It’s Monday morning, and I am far from Oregon and Hood to Coast, but they are in my heart, along with an overflowing serving of gratitude.
First, to Nuun:
Thank you. Thank you for the most amazing four days of fun. Thank you for showing me and the other Hood to Coast team members the time of our lives. Thank you for getting it–for understanding that endurance athletes want a great experience, and delivering it. First, in making a product that makes achieving our goals easier and more enjoyable by giving us a tasty way to hydrate. And more importantly, for getting that the greatest gift you could give the biggest fans of your product is an unforgettable, amazing experience with other people who feel likewise. We don’t need to see your product in a magazine or billboard.. But we love tasting it at the end of a race, and drinking it with another sweaty athlete, and sharing the Nuun love with others who haven’t experienced it yet.
Thank you for hiring great people who love what they do–people who don’t blink an eye at giving up time and effort to make sure a bunch of us can participate in an epic race like Hood to Coast, people who are willing to give up dinner to make sure that your rungry guests can pig out, people who are thoughtful and kind. Thank you for building relationships with businesses like Oiselle, Amphipod, Endorphin Warrior, Swiftwick, Tiger Tail and Naawk, and then letting us reap the benefit by filling our suitcases with swag.
Mason, thank you for your generosity and hospitality. You made us feel like we belonged there with Nuun, and that is an incredible thing to do for 30+ far-flung strangers.
Megan, thank you for the countless hours you put into communicating with us, organizing complicated itineraries, and making sure we were so well taken care of. I’m sure I don’t know the half of what you did, but I do know that you did it all well, and with a smile on your face. I can’t thank you enough.
Jay, Vishal, Jeantel, and Jeff, who all drove vans, thank you for foregoing sleep to make sure your vans only had to worry about running, not fighting traffic.
Casey, (who drove my van) thank you for being a rock for Team Watermelon Van 2. Your experience and confident know-how helped us make each exchange with ease and kept us free from drama and too many curb roadkills.
Zoe, thank you for always smiling big and encouraging us big, too. You rock.
Laura, you repeatedly gave up your own comfort for all of us on W2. You ran long and hard, and still played the role of host with a smile. You are a helper and I am grateful for you.
Lauren, you were a fearless leader and laugh-generator for Team Lemonade. Thank you.
Team Watermelon, you dominated Hood to Coast. Thanks for letting me in on the fun.
Megan, Thank you for always being positive and upbeat, and for being a total track nerd. You are a mermaid.
Meghan, Thank you for showing me what running as a teenager does for a young woman. You inspire me to make sure my daughters run.
Lisa, There are no words. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for caring.
Devon, Thank you for being a model of drive and responsibility. You are steady and strong and I appreciate you!
Mallory, you are a fierce warrior. Thank you for being your own person.
Kara, your zest for life is contagious. Thanks for bringing the fun.
Hannah, thank you for your positivity and your obvious run love.
Sarah, thank you for choosing to do hard things. You are a powerhouse, and just incredible.
Catey, thank you for showing us how a hardcore mother runner gets it done–with a smile every time.
Team Lemonade, thanks for being the faithful compadres of Team Watermelon. Every time we got to see you, it made the race that much more special.
Leslie, thank you for making us all laugh and for keeping things real as well. Also, for your encouragement you’ve always given on blog posts and Twitter.
Lisa, thank you are for being so warm and kind. I enjoyed every encounter, and wished for more.
Jolene, you are an amazing woman. Steely. Yet your openness and warmth and willingness to help care for everyone around you were a gift to us all.
Andrea, thank you for always having a smile on your face and a funny remark.
Kristen, thank you for being a bright, sunny encouragement both online and IRL.
Kimberly, thank you for speaking my language–your self-deprecating sarcasm gets an A+ in my book.
Karen, thank you for being calm and steady and determined.
Jesica, thank you for inspiring me and so many others to overcome challenges and run longer and stronger. So glad we can have mini-reNuunions in ATL.
Holly B., thank you for being a sweet, kind spirit.
Holly R, thank you for being such a great ambassador for the sport of running, and for allowing me to bask in the glory of #TeamHollyRoberts.
Team Cherry Limeade, you ladies ran fast and worked so very hard and I know you inspired people on the teams and out on the course. Dorothy, Robyn, Katie, Jenny, Julia, Sara, Paige, Emily, Tanaya, Alison, Tere, Jen, thanks for using your athletic prowess to spread the Nuun love.
There is so much more to share and say, but I wanted to start with the most important part. THANK YOU NUUN, for an incredible weekend. Thank you all.