Danwei Guo via Crowdrise
February 17, 2012
Team Yaks got the name because a yak gets milked three times a day, which is an analogy to our runners who run three legs each during the twenty-fours or more relay. Not only that, just like yaks, after each leg, most runners end up sweaty and smelly (and hairy). Needless to say, just like yaks, when going gets tough, our runners will go heads down and grind.
We have been running The Relay since 1996. Over the past 16 years, our runners come and go. But the spirit of Yaks carries on. Perhaps one post-race recount of our runners below can tell the story of Yaks best.
Here are my top 15 Rookie Yak memories (I started out with 10, but it was a long race):
1. As we arrive at AB, Jay begins his observations on the wisdom of Van 2’s choice of rental locations. Wow, we haven’t even left the parking lot and the bitch machine is in full swing. This should be an interesting 24 hours.
2. During the drive up to the race, I am informed of the list of Yak rules and traditions, which takes the full 90 minutes. I’m struck by how many rules apply to rookies. I may have to take notes.
3. During the food run, Jay discovers fried potato wedges as a source of potassium instead of bananas. Right on Jay!
4. We arrive at the starting line and Carmine begins an assessment of every female race participant, volunteer, or passerby. The rest of the team supports Carmine enthusiastically.
5. Jay proudly shows me his "Yaks get milked 3 times a day" sign on the side of the van. I begin to feel like I may be back in college.
6. I run my first leg right behind a guy who looks like a football linebacker gone soft. I think, Shit, if this guy runs so fast, I’m going to be really screwed when the tall skinny guys come around.
7. Bashar crushes his first leg in 6:34 pace. Shit, even the old guys run fast. This is going to be a long race!
8. Scott bounds along for his first leg. Jay theorizes that this running style is used to help keep Scott’s hair full of body. Snickers ensue.
9. Dean runs really fast, and then pukes. This doesn’t seem sustainable to me, but as he’s told already several times, I’ve done this for 13 years, so he must know what he’s doing.
10. Running through Marin with the full moon in the middle of the night turns out to beautiful instead of a death march as I’d expected. I decide I’ll think about doing this again next year. Then some guy passes me.
11. A couple casually enquires, What’s going on with all the vans? Dean proceeds to enthusiastically give them the history of the race. As the couple wanders away, Dean bolts out of the car. I’m thinking, He forgot to tell them that he’s done it 13 years in a row! - but it turns out he’s just going to give Bashar water.
12. Dean runs again, pukes again. I calculate that this is the 41st time he’s puked during the relay, which must be some kind of record. Put that on the spreadsheet.
13. I get moved over to Van 2. The soundtrack changes from Van Halen to The Cranberries. It occurs to me that Van 2 is more secure in their manhood.
14. Dave saves my ass by running an extra 2 miles. I try to run 4 miles while doing my best impression of a rag doll. I then have the best beer/burger combo of my life.
15. Santa Cruz! The Beach! The Finish Line! Surprisingly, the climax is like, Finish, yay! Take a picture. Get your medal. OK let’s go. Not what I’d expected, but I’m consoled by the fact that we are driving to a brew pub.