Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wasatch Crack 2011

Crack the COD, just before starting the 2011 Wasatch Back Relay.
Get a load of the Ute fan and the BYU fan standing side-by-side.  
There were some conversations about that.

Crack the COD get-away car/fast-track friendship maker.

I always say that the best way to test a friendship is to spend 30 hours in a car together.  I also say that it's time to adopt speed-frienshiping.  Forget all that fine wine and dining, chats and movie-going.  Just grab yourself a friend-canditate, launch yourselves into a long-ass road trip and see what happens.  Still friends?  Bonus!  Can't stand each other?  Bonus again!  You can go your separate ways without wasted cash and compliments.

That's what we did this last Wasatch Crack Relay (also called Wasatch Back Relay.) We took the fast-track friendship approach to a guy that we'll call... uh... Greg.  Yeah, that's it.  Greg.  None of us knew Greg.  Greg is the brother of a good friend of mine, a friend who I'll call... uh... Becca.  Yeah, that's it.  Becca.  Thanks to Becca, Greg learned that we were looking for a human of the male gender to assist us on our relay team.  He was intrigued.  And after careful thought (and I must confess, lots of praying from me) Greg said, "Why sure."  

Like I said earlier, none of us knew this Greg.  For all we knew he was an obsessed serial killer.  Or even worse... boring!  The race was only days away, however, and we had no other prospects. We needed Greg.  We got on our knees and begged Greg to join us.  We were willing to take the risk that he might be a serial killer, or worse, boring.

Greg took some risks himself.  He jumped in a van full of obsessed runners, who may or may not be serial killers, or worse, boring.  We knew that we weren't boring, but Greg didn't know that.

Long story short, after 30 hours in the car with Greg, we can all call him friend.  His dry, smart sense of humor and strength as a runner, made a fine addition to our team.  As I was walking him off to start his first leg, he kind of looked at me and said, "We've been in the car for ten hours."  I laughed and said something along the lines of it feeling like a decade.  Snide remark aside, I think he might have been enjoying himself.


Our team worked out nicely.  We laughed, we cried, we farted, and some of us even barfed.  It was a spectacular party, and it's just too bad that we aren't doing it again next year.  It would be yet another spectacular party.

The road-trip approach to fast-track friendshiping is not the only valuable way to make friends.  I discovered rather quickly that the post-run-buzz is a fabulous tool for making friends.  Nothing... I mean absolutely nothing... beats the post-run buzz.  Trust me on this for I have experienced more than my share of bewitching buzzes.  Of all the buzzes, the post-run buzz reigns supreme.

If you don't believe me, try it sometime.  Get yourself and some friends – friends that you like, but don't necessarily love* – and do some running together on a relay.  After you have run your metaphorical guts right into the ground, jump in the car and watch what happens.  Before you know it, you'll be carrying on like a drunk.  "I love you man!  You have always been the best!  You have always been there for me!  What with the honey stingers and the cold water... and even the ice!  Oh the ice!  You're the best! I love you man."  Careful that you don't cry.  Serious.  Careful.  It's that good.

*I'm talking friend love here, not romantic love.  For we all know that I have romantic love only for Spouse.  It's true!  Quiz me on it sometime.

Take The Runner, for example.  The Runner, as many of you know, is the wife of Mr. Fat Cyclist.  He's calling her The Hammer lately, so maybe we should call her the Hammer too.  This Hammer Runner is also Hillene's childhood buddy; they've known each other for, like, ever.  Before the race, I knew The Hammer Runner only casually.  Now?  I'm totally in love with the girl.  She's fabulously fit 'n fly.  Plus... she runs all smiley and stuff... just like I do!  Even up hill!  On the Hammer Runner's last leg, she jumped out of the car and hollered, "Finally!  I get my hill run!"  Then she ran off to climb some hills.  All smiley and stuff.

The Hammer Runner finishing her first leg.  
Our bright outfits could be seen at least two miles away.

Same Hammer Runner waiting patiently for her last leg.  With hills!

Hillene and The Hammer Runner, all bedeckled in their matching Leadville 100 sweatshirts.
Can I tell you how intimidating it is to share the chick-van with these two?

While The Hammer Runner is the fittest of the bunch, it goes without saying that Hillene ran the hardest.  Our team started at the same time as some friends.  Their first runner was a quick one, so Hillene made sure that she was ahead of him, if only for a stretch.  Then she proceeded to run her first 13 miles during the hottest part of that day.  This left her stomach in a whirl and she tossed her cookies multiple times.  Tossing the cookies left her in a severely depleted state.  But did she let that slow her down?  No-sir-ee.  She ran strong and fast, 'til she finished her legs.  And after she finished her last leg, she collapsed.

Look!  She's ahead of him, if for only a stretch!

Here she is... had to get help from Himene (her Spouse) 
and our Mountain Goat team member.

We force-fed Hillene some pickles, which coincidentally brought her back, and she was back to her larger-than-eight-lives self.  Giggling, pulling faces, and running around in flip-flops.


The last two members on the team are Vinnie Vendrome and the Mountain Goat.  Vinnie is our resident Frenchman who's convinced me that everyone needs a resident Frenchman.  Do you have a resident Frenchman?  Better find yourself one.  Just don't let 'em drive.  Kidding.  Not really.  Vinnie's a French Mario Andretti who scared me nearly to death.  Obviously it wasn't that scary because this is the second time he's driven a car on a relay team.

Vinnie is an excellent addition to our team, for he provides heaps of adventure and scads of comedy.  And if that isn't enough, he can run quick (quickly?) too.

Mountain Goat, Vinnie Vendrome, Hillene, The Hammer Runner, Rabid
Photo taken while Greg was finishing the race.

Last, but certainly not least, we have our beloved Mountain Goat.  I'm going to call him the Mountain Goat because he was issued the hardest legs of the race.  He was given a 7-mile run, then an 18-mile run, and finally, an 8-mile run that climbs over 3000 feet.  Why did this Mountain Goat get the hardest of the bunch?  Is it because he is strong?  Well, kind of.  But mostly it's because he didn't make it to the team meeting.  Let that be a lesson to you all... if you don't make it to the meeting, we might dump the hard stuff on you.

The Mountain Goat was the perfect fit for what was handed to him.  He conquered the terrain with a smile on his face.  And when I say "conquered," I really mean he "conquered" it.  On this hill climb, the one they call Ragnar, our own little goat took first prize. The Ragnar folks clock the hill climb, then list which team came in first.  Thanks to the Mountain Goat, our team won the hill climb.

Look he runs all smiley and stuff too.

... and the Goat is victorious!  
Oh, and check out the snow.  Snow levels not typical.

Here we are at the finish.
Mountain Goat, Hillene, Hammer Runner, Rabid, Vinnie Vendrome, and Greg

I think we passed the 30-hours-in-the-car test.  What do you think?


maryaarnold said...

Nothing encapsulates the relay experience better than your line "we laughed, we cried, we farted and some of us even barfed." Kudos on a great race!

Aubrey said...

I just kept thinking "wow" I cannot believe that you all can run like that...SO PROUD!

Jessica said...

I love that you run all smiley and stuff. And I love that you run with people who run all smiley and stuff.

Makes me smile.

Fatty said...

Your race reports kill. They make me wish I had been there.

PS: Driving, not running.

Rachel said...

Congratulations to all of you. You are full of awesomeness! And fast legs!

rabidrunner said...

Maryarnold, hello! I'm glad you can affirm the true spirit of a relay race!

Jessica 'n Rachel, thanks! Couldn't have done it without you.

Fatty, you should run it. I think you're scared though, for it might turn you more into a runner than you've already allowed yourself to turn into.

(P.S. Don't get after me for ending that sentence with a preposition.)

hillene said...

I love the report. I stand up and shout, "AMEN SISTER!!!" We had a great time and tean. You said it all. Thank you!! Your writing makes me want you more:) Love you