Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Running Relays - More Than Just a Hard Workout

For the last five years, Jones & Roth has had a team running in the Hood to Coast or the Cascade Lake Relay - and, in some years, both.  These relay races consist of 12 runners, 2 vans and a couple drivers, traveling 200 miles across Oregon. 

To many people, this does not seem like a fun experience.  For those of us who participate, we look forward to it every year. 

Why?  Here are a few reasons:

  • Physical Challenge - Jones & Roth has a lot of physically active team members.  We enjoy testing our physical limits and pushing ourselves through a difficult task.  During the relay, we run up and down mountains, on gravel or sand trails - in the cool dark night and in heat of the day.  Sometimes we're not sure our legs can keep up.  Other times, we run faster than we thought we could.  We are exhausted at the end, but very proud that we made it through the long race.

  • Mental Challenge - Even harder than the physical challenge is the mental strength required to complete these events.  Each runner runs three times over about 30 hours.  The first run is great - we're energized and excited to get going.  The second run is usually in the middle of the night.  Although happy for the cool air, running alone in the dark in areas that are new to us can be a little scary.  The third run in the most difficult mentally.  We've had little or no sleep, have already run 10-12 miles, are not eating well and now are running in the heat of the day. Our mind is telling us to stop, this is crazy and it hurts! But, we encourage each other and silence those voices to finish our portion of the run. 

  • Beautiful Scenery - The Hood to Coast starts at Mt. Hood and travels west to Seaside, Oregon.  Cascade Lakes Relay starts at Diamond Lake and travels to Bend.  Both courses are beautiful.  The views are inspirational and breathtaking.  We have the opportunity to see the state in a very unique way. 

  • Friendship - In between all the running, we are in a big van with some great people. We talk, laugh, sit in silence and play games. We support each other on the runs by cheering and providing cool water along the way. We help each other deal with blisters, sore muscles and upset stomachs. Really, we get to know each other better. Going through this difficult relay, we find the things we have in common. We feel connected - having survived a difficult ordeal. That connection finds it way back to work and we improve our working relationship by building a strong personal relationship.

In the end, we've traveled a great distance together, while putting ourselves through a physically and mentally demanding event. Throughout the relay, we have developed stronger relationships and self-confidence.  We have done something that not many people even attempt to do.  It's time for a little celebrating - and a great medal to help us remember this wonderful time together.

Hood to Coast
Cascade Lakes Relay

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