We met up in Portland at 5:45, picked up another group of women at a Super 8 in Gresham and - after a little stress over some late-arriving vegetables - headed up the mountain.
There are six women in our van. Two are from Oregon: Amy Hiebert's 35 and from Corvallis, Holly Morrison's 35 and from Portland. The other four are from Olympia, members of the Guerilla Running club: Erica Kinsel (34), Amy Murry (36), Sarah Yardley (30) and Liz Watrich (43).
Meet Slippah Stream.
The drive up was mostly lots of giggling, lots of carbs and a short delay while everybody dressed up in 60's style nightcoats.
At 7:31 a.m., we passed our first runner. From that point on, there was also lots of honking.
"I do like honking the horn," Morrison said. "Everybody's so happy on the first leg."
That they are. Pretty much everybody near the start was still in a fist-pumping, giddy mood. Most of the vans are painted up awesomely - the highly optimistic van full of guys next to ours painted on their phone number.
Morrison took off on the first leg at 8:30.
"It's funny," she said. "You always get a little nervous beforehand, but then you remember it's just running."
I'll check back in later. Nobody in our van is planning to win this thing, but
"We're gonna win at having fun," Hiebert said.