This coming Friday, my relay team will set off on a 200 mile journey from Gettysburg to Harpers Ferry to Washington, DC. It will be the 4th time for the Buggy Chasers. Our first relay was Hood to Coast in 2005. We started near the top of Mount Hood in Oregon, ran through Portland and ended up in a little town called Seaside. Teams of 12 use 2 vehicles to traverse the course. Each runs 3 times, sleep is minimal and merriment is plentiful. Many things can go wrong logistically, but our team was blessed in this department with a propensity of management consultants.
Where did the name come from you ask? Our 2005 team had 3 members who grew up in Lancaster and my hometown of Harrisburg was close enough for us to adopt the Pennsylvania Dutch inspired moniker. Hood to Coast is the mother of these relays. I believe it was one of the first of its kind and it attracts over 1,000 teams each year. Most teams have 12 members and use 2 vans to move across the course so we are talking well over 10,000 runners.
We enjoyed Oregon so much that we set off for New Hampshire in 2006 to run Reach the Beach (Bretton Woods to Hampton Beach). In my opinion, this was the toughest of our relays from a course perspective. In case my description is lacking, check out some photos. In 2007, we ran the Great Midwest Relay from Madison to Chicago. This might have been my favorite. Perhaps this is because it was smaller (and therefore less congested), flat and I got to watch the sun rise over Lake Michigan on my 3rd leg. Sadly, I can’t find a web site for the GMR anymore so maybe it was too small to be profitable.
We took 2008 off (to let our legs recover and allow a few babies to be born). The 2009 version of our team has 5 original members and our previous captain is out this year due to an illness that some people call “education” or “bettering oneself” (he is getting his MBA from Wharton while working full-time). I am doing my best to fill his shoes. If there is time during our journey, I am also hoping for some live blogging so stay tuned. Worst case, I should have some good stories and lots of pictures. I have trained harder than usual so if I average over an 8:00 minute pace for my 22 miles, I may be writing a check to the NEA.