The Relay

Pics from The Relay, a running race from Calistoga to Santa Cruz. Our team of runners–Al, Everitt, Felix, Heidi, Herb, Lisa, Manuel, Mike, Phil, Sharon, Steve, and Tom did great and had a wonderful time.

We encountered our first "challenge" hours before the start of the race when we realized the first Chevy van we picked up from Enterprise had an ill-fitting back seat from a... Ford!  We hence packed everything into Phil's own van, drove it all back to Enterprise, and then transfered the stuff into a Chevy Tahoe.The Tahoe had its own problems, like not being able to fold down the middle row of seats to allow access to the rear seats.  So Lisa and Heidi (my special recruits who did not let us down!) graciously climbed over the middle row of seats about 50 times during the weekend.  "Good thing for your rock climbing skills," I remarked at one point.[5 minutes before the start, 12:25 p.m.] Phew!  With less than 10 minutes to spare, we made it to the start of the race. Heidi (not shown) kicked off the first leg for us.[4 minutes before the start, 12:26 p.m.] Meanwhile, as luck would have it, we ran into Terry (Lisa's boyfriend), who was doing the race with the SF Tri Club.  Here's Lisa in front, with Terry and another dude in the background marking up their van.[Mile 6, 1:06 elasped, 1:36 p.m.] Here's Phil on his first leg.  It was starting to get really hot on this sunny October afternoon.[Mile 6, 1:06 elasped, 1:36 p.m.] As we would do for almost every leg, we stopped off midway to offer water and support.  That's Phil running with Everitt, Lisa, and Heidi cheering on.  You can see the gas-guzzling Chevy Tahoe with non-folding middle seat in this picture too.[Mile 10, 1:35 elasped, 2:05 p.m.] Here's Lisa on the third leg, giving a thumbs up.  By this time it was really roasting outside, and she still did great.[Mile 23, 3:07 elasped, 3:37 p.m.] Here's Mike running underneath the stars and stripes and the California flag.[Mile 26, 3:24 elasped, 3:54 p.m.] "I crapped my pants!" was one of the many interesting things scrawled on other teams' vans.[Mile 26, 3:28 elasped, 3:58 p.m.] After the 5th leg, we ran into fellow Tri-City Tri Club member Peter, who was a race volunteer.  He snapped this picture of Heidi, Felix, Lisa, Everitt and Phil for us while we awaited Mike's arrival... thanks, Peter! Photo: Peter Gonscherowski.[Mile 26, 3:35 elasped, 4:05 p.m.] Here's Everitt taking off right after grabbing the baton (actually an elastic wrist band) from Mike.[Mile 30.5, 3:56 elasped, 4:26 p.m.] Mile 30.5 marked the first van exchange at a church.  Here's Steve.[4:03 elasped, 4:33 p.m.] Here's Heidi and Sharon chatting while awaiting Everitt.  Sharon would be running next, and Van #1 would get a break.[4:10 elasped, 4:40 p.m.] At the van exchange, with Heidi and Tom looking on, Herb and Manuel wrote on Van #2, "Try biking & swimming first!  I want my bike!"[6:05 elasped, 6:35 p.m.] While the Van #2 members ran, we (from Van #1) went and had dinner at a pizza place in Napa.  "The place has an Italian name," we reasoned, "so it must be good."  It was![6:34 elasped, 7:04 p.m.] Back to the road: our team getting into Van #1 after dinner.  You can see Phil, Heidi, Everitt, and Lisa in this picture.[Mile 105, 14:19 elasped, 2:49 a.m.] After we in Van #1 ran our 2nd legs, we met the other van at the van exchange just south of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Here's Tom, Al (background), Phil, and Steve during a beautiful night of a full moon and perfect running temps. (October 12, 2003)[Mile 141, 19:35 elasped, 8:05 a.m.] Here's Heidi on her third and last leg, running with just one of the half dozen or so completely random guys who'd become enamored with her during the race.  This dude even bought her a chai from Starbucks afterwards! (October 12, 2003)[Mile 149, 20:37 elasped, 9:07 a.m.] Lisa awaits a handoff from Phil after his third and last leg along Foothill Blvd in Palo Alto. (October 12, 2003)[Mile 151, 20:54 elasped, 9:24 a.m.] Lisa proved to be our most consistent runner. It didn't matter whether the leg was rated easy, moderate, or hard--she ran every one at a ~7:30 pace! (October 12, 2003)[Mile 164, 22:44 elasped, 11:14 a.m.] Here's Everitt midway up the gruelling, all-uphill leg  on Highway 9 from Redwood Gulch to Saratoga Gap. (October 12, 2003)[Mile 166, 22:58 elasped, 11:28 a.m.] At Saratoga Gap, Manny, Steve, Sharon, and Herb awaited Everitt while Heidi, Lisa and I ate hot dogs. (October 12, 2003)[Mile 199, 27:54 elasped, 4:24 p.m.] After almost 28 hours, wwe made it to the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz!  This is Sharon, Mike, Everitt, Lisa, Heidi, and Phil awaiting Manuel's arrival! (October 12, 2003)[Mile 199, 27:55 elasped, 4:25 p.m.] Manny arrives and prepares to give us high-5's all around! (October 12, 2003)[Mile 199, 27:58 elasped, 4:28 p.m.] Mission accomplished!  Our entire group after a journey of fun: Heidi, Lisa, Felix, Sharon, Mike, Manuel, Everitt, Tom, Steve, Herb, Al, and Phil. (October 12, 2003)The celebrations weren't over, however: afterwards, we had dinner at the Seafood Grill in which we were going to surprise Sharon with this applesauce-almond-raisin b-day cake.  This is a picture of the cake from Saturday morning in my kitchen; amazingly, it survived the journey completely intact!Word has it that Sharon was surprised all right.  Joel (Heidi's boyfriend) was also able to make it, who is sitting here next to Felix Wong and Sharon. (October 12, 2003)Our entire group (minus Al, Manuel, and Ev who took this picture) during this very happy occasion.  Happy b-day Sharon, and congrats to all... it was great to have fun and share memories with each and every one of you! (October 12, 2003)... and all the way back in Newark, Al, Herb, Steve, Sharon, Manny, and Tom load up Van #2. Photo: Tom Erceg. (October 12, 2003)And look at the Flamingo Van! Photo: Tom Erceg. (October 12, 2003)Group shot of us at the first Van Exchange. Photo: Tom Erceg. (October 12, 2003)[Mile 37.6, 5:05 elapsed, 5:25 p.m.]Before Tom's first leg, Tom gives an inspired salute. Photo: Tom Erceg. (October 12, 2003)[Mile ~40] Now here's Tom actually running his leg! Photo: Tom Erceg.Herb makes a handoff to Steve during the darkness on his 2nd leg. Photo: Tom Erceg. (October 12, 2003)Here's how Van #2 was decorated with its members names... Photo: Tom Erceg. (October 12, 2003)Herb chats with Steve as Steve mixes up a sports drink. Photo: Tom Erceg. (October 12, 2003)Here's birthday gal Sharon on what looks to be after her 3rd leg! Photo: Tom Erceg. (October 12, 2003)

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