More than 10,000 runners pounded the pavement on the Springwater Trail through Gresham last Friday during the early legs of the 22nd Hood-to-Coast Relay the almost 200-mile footrace from Timberline Lodge at Mt. Hood to the beach in Seaside.
Two teams made up of runners from the Mt. Hood Athletic Club in Sandy were part of the mix last weekend in Team Hooters and the LNP Runners.
Theres no real way to prepare for it, you just have to be flexible and take it all in, Alesia Sole said. Its just great camaraderie with your team. Every one out there is going through the same thing, and you feel that support. I finished last years race, and the next day I started planning to do it again.
Jayme Wintowski completed her first Hood-to-Coast last summer marking a milestone in her fitness life.
I was never all that athletic, so doing the race the first time was a huge accomplishment, Jayme Wintowski said. It was a chance to show my kids that if you want to do something you can go do it. They were so excited, they still talk about it.
She took on jogging by signing up for races in the local Run Girlfriend Run series of events before being invited to join the Hood-to-Coast endurance challenge, which requires runners to complete 15-20 miles within about 24 hours.
Its just a matter of getting over the fear of doing it, Wintowski said. Once you get out there you get caught up in the excitement and it carries you through.
Stephanie Sapp got her first chance at the relay this summer, getting the invitation just a few weeks before race day when a spot opened on one of the Mt. Hood AC teams.
I was so excited, its something Ive wanted to do forever, Sapp said. The race used to go by my house when I was 8 or 9 years old, and I remember setting up a lemonade stand and watching the runners.
She drew the coveted 12th leg, which allowed her to cross through the finish line in Seaside before joining the rest of her teammates for the party on the beach.
Its a mix of stress and excitement, Sapp said. I know coming across the finish line is going to be overwhelming, chaotic. Im sure Im going to cry.