We got it done. All 82 miles…or 84 in our case!
I was runner one of the six of us and ran legs 1, 7 and 13. Here’s a breakdown of my legs:
Leg 1 (Distance 2.3 miles, Pace – 8:05): The race started on a HS track in Creve Coeur, MO. It was raining on us at our 7:45 am start time. However, I counted it a privilege to start the race. The first half of this leg was through grass. The ground was sloppy, wet and muddy. Shortly into the race a
deer ran in front of me about 20 yards or so and into the woods. Once I got to the actual trail it was paved and smooth. It was still raining a little when I got to the exchange point to hand off to Eric.
Leg 7 (Distance – 5.73 miles, Pace – 9:35): The weather was sunny and pleasant when I started this leg of the race. The first three miles was mostly up a fairly steep hill though the trail was decent. Mostly like a gravel road, still wet from the rains. A the top of the hill was a water station then right passed that was a turn that took me back down over a rocky path. This then turned into more even terrain and the trail was more like a dirt road. Gradually, the trail narrowed to a path big enough for no more than one person. It also got more muddy and slick. At this point there were a lot of hairpin turns and up and down hills making it very difficult to navigate. At one point, I slipped on a rock but caught myself with my hands leaving one a little scrapped up. After about a mile or more, I finally came out of it onto a gravel path and made it to the exchange point. This leg was 5.73 miles but my iPhone app tracked it at 6.18, so either my app was off or I took a wrong turn somewhere but managed to get back on course. I was frustrated with my time and I’m still not convinced I didn’t get off track at some point.
Leg 13 (Distance – 3.56 miles, Pace – 8:35): It was sunny and warm for this run. I had changed into my nicer running shoes. I had a nice wide path for this run, a straight shot of 3.5 miles. The trail ran through some cornfields but also through trees so there were several areas that were shaded. Pretty decent run for me.
This was a challenging but fun event. It was kind of crazy rushing to each exchange area to greet and send off our runners. I was thankful for the preparation, both the running prep of the team and for the actual event. Doug did a tremendous job lining everything up for us, water, gatorade, towels, etc.
It was a blast to run with some great runners. I felt like a kid on the JV team getting to play with the Varsity. I was definitely the weak link but we all had a great time throughout the day.
Events like this can be bittersweet, it is so much fun to do these and make the memories but you’re a little bummed when it’s all over. There’s so much anticipation built up as you look forward to it.
I’m also thankful we were all able to run it and not have to back out or get a sub. I noticed on the Relay facebook page that other teams were asking for people to join their team due to an injured teammate or two.
Our team finished in 10 hours, 47 minutes and 47 seconds. We actually ran about 84 miles because our last runner, Ed, missed his turn and went about a mile out of his way before turning around. Another runner did the same so it must not have been a well marked turn. So our pace and our placing was actually better than the results would indicate. It happens and it didn’t take anything away from the great experience we had.