*Gorgeous Relay*

There is something about running relays… I find myself… days later, weeks even, reminiscing about the event and what I was doing at this exact time a week ago, two weeks ago, a month ago… whatever the case may be.

One week ago right now, our last runner had just crossed the finish line after a day of running the Gorgeous Relay. Starting just east of Cascade Locks in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, finishing at Base Camp Brewing in Portland, Oregon.

I’m feeling nostalgic.

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Our sunrise start.

Honestly, I wasn’t feeling great. The day before, while at a cross-country meet,  I felt a sore throat coming on. It progressively got worse but I was determined to not let it distract me. I’d been looking forward to this relay for months!! While I’d run with all of my teammates (below) at least once, I was really looking forward to getting to know some of them better.

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The St. Helens Ash Kickers!

The Gorgeous Relay is a one-day relay consisting of 6 runners. I was runner two.  My first leg began on the outskirts of a little town called Cascade Locks, home to the Bridge of the Gods. Kind of a cool side story, I have a connection to the area. Many of my great-great relatives lived in the town on the Washington side of the Gorge, in Stevenson, Washington, connecting to Oregon via the bridge. According to stories passed down through my family, when the bridge was first opened, my great-great grandmother participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony! My great-great grandfather owned a bar in Stevenson and many of my ancestors are buried in a cemetery in the area which I got to visit a few years ago while hiking in the Gorge with my dad.

Even if I don’t feel my best, I try to make up for it by looking like I’m having the best time of my life! Truly, I did have a blast!

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Love this pic captured by BFP!

Passing off to runner three, BFP. I’m one heck of an enthusiastic high-fiver!!

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GO BFP!!

I love the concept of this event but if I were to point out any fault, it would be this: I really wish the course was completely in the Gorge. After the first 6 legs, we re-entered urban areas which are nice, but not as magical as the lush, waterfall laden passages that we covered the first half. My second leg was mostly run through the sweet little community of Troutdale, Oregon. The heat was a huge factor the second half of the event. Obviously, not at any fault of the organizers, but had we been further east, it probably would not have been so bad.

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Finishing leg two. HOT!

The relay ended at a fun brewery in Portland. Beer (and wine!) were enjoyed by all! I love the bonding that is created while running a relay, even if only a one-day event.

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Celebrating at the finish!

Disclaimer: I “borrowed” several of these photographs. Thank you, Andy and BFP! And to all of my teammates: Stacey, Meagan, Katherine, Andy, and Bob (aka BFP), I can’t wait to rock another relay with you guys!!!

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