Tuesday, November 3, 2009

200+ miles 24+ hours

im sure many of you have heard of a "relay race" before... you have a few people on your team, carry some sort of baton, one person runs a little ways and then passes the baton to the next team member who then runs their own distance....

try doing it for 24+ hours. straight. in the cold. in the rain. in the DARK. with little to no sleep. love it.

i was kinda randomly signed up for the Reach the Beach Relay (http://www.rtbrelay.com/) by my boyfriends cousin sometime over the summer because a friend of his was doing it and two of their team members had dropped out. i had thought it would be a good idea at the time... as september rolled around, i got more concerned about what i had actually gotten myself into. i had no idea what a unique/tiring/HARDCORE experience i was about to become a part of.

from the RTB website: "The Reach The Beach Relay is the longest distance running relay race in the US. (It) takes place in picturesque New Hampshire during the start of the New England foliage season. The relay will consist of (a maximum of ) 12 person teams (*fun fact: we got word of a TWO PERSON TEAM. thats over 100 miles a person for those of you counting at home) that will rotate through 36 transition areas as they cover the approximate 200 mile distance (*actually 207 miles to be exact) of the race. This means that each relay team member will run 3 legs of varying lengths and difficulty and will cover an average total distance of ~16.6 miles (*unless youre crazy and run 100 miles)."

hardcore much? i think so. here is a recap....

the start: cannon mountain, franconia new hampshire
jason and me at the start (he was 2nd, i was 3rd)... 50 degrees and raining chillin by the vans before our team started, getting some food and trying to stay warm. peanut butter was about to become our best friend.

getting our team pics before the start.... team wicked!!

van #2, packed to the brim (we apparently waited so long before getting a big white rental van like everyone else had, we had to use this little thing and jasons excursion). planning fail.
our first runner had no issues and ran his leg fairly quickly. it was chilly and quite windy, and the clouds were looming overhead. right after jason started his 9 or so miles, it started pouring. im talking so much rain. i hadnt prepared well and only brought shorts and tshirts. planning fail #2. so i was pleasantly relieved when the sun came out just as jason (soaking wet) met me at the transition area to hand off our slap bracelet. win!
my 3 or so miles was hot and sunny. and van #2 came out to see me on my first stretch! thanks team!
leigh coming in to hand off to kelly. she had a gorgeous run through those mountain passes.
the hand-off

jason and me in front of mount willey

leigh, me and kelly waiting for brian to pass

and this is why we got no sleep... it was like a 12 year old sleepover party! not to mention the parking lot we were in a)smelled like a BBQ (cuz people were bbq-ing, duh) and those who werent trying to sleep were out playing football and other such games in the parking lot. no sleep.
after 6pm runners needed a reflective vest, blinking lights on the front and back, and a head lamp. we were stylish i tell ya. however freaky, still the best part of the run by far. i had to do 8miles through these wooded back roads, and my knee was absolutely killing me. i thought it was going to take forever for this stretch to end, and not being able to see 15 feet in front of me didnt help. at one point i saw a flashing light up ahead and knew there was a hill coming, and as i got closer and closer i could see this runner was struggling with the hill. i yelled up ahead to just let them know i was coming up behind them, and just tried to motivate them to push up the hill. i met up with her at the top of the hill and we ended up running together for the next 5 miles. we couldnt have headphones on during the race or we would get docked minutes, but you could carry iphones and play the music. she was playing black eyed peas... so we bonded instantly :)

dont get me wrong, new england is SO AWESOME during the fall. absolutely beautiful. but it gets cold. and it gets cold fast. it dropped down to about 45 degrees overnight, so that was fun. here we are waiting for kelly to come in from her leg.

after our van finished (about 3:15am), we were able to catch about 2 hours of sleep on a community college cafeteria floor before heading to breakfast at the transition area. not the most comfortable place to sleep, but we needed it. i literally had to be dragged out of my warm sleeping bag... i secretly wished i didnt have to run again haha.
(side note: pancakes, eggs, bacon, coffee... not the greatest pre 8 mile run food. just sayin...)
van 2 coming in, hand off to matt... final stretch for van 1!team wicked le femme...jason and me before starting our last stretch
and after 8 more miles (in sheer pain) i... am... DONE! hardcore.i wish i could post all the pics i had of the creative vans but this one sums it up pretty well... words to live by really
and finally, WE REACHED THE BEACH! 28 hours 35 minutes 04 seconds

jason and me at the end. still cant believe we did it!

team wicked. hardcore. 184th out of 400 teams!

....and we're ready to do it all again next year. september 17th-18th, 2010! bring it.

1 comment:

  1. That is legit! I'm still on the fence about whether this would be fun or not.