I joined a walking team. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet. There are 12 of us and we are all veteran women, so we call ourselves the Belle Brigade. We are going to race in the annual Hood-To-Coast race here in August, which is when runners start up at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, and run a relay race all the way to the town of Seaside, on the Pacific Ocean. It’s the largest relay in the world, with a limit of 1050 teams (and they have to turn teams away). Its about 200 miles long (320 km). I know. Wow!
The runners course has 36 legs and each person on a team must run 3 of them. However! There is another simultaneous race, the Portland-To-Coast walk. That course has 24 legs and each person must walk 2 of them. The Belle Brigade is a walking team, so our course is about 130 miles (208 km). It’s still a race, so we will be walking as fast as we can. If anyone is caught running, the whole team is disqualified.
Here’s a little taste of it:
As you can see, teams come up with themes and often dress up their support vehicles and themselves. We decided that purple camouflage is our team uniform. Purple camouflage happens to be popular enough right now that we are finding work out gear, hats, and raincoats in that theme.
Last summer when I joined the team, I started walking from my house, just to see how fast I was. I found out quickly that walking fast takes skill. It’s tricky to keep your speed up, and it takes a lot more endurance than I was expecting. I hadn’t really thought of walking as a sport, but now I do. I worked up to a 5.6-mile loop that leaves from my front door and ends at my front door. I can do it in an hour and 22 minutes, which is almost my target of a 14 minute mile. I’ve been walking it as often as I can, twice a week at best.
From the very first day, I started taking photos of things that interested me along the walk. I’ve been collecting them in a folder on my desktop called “walk scenes.” It’s the middle of winter and I know I have months of cold wet days ahead of me, so I decided to post my photos, sort of chronologically, and remember the lovely days when there was sunshine and I didn’t have to wear a hat and gloves when I walked.