Race Recap: Three Capes Relay Leg 1

3CR team

Team Run Oregon: Kelly Barten, Nikki Mueller, Abby Meek, Tricia Strauch, and Marya Van Metre. The race finish line is about 100 meters from this spot on the beach, outside of the Pelican Brewery.

The hardest part about the Three Capes Relay for the Run Oregon team was getting everyone’s recaps together. That says a lot about the mellow atmosphere and tiny amount of logistical work required for this one-day marathon relay, especially since all of our team members are busy – four are moms (with 2 kids each), three of us work full time and one part time, and all of us fit our training in around those crazy schedules.

As the “team captain” (I put it in quotes because, having run the relay, I knew it was a no-stress event unlike some other huge relays can be), my primary job was assigning legs and finding a beach house for our post-relay girls’ weekend. Since my auntie owns a house in Netarts, that part was easy; but I don’t think I finalized leg assignments until the week before the relay.

The Three Capes Relay is a good race. Put on by a volunteer RD, raising money for high school athletics, and supported by great local businesses, it’s the opposite of a hyped-up roadkill-collecting relay. Don’t get me wrong – there are some fast runners on the course – but there are also marathoners running solo, teams of walkers, and pairs of teams that sign up so that each of their runners has a buddy from another team to run with. The course is accurate, safe, and beautiful, the registration fee is low and goes to a good cause, and the post-race clam chowder and beer, not to mention the finisher’s medal and race shirt, are top-notch.

For the next five days, we’ll be recapping each leg; at the bottom of each is a link to the race website where you can add your name to their newsletter for info on the 2018 race. Run Oregon will definitely be there.

Leg 1, 4.47 miles, “very difficult”
Three Capes Relay Leg 1

The Run Oregon team’s only non-blogger, Tricia Strauch, ran our first leg. I’d love to say that this is because we made her pick last, but truly it’s because Tricia has that unique ability to be enthusiastic about even the hardest runs, and she’s a natural athlete that we knew could handle this hill. I won’t say it was easy for her, but I will say that I was glad I didn’t have to run it. Here’s what she said about this leg:

Leg 1 is a helluva way to start a race, eek. The hill was about 1.5 miles I believe and I felt every inch of it … at the top, runners got a peek at the coastline. The thought crossed my mind to snap an Instagram photo but I was too exhausted to even pull out my phone!

Probably the most interesting part of the first leg was how the road (closed to any vehicular traffic) had these huge fissures, and it felt like the road could fall off any moment (okay, maybe a bit dramatic, and the course is perfectly safe for runners, but it was eerie).

How Tricia prepared:

Direct quote from this mother of two who works 40+ hours a week and sometimes has to travel for work: “It would be fun to actually train (did we ever officially change our team name to “Haven’t Been Running”? ) and run the big daddy leg … leg 3.” She commented that her favorite part of this relay is how manageable it is – the number of participants, the length and time required, and the ease of getting to and from the event.

Notes for getting to the race start:
Having run this relay before helps – the directions on the race website are actually quite perfect, it’s just that you drive for a while on Bayocean Road NW. The start is at the intersection of Bayocean Rd. NW and Bayshore Drive adjacent to Cape Meares Lake, and once you round that last corner and start seeing race vehicles, you will relax – but trust the directions. Essentially, give yourself 15 minutes from when you leave Tillamook High School to get to the actual start. And then allow for 10 minutes to walk to the start area.
Also, take the advice to drop your first runner off and head to the next exchange before the race actually starts. This will keep the roads from turning into a Zombie Apocalypse “Everyone’s Getting Out of Town At The Same Time” gridlock, and because the runners’ route is closed to traffic, you actually may need the head start if your runner is speedy and Runner #2 has to go to the bathroom.

Get news from the 2018 Three Capes Relay – visit their website and sign up for their newsletter here!

About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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