We had ELEVEN individuals who wanted to be on the team! 11! That’s how much fun this relay is. I put out an email asking for 5 people to send me money to cover the entrance fee.... I received 6 payments. Derp. Suddenly we had more members than allowed.
I tried to be brave and rationalize that it would be fine if I wasn’t on the team. “You’ll be in the middle of moving.” “You’ve got a 3 day race coming up in October so it’ll be good to save the cash.”
My mind wasn’t listening to the BS. Sometime in May or June GonzoRunner said the Wife wasn’t going to be able to run due to the fact that she was growing a tiny human. I took her spot so fast . It was like a smash and grab job.
I volunteered to pick up Gonzo from the Newark Airport on the Friday before the race. KRG was having a serious case of FOMO and messaged me and asked if there’d be room for her. “Absopositively!!”
So our team was:
Leg 1,7,13 - Mrs. Bear in the Big Brown House— ie. Paige - a last minute fill in for Amber. Paige is F-A-S-T!
Leg 2,8,14 - was the new guy Mikey — as in “ask Mikey! He’ll like running up Killington!” - GonzoRunner
Leg 3,9,15 - ApplePie
Leg 4,10,16 - Bear in the Big Brown House - ie. Pat
Leg 5,11,17 - SlowRunning
Leg 6,12,18 - ME!!
#1 Cheerleader/Domestique Extrodonaire - KeepRunningGirl
I picked up KRG and GR from the Newark airport on Friday afternoon around 2:00. We promptly hit traffic. A 4.5 hour trip took us about 5.5. My dream of sitting on the beautiful deck of our AirBnb was dashed.
SR was already at the house. Paige, Pat and AP were running late. We all met up at The Garlic for some pre-race fuel. I’m pretty sure GR was pretty tired of us saying “Remember when...” and then bursting into laughter, but he was a good sport about it.
After dinner KRG cursed the AirBnb owner because they only had a Keurig machine with DECAF k-cups. Everyone went to sleep agreeing that we needed to get the start earlier than our prescribed 8:30 am start time.
At packet pick up AP and I asked/pleaded to start at 8:00 rather than 8:30. We were told no due to congestion at the transition areas. AP being the rule breaker he is (drinking alcohol as a passenger in a moving vehicle ... oh wait! This isn’t breaking the law in Conneticut!! (Or DE, or 2 other states! Who knew!!) decided that we should just go out with the 8:00 am people.
We got a group photo before sending Paige on her way.
We didn’t make the rookie mistake that we did the 1st year and leave transition. We had GR in position before motoring off to cheer him on.
Offered to ApplePie during his run:
I’m hoping others will write their race reports (I’m looking at you SR, AP, GR and KRG!) so we’ll skip to my legs. I was running the same legs I had the previous year so I had a better idea what to expect.
Leg 6 climb - 558 feet. You run up a smallish hill and then free fall down a WAY too steep hill just to climb back up. SR slapped the bracelet onto me and I was off. I was feeling good and knew just run the leg my way. I ran up the first hill and then had to brake down the back side because it was so f-ing steep! On the way back up the hill called the Big Dog Hill I ran when I could and walked when needed. I made up the time when the road flattened out. 9:17 pace for 5.58 miles. I’ve gotten somewhat better at running hills.
I slapped the bracelet onto Paige and she was off!
Waiting for Pat to come in....I swear my arms aren’t as big as they look...I think...
Our usual waterfall picture
The only way we are ever going to have a covered bridge picture unless SR gives up this leg.
Leg 12 was as flat as Vermont can be 252’ elevation gain. I was worried about using the POP before SR came in. Last year I didn’t get a chance to use it before taking off and my colon is just dumb...really dumb. You’ve heard of stage fright, right? Well, my colon has racing fright.
I managed to zip into the POP before SR came in. Only #1 successful. Sigh.
SR slapped that bracelet on me and by now the band was squishy and slimy from the sweat. Ewww! I charged off, feeling good because I knew it was relatively flat - which suits me just fine! I had a few kills. I came on a runner who was obviously struggling . I got ready to pass her when a pickup truck pulling a full sized camper passed a slower car! He passed within 12” of us! The girl said if her heart was spiking before it definitely was now! It was so irresponsible of that driver. 5.12 @ 9:07
I got to transition just as the skies were changing. A few drops of rain had started to fall. The skies were rumbling. I slapped the band onto Paige and she was off on her uphill climb. Let’s just say poor, poor Paige...but she actually enjoyed it!
By the time SR was on his final leg we were behind our expected finish time by 30 minutes or so. Race officials were at transition saying you wouldn’t be able to finish if our runner wasn’t in by 11:30. I threw out the suggestion that if SR was okay running his leg after we stopped and rehydrated him that we drive to transition and I would start early. The team was in agreement and SR said he was good with the plan so our van drove to the transition area 15 minutes before SR ran in.
I asked KRG if she wanted to run with me. She jumped at the chance. We were so thankful that she had been there for us ALL damn day! It’s hard remembering that you need to refuel your runner midway. In the past Christine.Eliz and Jen.m.Yee have done this. KRG was most certainly MVP!
KRG and I set off into the night after checking in and making sure the transition volunteer knew our plan. My colon was rearing it’s ugly head. I can’t even explain. If KRG wasn’t there I probably would have made a dash for the woods! Lol. On the uphills I made her walk and then on the downhills I’d pull ahead. I was SO happy when we hit the final turn into the Okemo parking lot!! KRG and I were chugging along when suddenly a van started to back up right into me! I slammed my hand on the rear of the van and yelled. Thankfully I didn’t get squished by them!
We charged up to the entrance yelling out our team # “180 180!” because it was pitch black! AP, SR, GR, Paige and Pat all followed KRG and I into the finish. 4.89 @ 10:12 pace with 386’ of elevation.
Best feeling ever!
And yes, we’ve already signed up for next year!