After everyone in our van finished their 2nd leg and we made the exchange with Van 2, we headed to the designated sleeping area where we got no sleep. At about 2:30 am, I stretched out on one of the van benches and tried to catch a little shut eye, but just couldn't fall asleep. I felt dirty and sticky from the last run, it was stuffy in the van, people were walking around talking outside, I could hear the race officials announcing the runners coming in, and Ryan's escalating snore was reverberating from the back seat. Overall, I might have dozed off for 30 minutes and then 4:00 rolled around and it was time to head back out on the course.
My 3rd leg began at 6:20 in the morning just as the sun began to rise. This was my final leg and it was another long one at 6.3 miles. I was exhausted, but once I got out on the road, I felt energized - probably because I knew that I was almost done! I ran it in 53 minutes (about 8 and a half minute miles). Over the last half mile I was determined to catch the woman in front of me, so I kicked it into gear. I caught up to her with the finish line in sight and started to pass her on the right. She looked over at me and said "I don't think so" and that just motivated me to start a full-on sprint. From behind me I heard her say "Okay, nevermind." I streaked across the finish line and felt a great sense of relief and accomplishment.
Now that Van 1 was finished running, we headed to a teammates house to take showers and relax, grabbed some lunch, then headed to the beach to cross the finish line with our final runner John, the President of Eternal Impact. There was a huge party on the beach at Seaside with live music, food, and tons of people, but I was a little delirious and ready to head home. So a few of us hopped back in the van and drove the 2 hours back to Portland. I got home, threw my nasty clothes in the washer and went straight to bed. I slept from 6:45pm to 8:30am - an entire 14 hours and it felt divine! When I woke up yesterday morning, I was stiff as a board and it was torture to walk down the stairs. I'm getting a much deserved massage today!
Overall, the Hood to Coast Relay was an absolute blast and an incredible experience. I'm hoping to do it again next year. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be on this team of diverse and amazing people. What an accomplishment to have participated in "The Mother of All Relays" and to have run for a wonderful Ugandan cause. We are wrapping up our Eternal Impact donations and I will give you the final report when we get it. Thank you all for your support and encouragement.