At Google we like things fast and fun. That's why we launch enhancements to search like Google Instant and Caffeine, and why 11 speedy Googlers set out from the top of Mount Hood, 6,000 feet above sea level, to run Hood to Coast, nicknamed the "Mother of All Relays."

As our first runner zipped down the mountain with the sun setting over the hills and our cheers spurring him on, it was hard to believe we had 197 miles to cover—not to mention dozens of pop tarts and energy drinks to consume—before reaching the sandy finish line the next afternoon in Seaside, Oregon.

Most members of team Google One, comprised of members of AdSense, AdWords, business analytics, business operations, consumer operations, engineering and legal groups, had run Hood to Coast or similar distance relays before, such as The Relay and Ragnar Relay New York. Most of us knew the drill. Each runner runs three separate legs, one leg typically at some ungodly hour of the morning with a headlamp. When not running, you either wildly cheer on your teammates or try to catch an hour of sleep in one of the two vans—if you're lucky.

As usual, we used a number of Google products during our journey. We posted "essential" status updates (e.g., “Stopped in Portland for pizza around 1 AM”) on a Blogger blog, so co-workers and friends could keep track of our progress. Followers were also able to check the Google Latitude gadget, embedded on our blog, to keep tabs on our current location and to ensure we didn't pull a Rosie Ruiz. We even inputted each of our typical 10K road race times into a Google spreadsheet and used a formula which factored in leg difficulty and distance to help us determine our projected exchange points.

There was one unexpected hurdle—due to unforeseen circumstances, we were short a runner and a few Googlers had to run four legs over the course of the night instead of three, covering nearly a marathon total each.

In the end, this didn't seem to hurt us. In fact, when our last runner crossed the finish line, we had averaged a little over six minute miles, capturing first place corporate team for the first time and seventh overall (PDF). We beat our projected arrival time by 15 minutes, allowing us to join the bustling beach party a little earlier than expected. More importantly, Hood to Coast exceeded its projected fundraising goal, raising over $500,000 for the American Cancer Society.