And what a time it was. I sit here now outside the reunion house, eating a pb sandwich, facing the setting sun, with a cool ocean breeze, sore as heck, wide awake for the past 40 hours, exhausted but with a huge smile. Another amazing experience in the life books. The weekend has only begun!!!

I was in van 1, running leg 5, which i had done before and has a difficulty rating of 1 and distance rating of 2. Last year i had leg 9, which is 2 and 1. I come out here to race hard and Coach knows that so i actually specifically ask for it. I also wanted to test my times from two years ago. The bad thing about this year was our start time. We were in the LAST wave which means we actually had a full day to think, prepare and wait for. Being up at 6 am after a good solid deep sleep, i went out for a jog to get the legs moving and prepare mentally for the long event. I had the plan, nutrition, clothing, all mapped out. As we headed out to do the usual things Sandman and Coach have on the to do list, we left the house at 11 and the event was on. Granted you don’t really get set until you drive the long road up to Mt Hood. There is a Big Kahunas 2 team, more of a slower paced group, but Kahunas nonetheless and they started at 2:30. It was lonely at the top as we all got dressed, had the vans prepped, and awaited the start. There were 20 teams in our wave and many we were familiar with in competing here. I have to admit, it is captivating the view from here and I got some in the picture section thanks to Gasman. It really lets you think what you are in for. Once the gun went off, it was showtime. I will summarize the event in a small time piece for you, its easier to read.

I got to drive to the first 2 transitions, I don’t think i used the gas pedal more than a few times, that’s how steep and long the decent was.

My first leg was in the dark. Deja Vu. this year I used a headlamp and streamlined Amphipod night vest with my usual AAA team top and Aquaphor tights. Thanks to Brennan at Adidas, wore my pink Adios kicks the first 2 rounds. I ran hard and saw everything, I even caught a few folks, one who had about a quarter mile on me and all I could focus on was his white back light.
9:15pm leg – 6.08 miles in 34:37.   Note All files I downloaded using my RS800cx for training load purposes.

Hop in van after quick jog, change into warm gear, compression socks, Biofreeze.
Jog some more as vans switch rotation after next leg. We now have 3 hrs to kill for
our next round. Hydrate, caffinate, stretch.

Our next round begins around 2:30am. teamwork, we are doing real well. DTrain gets massive blister on foot, still shoulders on. Motivating. Blackjack shows me StarMagic app on iphone as we look at planets and stars under crystal sky.

We learn of a huge tire factory fire in town and my next leg distance, which was 7.25 miles is rerouted to a longer one, just don’t know how much. I ready up not sure what pace to set. Screw it, push. Its 4:30am. After some bob and weaving, the leg turns out ti be 9.05 miles in 53:07. Volunteer apologizes to everyone who had ran the leg. sandman loves it as I caught people and put us in good position for division lead. I am excited the sun is rising. My legs are sore. I jog some more, repeat routine.

We are in a good race. The weather is beautiful. We also are closing in on our other team. It also starts to get congested in transitions as we leapfrog earlier teams too.
Money made a great raisin, honey, cereal glob of which I had been taking small pieces of after each run. Need the recipe.

DTrain hobbles on last leg, but valiantly. Motivated again by his guts and effort, the pain and soreness in my legs were not an issue anymore. This is the leg I was looking forward to, the challenge for me.  I get to now climb high into the mountain, some 3.5 miles. Channel all of my emotions, inner dedications, my own fear, to bring me to the top – and fast. I used my purple Karhu Racers for the 2.5 mile downhill hammer. I let it all out. The sun was hot and in full force by northwest standards. I pass over 30 people.
6.1 miles in 37:07, besting all my times by the slim of seconds. It was 12:30pm, my HTC running was done.

Not yet. I had to run the clipboard to van 2 due to traffic and beat Braveheart to the transition. Tack on another mile yo. Now we were done. The soreness was evident in all of us, but so was the weariness. I have been up now for 36 hours and counting. We did what we had to do and race  hard, now we had to let van 2 finish there’s.

It took us a while to get back, clean the car out, quick change, wash my face and then head over to the finish to see our whole team cross the line when van 2 was done. Our overall time was 22 hours and 4 minutes!! We placed 4th in our division earning automatic qualification for next year.
Big Kahunas 2 finished in 27 hours which was close to their own predicted time and with a good number of rookies, well done indeed!

Now we will celebrate our races as friends, teammates, and family. The Kahuna network is one I am proud and thankful to be a part of and I express those since thanks to Sandman and Coach.  I am happy to gear up and race for them whenever possible. But its the new relationships developed that grow well after the event that is cherished as well. You earn a nickname, and a Kahuna you are. This is truly a memorable event that I have now been fortunate to be a part of for three consecutive years. Hammer time!!! Go Kahunas!!!!!!

I was out by 9:30 after some walking, eating, and chillin. Everyone I think was done by 10. The house was quiet. A night of some deep deeper sleep. I woke up at 6:30 and was sore, but that sleep was so restorative. I ran with Gasman, Rush, and Trekkie for almost an hour to shake things out, then as soon as we got back, went out with Colonel and Braveheart for another 40. Walked to the beach for awards ceremony which I am always disappointed with as 5 of the top 6 overall teams weren’t there – only the team from New Zealand. Coach treated everyone to coffee, then back to house for breakfast, relax, clean the cars and one more 50 minute run with G- Dog in the misty rain. I was done. Long stretch, shower, laundry, calls to my Gina, and chill as the rest of the day brought overcast rainy weather. Perfect for relaxing for sure and another good night sleep. This has been truly another self- actualized enhancer.

Its a long travel day back on Monday, and forward movement  into September. Amen.

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