Friday, October 31, 2014

Team Joha wins another Hood to Coast title

Fastest women’s team in 198-mile relay

Team Joha runners celebrate their arrival at Seaside, Ore. Aug. 23 after winning the Women’s Open division of the Hood to Coast Relay. Top row, from left, Julie Carney from Hailey, Angenie McCleary from Ketchum, Jessica Smith from San Francisco, Ca, Tiffany McCleary from Los Angeles, Ca., Linda Huyck from Olympia, Wash. and Katie Famous from San Francisco. Bottom row, from left, all from Seattle, Wash., are Susan Ashlock, Laura Mickelson, Erica McElrea, Kristi Houk, Lauren Matthews and Gwen Lapham.
Courtesy photo

     In an event called “The Mother of All Relays,” Team Joha has repeated as the fastest women’s team in Oregon.

     Team Joha, consisting of two runners from the Wood River Valley, won the women’s division of the 33rd annual Hood to Coast Relay Aug. 22-23. The 198-mile relay started from Mt. Hood’s 6,000-foot Timberline Lodge and ended on the beach at Seaside, Ore. Over 12,000 runners took part.

     Captained by Blaine County Commissioner Angenie McCleary of Ketchum and in its 11th year competing in the world’s largest relay race, Team Joha won the Open Women’s Division and finished 22nd overall of 1,049 teams at 21 hours, 49 minutes, 52 seconds—a pace of 6:35 per mile.

     Hailey’s Julie Carney was on the team for a sixth straight year.

     Members of the triumphant Team Joha squad wore t-shirts bearing a photo of Johanna Olson—a smiling photo because Johanna loved to run. Olson, who lost her valiant 15-year battle with brain cancer Jan. 3, 2013 at age 33.

     Said McCleary, “It was exciting to win again as Team Joha.  Not only did we win the Open Women’s Division, we were the fastest all women's team in any division. Johanna’s strength, spirit and loving memory were with all of us.

     “Johanna was one of the original teammates and was on the team almost every year. In 2011 she ran HTC just a few weeks before her third brain surgery.”

     Team Joha, formerly called Girls Just Want to Have Fun, won its Women’s Open class by 57 minutes.

     Teams were comprised of 12 runners who each run three legs of about six miles each for a grand total of 36 legs. This year’s winning men’s overall time was 17.32:17.

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