Saturday, August 01, 2015

Cascade Lakes Relay

Jared has been getting into running over the past months, and was convinced by Jim to join his Cascade Lakes relay team.

We stayed the night at a campsite (getting maybe a little sleep), and started bright and early at Diamond Lake. It was a fun environment at the starting line, anticipating the run and not knowing what to expect!

We were a big mix of people that had various connections. Car 1 had Shauna and Bob Zobrist, Taylor and Kirsten Nielson, McKenzie Dixon, and Ted Balderree. Our car had Captain Jim, Tommy Walter, Kristen Winter, Dana Hardman, and Molly Chidester.

After car 1 got started, we headed straight over to Crater Lake. We went to an overlook and took some fun pictures. The water was so smooth! At one point, there appeared to be some sort of creature making its way across the water - until we realized it was an airplane's contrails!

We then hiked down to the lake to a cliff and jumped in a few times! It was sooo cold - but so much fun jumping in! As we were leaving, we were able to convince a few more people who had hiked in to jump in too.

The panorama was spectacular! On the way back up, Molly sprained her ankle. The entire team was nervous what that meant - if she would be able to run her 3 shifts or not. We were fortunate that she was the last runner in the car, and we were blessed with what we felt was a miracle (given how swollen it was when she hurt it) as she ended up being able to run without any pain. 

The summer has been a hot one, and this particular week happened to be one of the hottest weeks, with days of record-setting high temperatures. The first few runs, Jim and Kristen, were challenged by high temperatures. My first run, just over 4 miles with a slight climb, started at a 104 degree temperature. I ended up running it pretty slowly, but I finished and felt pretty good.

After we met car 1, we went over to a small high school to try to get a little sleep in a crowded gym. I think I actually managed to get a few hours, and then took turns driving the van and being the cheerleader as the runners each took their night-time runs. It felt so much better running in the cool night. My 6.5 mile run was so much better! I started at a pretty fast pace, thought I may be in trouble because I was going too fast, then ended up keeping the pace throughout. There wasn't a person in sight in front of me or behind me - that is, until the shadow came up behind me in the last 200 yards. I turned on a burst of speed to pull away so I wouldn't be 'road kill.' It was so fun!!!

We found a lake to take another rest by while Car 1 took over again. I was the last runner again in Car 2, and by the time I started my last run, the team had run nearly 210 miles through flatlands, up and over a mountain pass (thanks to Tommy's run!), wearing costumes, and through some of the most beautiful country in Oregon. My run was the last one, and it was again 104 degrees. It started really well ... and then the tank ran dry!

I made it to the finish, where we all ran through the finish line as a team. We floated in the icy cold river a little, ate some dinner, and enjoyed the memories of a fun and full couple days! It was an incredible experience and one that I definitely want to do again!