Ahhh, the “race” (fun run!) is now over. It was a whirlwind, thats for sure! Not only did I gain some fitness, I made some pretty awesome friends during it too. I guess thats what happens when you cram people (strangers even) in close quarters for 24 hours. And then tell them to run, smell, and sleep!
Where to begin? I am going to break down the race into two posts–this is the general one with team pictures and fun. The second one will have details on each of my runs, and Garmin stats!
So, I showed you what I packed in the last post. In addition, I brought my pillow. So I had 3 bags–1 clothes, 1 food, and 1 backpack with pillow. For the most part, we all had around 3 bags. So 18 in total. This was our plan, and it worked out well:
Runners 1, 2, 3 (Laura, Tom, and Jeff) would drive the Prius while running their legs. This is because only 2 people would be in the car at 1 time (the other person would be running). Runners 4, 5, and 6 (Me, Meg, Nutester) would be in the van while they were running, skipping ahead to cheer/sleep/eat. We transferred vehicles, and our belongins, at the transition areas between runners 3 and 4’s legs! It ended up working beautifully. Whoever wasnt running could have the spacious van to relax, and we always had our stuff with us. And those with the Prius could do sneak attacks on the runners, because it is SILENT while it runs!!
Alright so here we are before the race…I am taking the picture. So picture me over there next to Jeremy (hence the arm. Apparently he thinks I am 3 feet wide!!!)
From left to right, Invisible me, Nutely Gutely (Jeremy), Meg, Tom (McDon), Jeff, and Laura.
Check out our sweet shirts!! The backs had our names and numbers!
We met at Wachusett Mountain, went through Safety Check, Orientation, Team Picture, and Hang Out Time. I also ran into SpeedySasquatch (Josh), with whom I ran Ragnar two years ago!! We began at 12:20pm…Laura had leg one and she got to run up Mt. Wachusett! Here is a picture of her at the start, and then the runners coming at us 30 seconds into the race.
And did my share of decorating the car (van):
Laura finished, then it was on to cheer for Tom as he did his 2 legs. And the train that went across the road, making him wait. Epic start to our relay! Got to Rutland Center, to see the end of Toms run/beginning of Jeffs, and start in with a cup of coffee for me before my run!
I had leg 4, so after a vehicle switch at the Transition Area, I was waiting and ready to go. This leg was going to go right on my regular running route, and PW was going to be there to cheer for me so I was pretty psyched! Got to the end, saw PW and Justin (Megs boyfriend), and then hopped right into the Prius to make it to the next transition area! Jeremy finished up his leg (he was runner 6!), and then it was time to start another rotation.
The next rotation would bring us through Algonquin High School, and was the one that would include our night runs. It started getting dark right as Laura started her night legs. And there was a dance going on at the high school while we waited, which was hilarious. We also got a homemade Blueberry Scone delivery at this stop, which would end up being key later on in the race!
So, night runs commenced. I was nervous before mine. I was starting at around 1am. 6.7 miles. Eep! Here I am before it. I have the required vest, blinking light on my front and back, and headlamp. I added the glowfingers (LASER FINGERS!) for some pizzazz!
It was scary as all get out! I will go into details (you need to see my HR for the full effect!) in the other post. But I got it done, overcoming my huge fear of the dark! Then it was Megs turn to run at night. She also pushed through her fear. Here she is afterwards, so happy to be done!
It was really foggy during these night runs, which added to the sketch factor (which topped out at 100 I think). Poor Jeremy got lost on his run and did an extra 1.5 miles! He was a good sport about it though. I mean, whats an extra 1.5 when you are running 38 already?!
Also got a little loopy while everyone else was running. Started blowing bubbles to kill time. And to get a sugar rush. Cherry Bubblicious FTW!
At this point it was 4 am, and I was in a bad spot. I had a headache that just wouldnt quit and my stomach was up in arms. I had no choice–I went for it. I grabbed my pilllow, Megs blanket, and crashed in the back of the van. My awesome van mates drove to the next meet up spot, and then they crashed too. I got about 2.5 hours of sleep. Set my alarm for 6:30, because my next run was schedules to start at 7am!!
Woke up to Easton, right by my friend Elaines house. Ate half a PB and J, got my gels (I was doing 11 miles this leg!), and put on my reflective vest. It was so foggy they were making us wear them as a precaution. This was my longest leg, and my legs were already feeling the first 15 miles! It ended up being an awesome run though. I love running first thing in the morning, no one awake, birds tweeting, on the scenic South Shore roads. Very Snow White-esque I know.
Put on the ol’ socks immediately after this run–I needed as much help as I could get!
At this point (it was around 9:30am now) I needed serious FOOD! Luckily, our next transition area was right across from a Dunkin Donuts. So I got myself a delicious flatbread. At this point, this tasted like the most delicious thing I had ever eaten!
I dont remember much in between my 3rd and 4th runs. I didnt sleep. But I was delirious. Sending crazy tweets!! We drove, cheered, ate, changed, and waited to finish our last legs. I could not wait to get it over with! It was finally my turn. It was sunny, and it was flat. And it was FUN! Since I knew it was my last leg, I was running all out (as much as I could at this point). The other teams were cheering for me, which was fun. And I made a friend with 3 miles left. He was on his last leg too and asked if he could just stick with me til the end. No problem bud–just talk to me and distract me and Ill keep the pace for us! So thanks to the guy who works at ESPN in PA…you took my mind off the fact I was on miles 30, 31, and 32 of the day! Sprinted it to the finish and immediately went for this…while contemplating what I would eat first!!!
Everything was dandy at this point. I was loving life–I was DONE! The scenery was great:
And Meg was gutting out our second to last leg:
I was wearing my compression socks again and looked like I was about to play Baseball:
Once she finished and Jeremy was on his way we sped over the beach and got ready to run across the finish line with him. THAT was hilarious. We hobbled, very slowly, as a group. And then we were done! Anti-climatic ending. Got our medals. Had a random guy take our picture as a team, in our matching shirts, at the finish line:
And headed for the postrace dinner! Which was…all seafood. And Dark meat chicken. Weird, and….honestly? Gross. I wanted pizza and cookies. Normal fare.
I had about a bite of each. But it was cool–we went to Chipotle once I got home and I demolished it in 2.5 minutes!
Came home, took a painful shower (no one ever talks about the Chub Rub that occurs from 32 miles!), and hit the hay. Thought I would be starving today but not so much. I had donuts for breakfast anyways:
A HUGE bowl of fruit for lunch. I figured I needed the antioxidants!
And then I made myself a steak for dinner. With my first pan deglazing to make a sauce!!! It was delicious:
Back to real life now–need to lesson plan for tomorrow! Will type up mileage/stats/more in depth of my specific runs tomorrow!!
Total Food Consumed:
-1.5 Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
-4 handfuls pretzels
-1/4 huge bag of sour skittles
-1 six inch turkey sub from subway
-Dunkin Donuts bagel
-Turkey/Bacon/Cheese flatbread from DD (so delicious and perfect before 4th run!)
-2 blueberry scones
-3 Power Gels (2 Strawberry Banana, 1 Double Latte)
-1 individual size bag of kettle chips
-a thousand gallons of water and sports drink!
Pros of Reach the Beach:
1. For the most part, well marked.
2. Super friendly volunteers–they were great! The highlight of the race.
3. I felt safe the whole time.
4. Well-organized–this was the 13 relay theyve put on!
5. Pretty sweet fluorescent pink shirt
5. Um it was fun, and my team was awesome, but that would have happened no matter what relay it actually was. RTB or otherwise!
Cons of Reach the Beach:
1. No real bathrooms as promised, all portapotties (gross)
2. Lame post-race meal
3. Weird rules that came about midrace (a lady who worked for RTB just start maniacally yelling at transition area that vans were not allowed to stop along any roads. what the heck? so youre only supposed to stop at SOME transition areas? crazy), and fixating on other ones (we must have heard “dont pee anywhere but in a potopotty–no joke–20 times. got it!)
4. The woman doing the PreRace talk kept putting down/insulting Ragnar. She kept calling it “an unnamed race” when she would talk about it, but it was pretty clear who it was. And that bummed me out, because I really liked Ragnar. It was tough, and laid back, and a fight for it kind of race!