Sunday, May 1, 2011

Finishing Strong (Van 2 legs 31-36 recap)

The final 6 legs can be summarized as blazing fast downhills followed by some absolutely brutal climbs. Project Mayhem started the set with a sizable lead and extended it into the finish. DSE followed with Google1 in pursuit and Ooyala falling back. We were able to whittle DSE's lead over us to 5 minutes, but didn't have enough ground to overtake them in the end.

Big props to Eddie and Chris for running two of the hardest legs on the course. Also, great performances by Project Mayhem, DSE, and Ooyala. This has been by far the most competitive relay I've run since joining Google1. There was no need for kill counts to occupy our minds this year. Only three other teams to duke it out with. We'll be gunning for you guys next year.

Great job today, Google1. We laid it all out, and I think I speak for everyone in saying there were no regrets. Special thanks as always to our drivers Kerry and Christine. Also, thanks to Eddie and Kerry for your tireless efforts at organizing these relays. They do not go unappreciated.

Breaking it down

I know Eddie will be breaking down our leg times and other details, but I thought I'd provide this one tidbit...

In the last decade (prior to today), there were exactly two performances at The Relay that were faster than the 6:11 pace we managed today:
  1. 2008, Google-1, 6:08 pace
  2. 2004, 12 Angry Men 3, 6:04 pace
The fact is, we did show up this weekend, and we beat our own projections by twenty minutes.  I think we all deserve a congratulations for that!  

Oh, and of course, the two teams who managed to be even faster today deserve a shout-out as well:
  • DSE Racing, 6:09 pace
  • Project Mayhem, 6:05 pace
Well done, folks, and once again it was a privilege running with you.


The Competition Was Fierce (Van 2 legs 19-24 recap)

Van 1 kept us close coming off the Golden Gate Bridge to finish their second set of legs. Project Mayhem (Chico Wildcats Track Club) went through at an undetermined time in first with DSE Racing Team chasing farther away. Back a handful of minutes was Ooyala with Google1 in hot pursuit, trailing by only 30 seconds.

I hawked down Ooyala's runner within the first mile despite being outmatched to provide some motivation for the van and making up some time on DSE in the process. Mike next passed Ooyala and proceeded to go mano-a-mano with DSE's Thor, whom we appropriately nicknamed for his flowing blonde locks and likely participation in the Clydesdale division. Blake showed off his speed by closing the gap with DSE, proving to be a key addition to the team.

Next, Eddie held tough against a strong Ooyala ringer who powered back ahead of us, leaving us a minute behind them and only another minute back from DSE. Kerry gunned the van down the highway so Chris could keep it close on his abbreviated leg before handing off to Cedric who methodically pulled us into the front of the chase pack and then some.

Done and done.

And not a minute too soon. Google 1 did a great job finishing 1st in the Corporate division and 3rd overall. It was by far the most exciting Calistoga relay we've run. The weather was fabulous albeit a tad warm.

After the finish, we joined team Ooyala at the Whale City Bakery for burgers and a very refreshing local brew.

Highlights for me:
-The gopher/groundhog
-Blake Arnold : splendid van 2 pickup
-Eddie's panicked/motivational speech
-Chris Holstrom really taking a few legs for the team
-Brandell sporting not one but a series of bandanas

Many many others come to mind. Thanks all for a great weekend and another victory at The Relay. I didn't get a team pic on my camera but here's an Ooyala/Google pic instead

Van one done

We continued to improve on our predicted finish time, but sadly two teams did even better, and are now ahead of us - one by about 6 minutes, the other by about 9.

It's all on the fast guys in van two now... Run them down like the punks they are!

Top o' the mornin

Nice work so far Google1. Time to polish off those last 5 hr energies and kick it in.

Good luck (from Dublin).


It's going to be close

We have made up ground on all the leaders... There's still one other team with a 6 minute lead, but they seem to be fading a bit. The other teams are behind us for now. Come on runners, let's keep it that way!

Vermin update

Raccoons and lots of them. Crafty little bandits. Saw one scale a trash can, open the flap door, get in AND get out with trash/food for his friends. Impressive.

Golden Gate behind us

Larry, David, Loren, and Angela after can one finished the second set of legs.

Up and at 'em!

We're up after a brief nap at Blake's apartment. So nice to lie down. Sleeping in a van seat is for the birds. One downfall: Blake's roommate had been drinking heavily and walked around all of us sleeping then took his clothes off. No photo.

Still ahead, but still behind

Van one came in several minutes ahead of schedule, but we're still chasing the leaders.

Off to the Google offices in San Francisco for a well deserved nap.

Go get 'em van two!