And boy, was it this year - fun, that is.
The day started when the members of Van one started showing up at my house - Amber, Andy, Ryan, Dave and Abbey. Abbey had rented what she thought was going to be a Van, but due to the popularity of that style vehicle, ended up being a giant black Nissan Armada. Brand. New. So new, in fact that they had to strip a whole bunch of plastic wrap off of it at the rental agency. Instead of sweaty runner smell, we had new car smell all weekend. Here's Abbey and Amber posing in front of it:
After getting loaded up, we headed down to Wingfield Park and the start area. Nice and early, plenty of time to check in and watch a couple other groups start. Weather was holding so far, nice day for a stroll down by the river:
As soon as we checked in, the RD asked us if we'd like to start right at noon instead of 12:20 - apparently there were less groups at that time, or something, and it made more sense to group teams together. We checked with our other van to make sure they were cool with that, and said OK. That still left us with plenty of time to do silly stuff like sign the RTO banner and take Start Line pictures:
Our first runner, Andy, lined up and was off. We sauntered back to the van, drove a ways along the route, and cheered him a bit. Then continued up to Dorostkar Park, where I got ready for my leg.
Apparently that's me getting ready. Not sure what I'm trying to do...
After I too off, Abby and Amber decided it was time for some gymnastics. Only on leg two, and we're already getting silly.
I handed off to Abbey along Highway 40, Abbey ran into Verdi and passed the bracelet to Dave for the big hill up Dog Valley.
Dave powered up the hill and tagged Amber, who had her longest leg as her first. She had to sprint the finish to avoid a last-minute pass - think she actually enjoyed that. Our last runner, Ryan, took it into the Van exchange at Hirschdale where he passed off to Van two.
From here, Van one drove straight up to Tahoe City, where we had a nice dinner at the Bridgetender. My fish tacos were the perfect meal at the time, and I think everyone else was happy with their food. After dinner we rolled down the street to Homewood, where we parked and waited for Van two to show up.
It was in here that the weather started looking pretty threatening. Some crazy wind was blowing signs around and stuff. But by the time Van two showed up, it had calmed down a bit and actually wasn't too bad out. So, we geared up with our nighttime stuff - vests, blinky lights and headlamps - and got back to business.
This set of legs went pretty uneventfully. Everyone just went out and got it done, and the most exciting thing was trying to find parking spots at the exchange points. So Abbey made her own excitement by putting reflective tape down the back of her legs.
Before we knew it, we were at the Raley's in South Lake meeting Van two and relinquishing control of the timing clipboard again.
We were fortunate to have team members who live in Carson, and we took advantage of the hospitality of Dave, who lives just south of town. We slunk into his place around 2:00 AM, where his wife had made beds up for us - and even had ridiculously good, scratch-made cinnamon rolls ready for us when we woke up a couple hours later. Shook ourselves awake and made our way to the next Van exchange, at the Wal-Mart in South Carson. We pulled in right behind Van two, and even got to park right next to them.
Some of us wanted to continue the nice rests we'd been having...
Andy ran from the Wal-Mart to the east side of town, I took it along Prison Hill to Silver Saddle Ranch, Abbey went north a ways. Dave crossed Hwy. 50, and Amber and then Ryan tackled the climb up to Virginia City. Ryan started out with a knit cap on, but was shirtless when he sprinted into VC with hair flying. Wish we could have got a picture of him coming in, but here's the aftermath, at least -
Van two was on course now, and Van one was done. We treated ourselves to a big messy breakfast at the south Peg's, who were doing a brisk business with all the hungry runners.
The only thing left for us to do was to go laze around the finish area at Idlewild Park and wait for Van two. We made the most of the time, the boys getting some more rest -
While the Abbey and Amber did some more gymnastics.
Definite silly mode.
Van two showed up, and we lined up to bring our last runner, Peter, in. We ran him to the finish line, and clicked our stopwatch off with a time of 23:59:59. (Official time ended up 24:00:02.) Then we got in line for the official pictures, and goofed around while waiting -
And that was it! A little van clean-up, some laundry to do, and an afternoon of nodding off on the couch for me. What a crazy, great, fun, silly race. Proud to be on such a great team with such cool people.