Tuesday, August 29, 2006

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Below is Mari's family's recipe for "BBQ Onion Cheddar-Pork Burgers."

Thanks, again, to the Nomuras for a fabulous post-race meal!


Katie Waz:)

Recipe for 8 people.

For Burgers:Ingredients:
1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated
2 pounds ground pork (not seasoned)
2 tablespoons worcestshire sauce
8 hamburger buns

Divide and press cheese into 8 disks.
Place pork in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Using hands, mix in Worcestshire sauceuntil just combined, don't overmix.
Divide pork into 8 patties.
Pressa cheese disk into the center of each.
Shape pork up and aroundcheese; carefully flatten into 1/2 inch thick burgers, keeping cheese completely enclosed.
Chill, loosely covered, until firm, about 1hour.

For BBQ Onions:
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for grill
2 large onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons coarse-grain mustard

Heat oil in a large saucepan over moderately high heat.
Add onionsand garlic; saute, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Add chili powder and cook, stirring, 1minute.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring, untilthickened and glazed, about 2 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and cool. (can be stored in an airtight container, chilled, up to 2 weeks.Serve at room temperature.)

To grill burgers:
Preheat grill and lightly oil rack.
Grill burgers on rack overmoderate heat, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, grill buns, cut side down, until golden brown, about 1minute.
Arrange burgers in buns with BBQ Onions.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Wondering What Happened to Van #2?


As the final runner on the H2C team, I was designated as the official Van #2 blogger. I have quite an act to follow, though, as I have to recap all of our antics and adventures while starving and sleep-deprived (and not in the midst of the action, as done so eloquently by Van #1). This is all the more challenging, as I managed to complete the post, and then lose half of it while attempting to spell check :(

So what was goin' on in Van #2? Well, while Van #1 was heading down Mt. Hood during the final hours of sunlight, Van #2 (Bismarck, Bel, DKing, Danno, Stephanie, KatieWaz, and our fearless driver Darrell) was heading to find its final real meal for 24 hours and to make it to the van exchange point with time to rest and relax before it was time to run. After cheering on rock-star Rennie, who braved the notorious leg 1, we entertained ourselves cheering for the other runners (such as van-favorites 'Hot Pants'), and searching for a dinner which would give us the energy to stay awake for our midnight runs. We settled upon the deli counter at Safeway, where we feasted on turkey sandwiches, and were offered pesto sauce by a team sponsored by an olive oil company.

We then headed to Fred Meyer (a Wal-Mart-like store), where we relaxed in the parking lot, waiting for Ty to finish her leg. Bismarck takes the prize for most creative sleeping nook, choosing to snooze on the top of the Suburban. We had a chance to chat with the 'Go Nads' from TX, and admire the other cleverly decorated vans (such as 'Espresshos' and 'Puke -n- Rally,' which we ended up following for what seemed the entire race).

Around 10:30 or so, Ty charged through the night to hand off to DKing and kick off our journey into the night time. The first set of legs was completed beyond expectations, finishing 5 minutes ahead of our projected time. In particular, DKing and Bel led the charge with numerous 'kills,' propelling us towards our goal of a sub-22 hour finish and a high place in our division. Bel swears it was the 'team in red' that kept him going (were they real, or an illusion? We will never know!). The veteran members proved to be excellent mentors to the Nooglers in the van (me, Stephanie and Bel), providing everything from IPods (need to rally at midnight? listen to Knarls Barkley on repeat!), to race tactics, to calm and stress relief (suffer from paralysis by analysis? A good shake from Stephanie will help you get focused!).

We wrapped up our first round of legs at about 2 AM along the banks of the Willamette River, and cheered Sean on as we headed to the next transition zone. I was initially concerned that I would have to dodge bears during my late-night run, but it turns out my biggest threat was partying college kids and some drunk half-naked man distracting the race volunteers giving directions. Phase 1 went exceedingly well, with our overall time 5 minutes ahead of our projected time. Now it is time to sleep!

Anyone awake at this point was entertained by Danno and Fearless Driver Darrell navigating to the transition point. Turns out we should have read our van ("Lost? Try Google Maps"). After a few wrong turns, and a handful of confused vans who thought that following the Google Van was a good idea, we made it to our site, and settled in for a few hours of sleep.

We woke up around 4ish for DKing's 2nd exchange with Ty. Phase 2 of the race greeting us with hills, dust and sunrise, enabling us to shed the vests and headlamps (which by this point needed to be disposed of in a toxic waste dump - they just weren't meant to be run in by 12 runners in a row!). Stephanie takes the "Super Googler" award for her leg, running sub-7 minute miles despite never racing more than 400 meters (and taking a mid-run spill)...are you sure you aren't a closet marathoner?

After handing off to a slightly uncomfortable (understatement) Rennie, who was suffering the effects of her awesome leg 1, we headed off to the next transition. At this point there was increasing traffic, and blazing sunshine, which meant longer lines at the Honey Buckets (and by this point they were not smelling like honey). Thank goodness for Fearless Driver Darrell, who stayed calm and got us to each transition with time to spare (including a traffic jam caused by the Honey Truck - ever wondered what they do with the contents of a honey bucket? Now we know!). Ok, enough toilet humor...

Time for the final legs. Despite the 3 Hs (heat, hills, and too many Honey Bucket visits...last time, I promise!), everyone put forth excellent efforts, particularly Bel & Stephanie with outstanding 7+ mile runs! I had the honor and privilege and challenge of finishing. It is a blessing and a curse - I got to reach the beach (and finish along the same coast where Goonies was filmed), but had waaaaaay too much time to think and think and think and totally psych myself out. Van #2, along with the prospect of seeing One-Eyed Willy's ship, kept me going, though.

Our journey from Hood to Coast concluded around 4:30 PM. We finished in 21 hours and 38 minutes, faster than last year, and 31st OA and 4th in the Corporate Men's Division (with a co-ed team!). We then snapped a few more team photos before bidding adieu to Tom, a constant source of motivation and inspiration, and headed to Mari's parent's summer home for an excellent post race meal.

I would like to bestow the following honors upon my fellow Van 2 members:

DKing - most likely to know the words to a song (and sing along)
Danno - most likely to say something clever and slightly off-color to make us laugh when most needed
Bel - most likely to lower the average age of the team to 25
Bismarck - most likely to retire from Google and become a life coach
Stephanie - most likely to be the first 400m runner to represent the US in the Olympic marathon
Driver Darrell - most likely to pull a Rip Van Winkle and sleep for 20 years

This is only a small handful of our antics and adventures. Be sure to check in with the other H2C'ers for their own account of the journey.

Thank you, everyone, for an incredible experience and for reminding me why I love to run.

Tired and Exhilarated,

Katie Waz:)

Unofficial official stats...

Dave reports that we finished in 21:38 and change, which was good enough for 4th place in the mens corporate category (even though we have 5 women). We'd have been 3rd in the coed corporate category (even though we didn't quite qualify for this, they apparently still have us listed as a coed team on the H2C site).

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Seaside salt and sand: we're finished!

We'll add details in the morning (after really sleeping for the first time in two days), but we've arrived in Seaside, finishing in an unofficial time of 21 hours and 30 minutes (official time forthcoming).

We tossed some frisbees, waded in the surf (some of us a fully swimming), and then headed down to Mari's parents house for dinner - a fabulous affair that was far more delicious than the carbohydrate-loaded snacks we'd been consuming.

I'm not sure how we made it back to the hotel without falling asleep. Just like the 7am sunrise drive that Kristen and I did to start the day, we closed out the day with Kristen getting us safely to the hotel while I struggled valiantly in the navigator's seat to stay awake, failing in the final miles.

Now I can't hold out any longer. No combination of hotel tv or internets can keep me from sleeping. Not even Sean's snoring...

(Mari) Van #1 Is Smelling Good

We left Van #2 with 1 sweaty wristband and hit the road for Astoria. This is a town famed for such legends as "The Goonies" and "Kindergarten Cop." But because Arnold is carefully watching over Califonia and not Astoria, we were not greeted by him, but with a smell that was "worse than a rotting sea turtle," but "better than Sean's shorts." This, in combination with our already-ripe car made a colorful aroma with rich earthy undertones.

Luckily, Nate and Tom were able to charm their way into our rooms early to shower up, where I took one of the best showers of my life. The water hit and the smell of sweat and Gu began to leave my body. We're now all heading to Seaside to see what Van #2 has been up to while we've been napping and snacking.

We also just found cookies in the back. Life's pretty good right now.

(Ty) Van 1 Mission Accomplished

We're sore and hobbling around but we're done. It's a really good feeling on multiple levels. We stopped to take a shower in the hotel and now we are heading over to Seaside to join Van 2 as they finish up the race. There were many great moments for Van 1...but I could not finish writing about this because I began to fall asleep in the middle of posting this entry. I was told that my head began rolling around as I was typing. I managed to hand the computer back to Nate before I entered the drooling phase. In order to preserve the authenticity of this post, I'll end it on that note and start a new one.

Roadkill totals for Van #1: 300+

We've passed more than 300 teams, just in our van alone. Sean and Tom have each passed around 85 each in their three legs, and I passed more than 100, 56 or so in the last leg alone. I wasn't particularly surprised to be passing so many folks, given the 3.5 mile hill that we went up, but what did come as a surprise was that I passed most coming *down* the 2.5 mile downhill which followed. While I was running fast, more people were walking down than up.

A fair trade on a race course: a gallon of water for a can of budweiser

As we started and finished our third and final legs of the relay, the only thought in mind was that this was the final one we'd have to run! And although our legs burned, joints ached, and we weren't entirely sure we could even start running again, let along run 4-7 miles, that thought got us through.

Those who had finished happily sated themselves on everything from chocolate and graham crackers to beer successfully bartered from a nearby team that had run out of water. Having plenty ourselves, we thought it was an eminently reasonable swap.

We LOVE Honeybucket!

According to Tom, not only do we love honeybucket, our hands are honeykissed. We got stuck in a Honeybucket-generated traffic jam partway through rural oregon. The lack of posts has been because in rural oregon, they haven't adapted to modern cellphone technology just yet, and it's impossible to contact each other by phone, much less get internet access with any regularity.

Our second legs finished up just as the sun was rising, at the Columbia County Fairgrounds. Sean, Tom, and everyone else had great legs - I'll let them tell more about them. Rennie's too - she had to run through the ghetto. My second leg was a almost totally flat 5.57 mile, which I rolled in just about exactly 5:30 pace, after thankfully having gotten rid of all of my earlier stomach issues.

The second legs weren't the most scenic - we basically ran along Hwy 30 along the Columbia / Willamette rivers (we're not sure which), and it was pretty flat with lots of industrial buildings -- including an Exxon plant with a security guard that wasn't too happy about us pulling into his driveway to park.

Anyhow, after wrapping up in the fairgrounds, everyone was totally crashed, and Kristen managed to drive us (with me navigating / passing out next to her) to the aptly-named town of Mist Oregon. So to conclude this post, the portajon trucks (honeybuckets) that caused our traffic jam were on the way to Mist, where we tried to sleep for a bit before our next legs.

Back in action: Downtown Portland

Seems like Van #2 did their work well - they arrived very close to schedule at the exchange point in a sketchy industrial district on the eastside of Portland. We, on the other hand, managed to get to our hotelroom in Gresham, where we got a few cuddled hours of sleep and a hot shower.

Rennie and Ty got to roll out their incredibly tight muscles. We've learned that Ty's roller is clearly labled as "Ty's Roller". And we've also learned that one hour of sleep is not *really* enough.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Stats from Tom

Quote from our beloved driver: "I have a foul mouth. Blame my parents."
So here's the good so far:

Rennie ran 6.05 in 3706, or 6:07s. Almost 4 minutes ahead of pace, from the start!

Sean blazed down the mountain -- 5.6 in 27:14, or 4:52s!!

Tom ran right on pace. 3.95 in 21:42, or 5:29s.

Mari gutted out 6.95 in 52:51. Right on pace in 7:37s.

Nate had the first uphill legs. Still managed 5:47s, running 6.1 in 35:20.

Ty gained the most ground of all. She cooked through 7.4 in 46:45, a brutal leg in 6:20s. Her knees are tanking Advil.

We passed off to a psyched van 2 at 10:26, and we're headed to the hotel to crash

See ya.

(Nathan) Some serious roadkill...

I just finished my leg #5 and reeled in some serious roadkill (for non-h2c veterans, roadkill is passing another team's runner). I lost count somewhere around 15 -- I got a bit delerious as I was also starting to seriously doubt I'd make it to the portajohns at the finishline of my leg in time. Next time, I'm going to use them *before* the run.

Updates on our stats to hopefully come from Tom shortly, but my leg was a 6.1 mile, with the first 2.5 flat to slightly down, and the last 3.5 with some rolling, long uphills. I rolled the first part at 5:30 mile pace, and finished at around a 5:47 average, losing a bit of speed on the uphill.

Last year, Katie mentioned that this leg was pretty creepy, on a dark back road, and sure enough, there were times that I felt I didn't know if it was a road in front of me or a black hole - that's even *with* my brigh PETZ light.

Anyhow, we here at Van #1 are finishing up our first six legs, and we're about to go into "off" mode while the other van picks up the slack after napping all evening. We're heading back to the hotel for 2 hours of sleep or so.

Sean and I hope to post some awesome photos of Mount Hood (and Rennie running down it) during our downtime. Signing off for now, Nathan.

(Sean) Next time I'll wear socks

Wearing brand new racing flats barefoot for 5.6 miles of downhill doesn't make the feet very happy... maybe next time I'll bring my rollerblades... 11 kills this leg... mmmm, roadkill. :)

(Rennie) My f***ing legs were burning...

My f***ing legs were burning, but damn it was beautiful dropping 2000 feet from Mt. Hood. I passed 4 people, gotta love the road kill. -Rennie

Love Shack: The Start!

We just left the start, which was a crazy collection of runners looking down from the 6,000ft overview of timberline lodge while they blared "Love Shack" over the speakers -- Rennie is simply flying down the hill (all six miles, 4000ft fall), running her first two miles in around six minutes. We knew it was time to leave and get going when Love Shack repeated on the stereos...more to come, as well as photos...

Let's meet Van #1

Check out all the cool kids in van #1, aka the "Snobby Van", according to our fearless captain/driver, Kristen H.

The rest of the crew of 6 fast-but-soon-to-be-stinky runners: Rennie T, Sean K, Tom P, Mari N, Nathan S, and Ty H.

Mount Hood is growing pretty quickly in front of us - I just saw the massive hill I get to run up later tonight too.

From a mountain, to the ocean

Hood to Coast 2006, liveblogged. From the top of Mount Hood, our two vans, 14 people (12 runners, 2 drivers), and 200 miles later, we'll finish along the beach at Seaside, Oregon, within a few miles from where Goonies was filmed.

Right now, it's 4:00pm on Friday, and we just rolled out of our hotel in Portland, having decorated our van and napped the afternoon away. We're just now on the course, wending our way past the runners towards the top of Mount Hood, winding down 6,000 ft of elevation in 85 degree heat, since they had to start earlier in the day.