Ay, caramba! The Oyster was HARD! I think the best way to drive that point home is to recap a few quotes from myself and my teammates (in chronological order):
- “I hope we get a good workout.”
- “I think we’re definitely going to get a good workout.”
- “You know, I think this might actually be the equivalent of running a half marathon.”
- “This is more like the equivalent of a full marathon.”
- “All I care about at this point is finishing!”
- “We’re definitely not going to make the cut off.” “How do you know?” “Because we’re already past it.” “Maybe it’s a fuzzy cut off…?”
- “Okay! If we account for the 20 minute late start we just might finish in under 8 hours!”
That’s right. IT TOOK 8 HOURS!! Well, 7 hours, 52 minutes. But I’m pretty sure you round to the hour at that point.
The Oyster calls itself an “urban adventure” race. In a nutshell, that means you get clues, figure out where to go, go there by running or biking and do other things when you get there. Some of the things we did were:
- Took pictures with Yoda statues
- Biked across the Golden Gate bridge
- Kayaked in the ocean
- Made quacamole
- Walked a tight rope
- Ate a raw oyster
- Guessed a bunch of song artists
- Played beer pong
(Sorry about all the bullets. It’s been a busy day and I have to get up early and catch a plane tomorrow morning. Needless to say, I’m trying to get myself to bed.)
Oh yeah. And in between all of that we ran 9.5 miles and biked 22 miles. Before I go on and on about how hard it was, I’ll stop to say a few positive things and share some pictures.
This picture was taken halfway through the first bike leg. Yesterday was the third time (exactly) that I’ve ridden a bike since I was 10. And I only crashed once! Ha… We ended up biking through a tunnel (for cars) with a super narrow bike path. At one point the path narrowed even further and I think I mostly just freaked out. I had a minor run in with the guard rail, and now have a bit of road rash on my arm and a bruise on my calf. I think I fared pretty well, all things considered.
This was my favorite part. At one point a seal popped its head out of the water right next to our kayak and looked around with an expression that seemed to say, “What’s going on here?”
Now back to how hard this thing was. Part of the trouble was you had to know the city. Or have a smart phone. Or, preferably, both. About 10 minutes after the race began we went and bought a map. And even though we never got too terribly lost, I would be willing to bet we weren’t the most efficient team in getting from point A to B.
And the longer we were out, the more people came out. (By people I mean tourists and traffic.) The more people we had to maneuver around, the longer it took to get from point A to B. And the longer it took, the longer we were out. The longer we were out, the HOTTER it got. Allow me to be more specific. Yesterday’s high was 90 degrees. Did I mention we were out for 8 hours?
And the hotter it got, the more hills there were! Okay, that isn’t true. I just needed a way to incorporate the hills into my story. Just think San Francisco and you’ll get the idea.
But WE DID IT. As we were biking in to the finish after the last leg I told Kelsea, “This is the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a marathon.” And it was.