“…This way to Hawaii, right?” I mused as people from other race teams drenched me with super soakers. Of course I welcomed the refreshment while running the 35th leg somewhere in the coastal mountain range near Seaside, Oregon. In roughly 2 days 12 runners share 2 vans, 36 legs, 200 miles, and thousands of smiles with over 15000 others in the race, along with volunteers and spectators. And that was just the type of refreshment I was looking for; bunches of enthusiastic maniacs rooting each other on and celebrating one step after another toward a common goal. Start at a majestic dormant volcano and end up on sandy shores. As I jogged along with others, I'd say, "Good job!" A typical response was, "Nice skirt!" So I’d acknowledge with, "Mahalo”… or, “ Hang loose”…or, “Aloha!" I must admit the grass skirt was nice- in reminding me I was soon about to see crashing waves. This does not imply I breezed through that 8.09 mile leg. My jovial attire helped me cope with a freakin' hot day and a meager 300 ft elevation gain that felt like 3000.
The author with his family after the race
Something else helped me along the journey. I was inspired to run in memory of my wife's grandmother who taught me much about perseverance and grace throughout her 7 year struggle with cancer. Since the American Cancer Society was the charitable benefactor in the 2011 Hood to Coast relay, I was eager to carry a personal torch as a memorial and also for hope of good medicine on the way.
This is my 1st blog so I wanted to express some individuality bolstered by a triumph in hearty teamwork. To me, this is what life is about. And I strive to live this way in my work at Living Harvest as well.
By the way, I did train with healthy doses of Tempt-ing smoothies. In fact, I think people in our office poke fun at me because the company blender smells fried. Luckily it worked when the relay team and I stopped by Living Harvest headquarters in Portland for Tempt chocolate shakes! Those that thought the blender wouldn't survive opted for our hemp ice-cream bars.
Does anyone want to join me on team-Tempt? I thought I’d extend an invitation to see if there was interest in gathering for good-times in local Portland athletic events. I could always use some pointers and please bring a blender!