Thursday morning started with a run along the Seattle waterfront for most of my teammates. I opted to sleep in and rest my legs a little. My shins get super feisty when I cram too many miles into too few days and with 19ish miles on deck between Friday & Saturday, taking Thursday off seemed like a logical decision. Skipping the run also meant I had a little extra time to get ready and enjoy my final shower before living in a van for 36 hours.
The girls returned from their run around 9:30 and somehow the four of us were out the door by 10:20. A miracle I tell you. Vishal and Zoë from Nuun Hydration picked us up and whisked us away to Brooks Running’s new headquarters.
Photo Credit: George
Brooks’ new space is absolutely massive, spanning five floors in an energy-efficient building with open floor plans, a cafeteria [it was Mac & Cheese day and unfortunately we already had lunch plans] and a huge rooftop area with gorgeous views of the Seattle skyline. We were lucky enough to sit down with one of their Product Line Managers, Carson Caprara, who discussed the life cycle of shoes. It was interesting to hear about the research that goes into developing the next iteration of a specific model – it’s a lot more extensive than you may think. Carson also touched on the process of nailing down design details, reviewing 3D prototypes of the shoe [welcome to the future] and what the steps are once it gets closer to production. The amount of work that goes into one model of shoes is mind-blowing.
After our tour of HQ, the vans took us back downtown to Pyramid Brewing across from our hotel for lunch. Pitchers of Hefeweizen and Thunderhead IPA were passed around the table and the only time anyone stopped talking was when our food hit the table. I ended up sitting next to Eric and we chatted about our New Jersey and Philly Marathon experiences, among other things. His running story and how it changed him is pretty awesome. I also had the opportunity to talk a bit with George, starting with me thanking him for the shot of Fireball that closed out the previous night. Since there were so many of us, it was really hard to get to know every.single.person especially if you weren’t roommates or in their van. I wish I could have had just one more day to spend a little more time with the people I missed!
Everyone split off into groups after lunch and our group [Susie, Lauren, Doug] hit up Target for a few necessities, did a little browsing in an antique store, and ended up back at Pike Place Market to give Storyville a shot.
The final item on the agenda for Thursday was a visit to Nuun HQ for dinner catered by Chipotle, liquid carbs [beer] and van decorating. This was one of my favorite parts of the weekend because it was one of the only times every member of each van was together. I finally got to meet Joe of Recycling Runner, who knows my IRL friend Ashley. She wrote a great piece on him and his mission a couple years ago. The running world sure is a small one!
After dinner we moved out back to decorate the vans and show off our sweet drawing skills. Or lack thereof. One of those.
photo credit: Rachel
photo credit: Lauren
Of course, the night didn’t end there. Once we were back at the Silver Cloud, a fairly large group of us wound up back at Jimmy’s on 1st despite having ridiculously early departure times in the morning. Ahem, 4:30am for Wild Berry – Van 1. We ALMOST made it out of there shot-free until we were 5 steps from the door and Sean called us back to the bar for a round of Fireball.
Next up is the main event (!!) so now would be an excellent time to introduce you to the two teams that represented Nuun Hydration at the 2014 Hood to Coast Relay:
Team Wild Berry
Team Lemon Lime