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Hood-to-Coast, August 25 - 26, 2006

Sorensen Associates sponsored a Hood-to-Coast team called the RFID's (Really Funky Individuals Dashing?).  The RFID's ran the 197 mile relay race from Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood to Seaside in memory of Jeff Lucas and to benefit the Jeff Lucas Memorial Fund.

Above is a picture of the RFID's in front of our van at the Hoodland Fire Station in Welches Oregon (where Jamie Lucas works).  Pictured above next to Jamie Lucas (on the far right), from left to right are team members James Sorensen, Dana Kohfeld, Derek Conklin, Michael Wynne, Jamin Roth (Captain), Dave Albers, Jennifer Kaps, Tim Albers, Mary French, Chris Alberson, Jim Giblin and Brent Dvorak (not shown because he is running his leg).

The race began for our team at 2pm in the afternoon.  The picture below shows the runners in van 1 at the start of the race at Timberline lodge on Mt. Hood:

 

The race finished for the RFID's just shy of 29 hours later at about 6:55pm on Saturday night.  The picture below shows the team crossing the finish line in the sand at Seaside.  It was an incredible adventure!

 

A special thank you to Jamin Roth, our captain.  Jamin did all of the planning and organizational work to make this happen.  I also would like to thank Gina Hafner, Jeanette Beautreu and Kathy Redwing, our teams volunteers who helped make this event possible.

For more details on the RFID's adventure in the hood to coast, you can read the following.

 

My Memories From the H2C

by James Sorensen

The Hood to Coast was an amazing adventure!  And I really mean adventure.  This is the largest relay race in the world.  In total, about 17,000 people participate in this 2 day event.  We saw teams from all over the world who came to participate. 

The day began for our team when we met at the SAI offices at 11am.  After talking over a few details Van #1 took off to get to Timberline in time for our 2pm start.  Some teams started as early as 8am, but since we had some good runners on our team, we were given a later start.  The runners in Van #1 put down a very brisk pace.  They arrived at the van change out point at about 6pm on Friday evening, about 30 minutes ahead of schedule. 


The van I was in, was now in the race. I finally strapped on my running shoes at about 10:30pm for my 6 mile run through southeast Portland.  My run went fine, but was slower than I had hoped.  I finished in 62 minutes.  One of the highlights of my run was a visits by friends and family throughout my run.  Several people came down and cheered me on...which I definitely needed.  The hardest part, other than being passed by much faster runners (many of which were women ;-), was the run down Hawthorne Avenue.  Hawthorne is a trendy part of town with lots of night clubs and restaurants.  I was going through late, but there were still lots of people out on the streets.  I had to dodge people, run past bars wafting of smoke and put up with wise cracks by those out partying on a Friday night.  None the less, it was a lot of fun and I was thrilled to finally be starting the race.

As I approached the end of my leg at the east side of the Hawthorne bridge, there was a live band playing and large crowds.  This was one of the van exchange points, which means there are twice as many people waiting.   The party atmosphere made it even more exciting.  I passed the baton off to the next runner, which was van 1's first runner.


At this point, my van was done for 4 hours or so.  We headed off to the next van exchange point, 6 legs further down the trail.  We got to the Columbia County fairgrounds where we rolled out our sleeping bags in hopes of grabbing a few hours of sleep.  Unfortunately, I don't think I slept much, but it was nice to relax and get off of my feet.  At about 3:20am we got a call from Van #1 saying that they were about 30 minutes away from the exchange point. 

So, my van (Van #2) was started on our second legs at about 4am.  Running in the dark is quite a chore!  Running in the dark on gravel roads is even more challenging.  Running in the dark, on gravel roads up very steep hills is just plain crazy!  The next few legs were mostly steep, uphill and much of it was on gravel.  Our team members worked hard and plugged their way through the night still making good time.  I would tell you the time, but I don't remember.  This is the point in the race when things start being a big blur!. 

After our leg #23 runner finished, I took the baton for my second run.  This was my easiest leg and despite the lack of sleep and lack of decent food I was really able to enjoy it.  It was about 5 miles, mostly flat and the sun was rising behind me.  I was running through a large valley floor with a river running down the highway next to me. It was just a beautiful sight!  One I will never forget.  I finished the leg in great time and feeling great.  I don't remember the time exactly, but it was about 45 minutes.

My van now had another break.  It was about 8am, so we proceeded to the next van exchange point.  At this point I was near exhaustion due to lack of sleep.  I was driving the van, caught in heavy van traffic and nearly fell asleep at the wheel several times.  We finally made it to the next stop, pulled into a field and rolled our sleeping bags out in the shade for a bit of rest. This time, I actually did sleep for about an hour or so. 

At about this point, I realized that the most difficult part of this great adventure was not the physical exertion of the run, but rather it comes from the waiting, the lack of sleep and limited access to decent food.  I had been awake since 5:30am on Friday, with little more than 1 - 2 hours of sleep.  I had eaten nothing except what we could carry with us.  This included protein bars, oranges, bananas, cereal bars, etc.  We had been driving in the van for about 24 hours and I had ran a total of about 1 hour and 45 minutes.  I wanted some decent food, I wanted sleep and I wanted to run my final leg (which was now more than 6 hours away).

Despite this craziness, this is now when you can start feeling the excitement of the finish. As the last runner from Van #1 rolled in, we started to realize that we were getting close to the end.  The runners in Van #1 were actually done and headed to Seaside to meet us at the finish.

As our next runner took the baton, things began to get much harder.  At this point, it is Saturday afternoon and it is getting hot!  It was about 85 degrees with the sun beating down on all of our runners.  There was very little shade at this stage of the race.  At this point we stopped paying very close attention to the time required to finish each leg and just focused on finishing.  The excitement was building as each of Van #2's runners finished their final legs.

Finally, we made our way to the start of my final leg.  As the last runner of our team, my final leg was our teams final leg.  By the time it was my time to run, it was nearly 6pm.  This was nice because it had cooled down substantially.  My final leg began with a hill climb for about a mile and then a very steep descent into the town of Seaside.  As I crested the hill, I could see the Pacific ocean and I knew it was almost over.  The sun was setting into the ocean and it was an amazing site.  I raced down the hill as fast as I could go and then proceeded into Seaside. 

It was at this point in the descent that I had a special moment to remember my friend Jeff.  Growing up in Oregon, Jeff and I spent many days riding our bikes or cruising around in our cars along the Oregon Coast.  As I entered Seaside, these moments flashed before me and I could feel Jeff running along side me (telling me to move my ass!) It was a moment I will never forget.

I sped along and met up with my team near the end and they accompanied me to the finish. It was a thrill to run down through the soft sand and cross the finish line. 

I finished my day with a barbecued salmon dinner (recently caught from the Columbia River), garlic bread, salad and cake at my in-laws beach house on the Long Beach Peninsula.  A perfect meal to end an amazing adventure!

This was truly an adventure of a life time and I feel blessed to have been able to participate. 

 

 

 

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