We had about eleven weeks to train, which sounded like a really long time--but it went ridiculously fast. Before we knew it, the morning of the race had arrived.
Team "16 to 60": Kayla, me, Janelle, Steve, and Kent.(So named because Kayla is 16, Kent is 60, and the rest of us fall somewhere in between there.)
The race started at Gunlock Reservoir. At 8:00 a.m. Oh, and it was 31* outside. I was really happy that I didn't have to run the first leg, because I was quite nervous.
Kayla is way taller than I am, in case you couldn't tell.
I was a little pumped that our race bibs identified us as team number 1. Our new motto became "One until the gun" because we knew there was no way we would be at the front of the pack.
He's faster than the lady on the care bear team...
Kent ran legs one and six. While he ran, we would drive a mile or two ahead, park, then cheer for all the runners (well, at least all the runners we weren't making fun of) while they went by.
Look at my baby sister go!
I'm not going to lie, I was also glad I didn't have to run the second leg--mainly because it had a gigantic hill you had to run up. And I was feeling a little sick to my stomach from nerves. As the time for me to run approached, I downed a 5-hour energy, made a quick trip to the port-a-potty, then got ready for the high-five exchange.
It's my turn!
5-hour energy drinks are amazing. I hit the ground running and didn't even have to work to find my stride. I didn't even get tired until mile 5.
About mile 5 of my first leg--the start of the gradual uphill.
There was a girl in front of me the entire leg who was driving me crazy because she was doing the run/walk method and was still in front of me, though I was only running. Each time I would gain a little ground on her, she would look back, see me, and start running again. I was super annoyed--but at least she motivated me to keep going.
Here she is, the bane of my existence during my first leg. You can see me back by the orange sign.
The good news, though, is that I passed her during the last quarter mile. Take that, tie-shirt girl.
Steve was the next runner after me. Ryan dropped the boys off with my mom and dad (thanks guys!!) and met up with us so he could spend a little time with his family and cheer for all of us. I was still a little (a lot?) wired from the 5-hour and was kind of having a hard time sitting still in the car. For whatever reason, Ryan laughs every time he talks about it.
We spend the next few hours switching off runners (Janelle, then Kent, then Kayla) and driving around. Finally, it was time for my second leg. The first mile was basically h. (You can imagine the rest of the word.) I was super sore and was having a hard time finding my stride. Then I got to the "Washington Dam Hill" (that's really what it is called) and just had to laugh. I'm not sure how long the hill was, but it was at least 1 1/2 miles at a 3% grade. Luckily, I finally found my stride about halfway up it and survived the run. Oh, and this cute one showed up to give me a high five:
I would have started crying because it was so cute if I hadn't been so tired.
The last mile of my run was a trail run. And at the very end I had quite a steep hill--so steep that I couldn't lift my legs high enough to run up the last little bit. When I got to the exchange, I was a little shocked that I had made it through leg one (5.77 miles) and leg two (4.7 miles) without having to stop. Or just collapsing.
Kayla and I took a celebratory picture:
Dirt bike riders in the background... I didn't even know this place existed
Then Reed stole my iPod (thanks for filling it with great music, Ryan) and told me, "Good job mommy!" without anyone prompting him to.
When I could bend my legs again, we got in the car to follow Steve, who had to run up this monstrosity:
The picture doesn't do it justice. It was a 6% grade and it made me nervous to drive up it. Oh, and he still had 4 miles left to run after. Thanks for taking one for the team, Steve. We were all amazed and super impressed with him for finishing this leg. I'm not sure I would have.
Janelle about to pass the team in front of us.
After Steve's leg, Janelle started the final and longest leg--just shy of seven miles. While we waited, we watched a few crazies finish:
And then it was our turn:
Running to the finish line together was kind of funny, because we were all so tired and sore that we moved really slowly. But we made it! 52 miles in 9 hours and 6 minutes.
We even got medals.
And a few more pictures, just for good measure:
I thought Janelle would enjoy this--Steve, super tired in the back of the truck.
The hiker I "passed." (It felt good, even though he wasn't part of the race)
We were at the back of the pack, so the ambulance stayed pretty close to us. It was kind of funny.
The scenery was beautiful. (And you can see me through the spokes, which is kind of cool)
Running this relay was a great experience. I had a lot of fun spending time with my team and we all did a great job (at least I think so). I'm glad we did it--though I'm not sure we'll do it again :)