Hood to Coast is coming up this week, and I am so excited. It is such a fun race and the team aspect of it makes it something really special. My team consists mostly of friends, and while people have come and gone, the core group has remained the same for the last 16 years. We aren't fast by any stretch, but we always have a good time. Case in point, Hood to Coast 2002, but first a little back story...
My maiden name is Deitering. On one of our first dates, Brian and I were having some "getting to know you" chit chat and I had asked him if his last name was German. He answered me, and then followed up with, "What kind of name is Deetaling anyway?" To which I replied, "Well, I have no idea, since my last name is DEITERING". This was probably a little embarrassing for him, but good for a laugh and a funny story to pass along to our friends.
Fast forward a few years, and we are engaged, and the week before our wedding was Hood to Coast. Of course we are running (you think I'd let planning our wedding stop me from running H2C? No way!) Brian and I show up to meet the team and were surprised to be presented with team t-shirts that one of my friends had made. From the front, they looked basic enough:
(BTW, like the big huge t-shirt I'm wearing? That's because at the last minute I realized that the tank I was planning to run in would have given me tan lines that wouldn't look so good with the strapless dress I would be parading around in the next weekend. So, big floppy t-shirt it was.)
Wasn't this just awesome? I love that my team celebrated our upcoming wedding in such a fun way. I run a lot, but most of my teammates really don't. I could definitely jump onto a more competitive team if I wanted to - but for me, Hood to Coast isn't about competing, it's about running with my friends, encouraging them and enjoying our time together. Running is so often a solo sport and Hood to Coast (and other relays, obvs) allows you to be part of something bigger.
A week later, on August 31, 2002 this happened:
And, of course, our team was there to celebrate with us.