she handed of to our next runner, Lt. Love, I started getting a little 'concerned'... my hip was being a little cranky and my tummy was feeling crampy. I grabbed The Stick and ground away at my sacrum, glutes and thighs but did manage to see Lt. Love as we sped by on our way to ... you guess it... the next exchange. She was wearing a vest that had a nonfunctioning rear flasher, so she had a headlamp around her waist. In the darkness it looked like a cute, bouncy, bunny tail of light :)
We got to the next hand-off in good shape mostly because Lt. Love had a pretty long leg to run. It was still dark when she handed off to Sgt. Style, who ran through that transition from night into day.
It was nearly time for my second leg. My belly was achin' but I tried to keep my belly-achin' to a minimum. I wanted to take a couple ibuprofen to help with my hip but was worried about my tummy. I took them. I knew I needed a Honey Bucket before I ran. I made it happen... and felt so much better. And made it to the hand-off in the nick of time!
I was ready. Next up...
Running to Mist.