Sierra Durfee

If you’ve ever participated in a team relay, you know what a labor of love it can be. There are 12 runners to a team, 6 in each van and you are coordinating from van to van to pass the “baton” off to the next runner at each exchange point. Each van has to account for food, water, flashlights, sleeping arrangements and most importantly, support for your runners. Each team is running continuously for nearly 2 days straight. It can be a stressor for even the most Type-A of Project Managers to organize, and I am no exception.

IMG_2101I may not be selling you on the experience, but if you’ve completed a relay, you get it. The feeling of self-achievement and team bonding that you get out of the race, far outweighs the sleep deprivation and hangriness that is undoubtedly going to occur.

So, why not? My friends and I decided that we were going to embark on this journey together for this year’s EPIC Relay race.

That is until nearly 3 weeks from race day. I was contacted by EPIC saying that they had canceled all of their races. Needless to say, my team, was not happy. Not only were we unable to participate, we were now out $1200 without any promise of a refund.

Luckily, we weren’t the only team that was feeling salty about this. We found out pretty quickly that the power of media is strong, and with the help of KGW and social media, our story became local news. It was pretty incredible to see how many people came to our defense. In an effort to avoid the PR nightmare, the relay company refunded everyone’s money.

But that’s not even the best part! A representative from Hood to Coast (the most coveted relay in the world) contacted me and offered my entire team a spot (for free) in this year’s relay! They saw our news segment on KGW and wanted to make sure my team was able to participate in a relay this year. Without any hesitation my team jumped at the chance, and thus, team 12 angry women was born.

The relay was this past weekend and it was amazing. I’m still walking a little funny, but the experience was worth the pain. My van had such a great time, we’re ready to sign up for next year’s relay.

It wouldn’t have been possible to get into Hood to Coast without the help of Katherine Cook and the KGW news team. It just goes to show you that if you stand up for what is right, you CAN actually make a difference. It might not always seem that way, but there is strength in numbers.