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|