The relay started Friday morning at 4 am and we had until 7 PM on Saturday to finish 223 miles. We had a team of 11. One of runners was running as two meaning, he ran two legs every time he ran instead of 1. He ran a total of 36 miles. The others ran between 18-26. My van of 6 was all female… and we didn’t kill each other before the end of the race.
We had a moment when we started figuring out we weren’t going to make the cut off or it was going to be really close. The other van wanted to start running their legs while we were running ours, meaning we would have two runners running instead of one. We decided in the van that we were going to run it the way it was intended. If we didn’t make the cut off and didn’t get a medal we at least finished without cheating. Our van had the final three legs which totaled 12.5 miles. Runner 1 was running 4 miles, I was running 3, and last runner was running 5. When the other van finished running we had right under 2 hours to finish. I’ve already shared that my happy pace is 10:30 min/ miles. Runner #1 runs 9 min miles and #3 run/walks for a 10:30. We wanted to give her a full hour to get her 5 miles in. Runner 1 runs her 4 miles at an 8 minute pace, I run my 5k at an 8 min pace and we gave her EXACTLY an hour to finish. We meet her on the bridge before we have to go to the finish line she has 20 minutes to finish 1.5 miles. Everything looks good. We are waiting for her at the finish line and our phone rings… it’s her. She’s lost. One of the girls takes off running to find her while another tries to talk her over to the finish. The runner finds her and runs her in. we finished at 6:58. 2 minutes to spare. OMG…. all the stress.
The thing about this relay is that it’s not the running so much as it is the sleep deprivation, the challenging terrain, the whacked out nutrition, the being with 5 other women in a van for 3 days and no porta potties. So a day off today and then back to Ironman training. I can honestly say I’m the strongest runner I’ve ever been and I can attribute that to triathlons. I’m gonna be fierce when I’m done.