|Back row: Sharon, Lesley, Elaine, Fiona, Corina, me, Alicia, Dana |
Bottom row:Amanda, and Elizabeth
picture borrowed from Corina (aka Mama C and CameraQueen)
Saturday began with a 4:30am wake up call so we could be downstairs at the vans by 5:00 and on the road by 5:15. The starting line was a 30 minute drive away and our team had a 6:10am start. The start was in the middle of the country on somebody's private property (read: dark, very dark). We had time for some group pictures before they shot the cannon and our team ran the prologue together.
|The prologue was shortened to .38 miles due to recent rain|
We started to pass another team that started a minute or two before us, but who was walking the prologue. Somebody (maybe race-affiliated) asked if we had sent our runner ahead and at that point I was told to go! I was assigned leg #1. We were supposed to wear our team shirts for pictures before and after the race and I really didn't want to sweat in it on my first leg and have to put it on again the next day, so I pulled the shirt over my head and handed it to a teammate before taking off.
|The scanned map/directions for Leg #1|
I was wearing a headlamp and had reviewed the directions for my leg, but unlike other race starts where you just have to follow the people ahead of you, I was on my own to go the right way. I had to run over a cattle guard to get off this private property, then I made a left turn onto a rock road. I stayed in the middle of the road when I could because the rocks were packed more tightly, but had to run on the shoulder when vans would pass. The rocks on the shoulder were really loose and I prayed I wouldn't twist my ankle in the first leg. At one point I heard dogs barking ahead. I didn't have any mace or anything with me, so I prayed they were behind a fence. They were. There were 2 girl teams who ran in pairs for the entire race. As I chicked them, they asked, "How are you doing this alone?" Nobody offered to hold my hand, they said, "RUN"! Toward the end of the leg I came to a low section of road with standing water that I'd been warned about ahead of time. I took 2 pairs of running shoes and wore my old pair for this leg, but decided to take them off and cross the ankle deep water in just my socks. When I got to the other side, I laced my shoes back up and kept on running. Leg 1, 3.62 miles DONE! I handed off to Dana and hopped in the van for my first of several baby wipe baths.
|Just after finishing Leg #1 (between the hardcore sports bra and headlamp, it doesn't get much sexier)|
Pic courtesy of Corina/Mama C/Camera Queen
Dana ran 3.85 miles for Leg #2.
Corina ran 4.08 miles for Leg #3 (pretty but ooh the big rolling hills)
Fiona ran 4.62 miles for Leg #4
Lesley ran 5.44 miles for Leg #5
|Then it was time for me to run my 2nd leg of the day, Leg #6|
There was a pretty good climb on the early part of this leg but I ended up taking the first mile at 5k pace. I started this leg around 10am, so the sun was up and it was starting to get hot. There was very little shade. About 2 miles of this leg were on a sand road. I really didn't like that, so I guess I'm not ever going to be a beach runner. Running uphill in the sand was difficult because I couldn't get any real traction to push off with. I ran out of water with about a mile to go, so after that we made sure to leapfrog our runners at every mile or half mile to be sure they had water. When I saw the exchange point tent I was so happy! All of my teammates from both vans were out and cheering for me.
Pic courtesy of Corina/Mama C/CameraQueen
|Happy to see my teammates!|
|Thank you, God, this leg is over!|
I handed off to Sharon from the other van and took my second baby wipe bath of the day. Leg #6 (my second of the day) done at 4.94 miles!
We headed into Flatonia for lunch and a brief break from the action. Lunch was amazing, the best meal of the weekend. Everytime we ate real food (instead of junk from the van) it was the best food ever. I then took a nap on the sidewalk while we waited for Alicia to arrive at the exchange point. Then we took turns leapfrogging the other van's runners at every half mile along the course. We'd take turns getting out of the van, crossing the 2 lane highway, and giving the runner cold water, wet towels, E caps, and boob ice. Boob ice saves lives. That afternoon we saw several ambulance respond to runners along the course. I bet they weren't using boob ice.
Our van took over around 5:15pm.
Lesley ran Leg #14 at 4.69 miles.
I ran Leg #15 at 4.13 miles.
Dana ran Leg #16 at 5.93 miles.
Fiona ran Leg #17 at 4.55 miles.
Corina ran Leg #18 at 6.32 miles.
Lesley ran Leg #19 at 5.5 miles.
By the time Lesley finished her last leg, it was about 10:40. Van 1 took over for the late night legs and we headed into town for a quick double cheeseburger at McDonalds, a shower, and a little less than 3 hours of sleep in a comfy bed. My alarm went off at 2:40am and we were downstairs by 3am to leave at 3:15.
Part 3 to follow tomorrow.
*Big thanks to Corina for sharing her pictures. Check out her blog HERE