I was asked by a friend of mine, Katie, to join a Haney to Harrison team. Although I am usually not much of a road runner and I hate having to push myself to go fast, I thought it would fun to be a part of an all-woman team (one of three that was being organized for the group). There were 3 teams in total: We Run Like Girls, We Run Like Girls Too, and We Run Like Girls 3. Since I only knew one girl going into this, I made 28 new friends all in one day!
As per usual, my pre-race anxiety led to roughly 2 hours of sleep on Friday night. I had packed early on in the day:
- Brightly colored shirt? Check!
- Bathing suit for hotsprings afterwards? Check!
- A bottle of wine with a screw-top for quick and easy drinking? Check!
- A “going-out” outfit for the dance at the Agassiz Agricultural Hall (with a name like that, it’s GOT to be classy… I just know it!)
- Oh yeah… and I guess my running gear would be useful… check…
I made sure I was relaxed (nothing says “relax” like a friendly poker game!) and ready to go to bed early. But, of course, I made myself stressed by worrying about getting up at 4:30am.
I got picked up in front of my place at 5:05 and myself and 3 other girls immediately made a run to the nearest 24hour Tim Horton’s. This is where the fun began. We met a couple of very sketchy guys there who had obviously been up all night (and had a lot more fun than I did being awake). The guy nearest to me felt the need to let us know that they had been out partying because he had been training for some martial arts tourney and hadn’t had alcohol or drugs (yes, drugs) for 2 WHOLE months!!! They were now making up for lost time and it it was time for us to get out of there…
We made our way to Haney for the start of the race. It was still very, very dark and foggy out when the race was about to begin but we sent our first set of runners out anyway.
There was a staggered start to the race but our teams all started at 6:30am. I was in the first set of cars that were going to get runners from the first 3 legs of the race where they needed to go. My leg was the 3rd one… 15.2km with a steep uphill to start and a long downhill for the rest. I started at about 8:40 and even though I had peed just before the start, I had to go for the majority of my run. I spent a lot of time scanning the side of the road for a place to duck in but it was not meant to be… with our bright yellow shirts, I wasn’t sure I would be able to hide very well. Other than this minor issue, I had a great race! Felt strong and thought I was moving at a pretty good clip. I spent the last part of my leg passing (and being passed) by members of the “mullet-ed” blue man group.
How they managed to run in those things is beyond me! And, the fact that they wore these costumes for the remainder of the day (including to the dance that night) is whole other story…
I finished my leg in 1:13:13 then our group hopped in the car to head back to to the hotel to get warm, eat (and get caffeinated) and enjoy the hotsprings. Since all teams were in contact throughout the race, we found out the predicted finish time for our first group and headed to the finish line to cheer on our teams. All teams ran strong and we had an excellent, all-girl, florescent cheering squad. Congrats again to all our teams!
The Dinner and Dance
Once all of teams crossed the finish line, we headed back to the hotel to hang out, start drinking, and get ready for dinner at the local
Harrison pub. I had a blast meeting and getting to know the rest of the girls. What an all-around amazing group! Dinner was a lot of fun (how can it not be with 28 girls plus a bunch more relay teams… and alcohol?). Katie and I shared Nachos (we deserved it!) and what was supposed to be a salad sans meat. Now, you tell me… does cut up iceberg lettuce with 2 slices of tomatoes and cucumber count as a salad? I am pretty sure something got lost in translation with the waitress (on one of the busiest nights of the year… I was glad I wasn’t the one dealing with the madness!). Whatever… order more drinks and move on. :)
After an entertaining meal, we made our way to the “dance”. Wait, I have a question for you… what do you get when you take a bunch of rowdy runners, add alcohol, throw them into a hall in the
middle of nowhere , and crank the cheezy music? Mayhem!!!!! Wow, all I can say is that it was a show all to itself. Now, I didn’t stay until the end but I can imagine that things wen’t downhill from there… fun!!!!
I am still amazed at the level of organization needed to coordinate, not one… but 3 teams! If I had to organize teams, race packages, coordinating outfits, hotels, cars, etc. I am pretty sure my head would explode. Leah, the volunteers, and everyone that helped out, I can’t thank you enough for the effort you put in for this race… you rock!!! To all the girls I met and got to know, I had a blast! You are all amazing!
3 Days Later
… and I am still sore! Holy friggin’ hamstrings! I think it is time to head back into the trails for a while. :)