Ravens complete long run

Ravenscroft group raises money at 197-mile event

CorrespondentSeptember 4, 2009 

  • Team members: Seniors Nick Antonello, Chase Bernhardt, Nathan Brajer, Connor Crumpler, Tyson Presnell, Marshall Sandman, Eric Scheier, Ben Simmons, Stephen Stephano, and Watts Winston; junior Marshall Reid; and sophomore Josh Silver.

Running 197 miles in 24 hours is hard.

Doing it in shoes that don't fit is even harder.

But Ravenscroft School senior Marshall Sandman didn't have a choice after his shoes went missing just before his three legs of last weekend's Hood to Coast Run, which he completed with 11 classmates.

"I actually brought one pair of extra shoes," Sandman said. "They had never been run in.

"Plus, these shoes ended up being the wrong size, so they were too small -- my feet were completely torn up the entire time I had them on.

"By the end, the shoes were filled with blood -- you probably didn't need to know that," he added with a laugh.

But Sandman and his teammates worked through miles of mountain runs, late hours and little food to complete this year's Hood to Coast in Portland, Ore., becoming the youngest team to complete the race in more than two decades.

The Hood to Coast, which hosts 12,000 runners every year, is a 197-mile relay that takes its runners down Mount Hood, through Portland and over the Oregon Coast Range before ending on a beach.

Teams of 12 runners complete the race as a relay with each runner responsible for three legs, which can total anywhere from 13 to 20 miles. The race must be completed within 31 hours of a team's start time.

"Ravens in the Hood" completed the race in 24:52:24, the 29th best time in the men's open category.

All of the Ravens participate in fall sports -- though not all cross country: Some play soccer or football in the fall and complete other races. But this one was special, said senior Eric Scheier.

"All of us are involved in some sort of athletics, and I do triathlons outside of school and 5K runs, and all of them support some sort of cause, kind of, but this is much more about the cause itself," he said.

The cause is the American Cancer Society, and each team is required to raise money for the organization. The Ravens raised quite a lot.

More than $36,000 later, the team finished as the second-leading fundraiser in the race, and two of its seniors are the top two individuals.

"We have a lot of family, friends, people our parents know and everything, and a good majority of those people, fathers or mothers or friends have had cancer," said senior Watts Winston, whose $9,485 raised was the highest amount of any participant in the race. "Everybody, in some way, knows somebody who was affected by cancer."

The Ravens received a plaque for their fundraising efforts, which they presented to the school -- whose administrators rewarded them by allowing them to use the elevators all week at school to rest their legs.

"They really jumped into it head-first," said Bill Pruden, head of Ravenscroft's Upper School. "They've been really enthusiastic but also very responsible."

But even after all the fundraising and long distance training, the runners realized their tasks wouldn't really hit until they began the trek down the mountain or up the coast.

"That was the biggest moment of the race for me, during my second leg, the 24th leg," Sandman said. "I was running in a tunnel, and I came out of one end at about 3:30 in the morning, and I just saw the entire Portland skyline in front of me. And I was like, 'We're here. We really did this.' "

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