Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lost in Transmission

Apologies to all Google1 faithful out there for the lack of blog updates at the close of last race.  We know there are real faces behind those spikes in traffic typically associated with relay season.  We'll try our best to keep you all well informed going forward.

When we last left our team, Google1 was sitting back in second at the Golden Gate Relay with 6 legs remaining.  Defending champions DSE held a 9-minute lead.  They had earlier suffered an injury that forced their runners into an unfamiliar rotation.  Within striking distance, it could come down to the wire.  The team took chase.

One minute, two, another three.  The gap narrowed.

Victory looked plausible.  Possible even.  After a night of twists and turns, anything could happen.  Stymied the last two years, we wanted this more than ever.  Our adversaries were coming up upon the end of their rotation, but we would still be running on relatively fresher legs.  We could capitalize.

Then, what's this?  Another injury.  Damnation!  Chance strikes again.  Their rotation would take an additional turn, this time to their advantage.  Hopes dashed.  Spirits dwindled.  Would this be how it was to end?

Finish strong.  We put up a fight, let's push through to the end.  And so we did.

As we drove to the finish, the course was left unmarked.  Unfamiliar scenes came into view at the new finish in Santa Cruz.  We looked for parking, but something was odd.  We hadn't seen their runner... and neither had they.

Uncertainty sets in.  What happened?  Our anchor arrives, realization sets.  They missed the turn.  We won.  DSE is upset, and rightfully so.  This race was theirs to lose.

A fortunate win?  Yes.  But not unearned.  Next year will be fun.  But for now, on to Hood to Coast.

Victory at Sea

Close race. Getting supplies in Santa Cruz while we wait for teammates

With 6 legs to go, DSE, Google, and Stanford were within about 15 minutes, in that order. Now our teammates are descending from Skyline to Santa Cruz We're getting beer for the finish. Almost done! Haven't slept a wink. Too exciting!

Passed halfway: Golden Gate Bridge

18 legs down, 18 to go. Off to nap for a bit near Woodside.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

12 down. 24 to go.

The sun has set and we have climbed out of the heat of Napa Valley toward the chill of midnight San Francisco. Much attention to the pace chart has yielded some excelllent time projections and we are within 2mins of predicted pace after 6 hours of running. However we are 7mins down on DSE and 1.5mins on Stanford.

Much attention to the van rental company has not yieleded good resilts. They arrived with a 7 seater van hoping it would be an adquate standin for the expected 15 seater. We got cosy with the promise that a larger van would be delivered later. We shared Android phones to call the company and used many a burner number to get our calls answered as it appeard that the companies outgoing phone system prevented them making any return calls or answering any calls orriginating from a previously used number. Regardless, we sourced a second van! With enough seats! We were happy! And Cosy. But in the end the van vacated - we have ended up just cosy - and looking forward to some free van rentals.

So all 12 people on the team have put in some work. Solid performances all around and the race has settled down a little. However, things can go bump in the night - so stay turned for some early morning updates.

More van decorations

Gmail and chrome

Heat is over

Van 1finished the first six legs and handed off to van 2. Cooled down by 20 degrees in the last few hours. Phew!

Van decorations

Waiting to cheer on Andrew in leg 5. It's hot out!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Hay is in The Barn

One day out from The Relay in Calistoga and the team is rearing to go. Every year, it's important to remember that whatever training has been done or not done, there's no time to change it now -- all that remains is the race. The hay is in the barn as they say.

This year has all the makings of a barn burner -- temperatures forecast upwards of 90 degrees for our Saturday start and a few scores to be settled after being dethroned in 2011 and 2012. 

Some new faces join a veteran roster and we'd like to welcome first timers Li Moore, Arjunan Rajeswaran and Woods Buckley to the team! 

Stay tuned to the blog on Saturday and Sunday for updates, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: