So lucky to know these people.
Are you running Hood to Coast this year? Or maybe, like me, your team does Portland To Coast, the walking portion of the race. (It’s a whole lot of fun, with possibly a few less blisters.) When I got into it, as a driver for the team in their first year, I had no idea I’d meet such a great group of silly, brilliant, caring, determined women (and a few of their equally cool guys) who would inspire me to start putting one foot in front of the other. It started with seeing how far I could walk, along the hot suburban sidewalks in my neighborhood. Which, soon enough, led to running. Which led to such a love of running and walking that I flippin’ blog about it for pete’s sake.
Anyway, this post is about all of us. And you. And the people we become when you stuff us in a pair of vans and ask us to run or walk all day and night, handing off a sweaty little slap bracelet at the some of the most random and beautiful areas in Oregon.
Which one are you?
The Badass Team Captain:
You own a binder for PTC/HTC, and any one of the following is true:
(a) You have had a team meeting at any point.
(b) Your team has never been late to an exchange.
(c) More than half of the team members want to go again next year.
You share amazing snacks. You know the best restaurant that’s open at O-Dark-Thirty, and you bring a dish to the team meeting that fits everyone’s dietary requirements. (“Low carb? Vegan? Gluten free? Allergic to nightshades? I can work with that.”)
Not participating, just chauffeuring for these loonies. You were kinda roped into this thing. “Sure, I’ll drive the van for your race. Wait, we’re gonna be awake for how long?” To spot The Driver, look for the accessories: sunglasses, coffee thermos, street clothes, maybe even jeans. Jeans are a dead giveaway.
Earns the right to ride shotgun, by convincing The Driver that she can give directions clearly and reliably. (The Driver will be the judge of such claims, and retains full rights to choose a new Navigator at any point.)
Ol’ Green Gills:
The van has to pull over so you can throw up. Uggghh, those twisty turns are so harsh! The Driver is sorry. Put on your anti-nausea wristbands, try chewing ginger gum, and definitely grab some nausea meds, because The Navigator isn’t giving up that front seat anytime soon.
You are the one who rigged up a “changing room” by draping a sheet, blanket or towels over the van’s back doors. We think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread! Because the opposite of luxury is changing sweaty clothes while trying to duck below window-level in the back seat of a van.
You helped your team member by assisting with her “toenail issue”. The rest of us could not get far enough away from that situation, but you were right there! Doing the thing, that would relieve the problem with the thing, and *gakk* I can’t even.
Your nickname among team members is porta-potty related. And you put up with it. Because you are kind and patient. Well, for about three more minutes of this, anyway.
The Van Mom:
You set up the van with storage bins, one for each team member, and stock them with goodies and necessities for everyone. AWW! Between you and MacGyver, this is practically a four-star hotel!
The Token Guy:
You are a dude on a team with mostly women. Bonus points if you good-naturedly allow them to re-style your looks in any way. Nail polish? Dyed hair or facial hair? Did they give you a braid or a man-bun? This is you, buddy.
We get to hear all about it: Your (body part) hurts. You “don’t do well without sleep.” You need (food/sleep/coffee/Tylenol/potty stop/whatever thing we’re ALL going without). You make snarky remarks about everything and everyone. Seriously, just get out of the van and walk home.*
*We have all been the complainer at one point. Which is why we don’t actually throw your ass out when you start up again for the fourth time. You might get told to ‘suck it up, Buttercup,’ but deep down we get it. Take it in stride and we’ll all move on.
The Peas in a Pod:
You shared the van with your spouse or your sibling, and DID NOT HAVE A SINGLE FIGHT THE ENTIRE TIME. *round of applause*
The one who lives out of state, and flies in to do the race. Who even are you? Can I get to know you, please? Let’s Skype you into the team meetings next time!
The Good Cheerleader:
You cheer for every hand-off at the exchange, including other teams. YAY EVERYONE!
The Rude Cheerleader:
You clang the cowbell, scream, or otherwise unnecessarily disturb the peace at night exchanges where people are trying to sleep. You don’t know it, but there are people in sleeping bags right now who want your head on a stick.
The Bad Influence:
Did you start drinking before the race was over? Did you bring “recreational” substances? Did you find the guys/gals with an R-rated team name in the beer garden and flirt with them? Did you break the rules, even for a minute? Danger is your middle name! And we love you. Just don’t get us arrested.
The Most Supersonic Ultra Amazing Ninja Royalty Unicorn Being of Pure Blinding Light:
Please award yourself ten million points and this title if:
You are a volunteer.
Seriously, we owe you! Here, want my beer?
Which type are you? Do you recognize your van mates? Let us know in the comments!