I did something on Saturday that I’ve never done and honestly, I’ve never thought of doing. I ran a 75 mile relay with 7 other gals from sun-up to sun-down!
We all met in a dark parking lot at 5:30 AM, ate the scrambled egg and cheese muffin sandwiches I made, and drove for an hour and a half to Jefferson to run the Market to Market Relay back to Des Moines! Our start time was 7:15 and we got there with plenty of time to check things out and soak up the party vibe (these people know how to put on a FUN race!) before sending our first runner on her way!
We had 8 runners, so we each got to run 2 legs and one of us, our first runner, ran 3 legs. Once our runners switched at an exchange point, we were back in the car and driving to the next exchange point. I thought we would have a lot of time to kill at each exchange waiting for our runner to come in, but we really got there just in time for a bathroom break and the exchange. We were constantly moving.
When it was time for my first leg, lightning struck and we had to wait 30 minutes before we could get on the course again. There was a rule that if we had to wait more than 45 minutes, that the leg would be skipped and we’d drive to the next exchange point. Another lightning strike happened within 15 minutes of the first one, which would have pushed us out 45 minutes but we were told to hang tight for an official ruling. I was not happy about missing my leg because I’d skipped running the day before and was really hoping to run! I decided to run to the bathroom quick as we waited but as I was heading there, I saw runners hopping on the course and we were told that we could run at our own risk. OK! I skipped the bathroom and went for it! I ran those 5.7 miles in 48:07 with an 8:26 pace! It only rained for the first few minutes. I passed 12 people and 3 people passed me, so I netted 9 😉
I came in strong and happy and handed off the timing chip to runner #8, my friend who invited me on this adventure. Funny story, she lost the chip! She had a rain jacket on and had the chip band on her arm and when she whipped her jacket off, the chip went flying and she had no idea. The poor thing turned around and backtracked 0.35 miles before deciding to leave it and came in to the mid-way check point chip-less. No one cared, they manually logged us in, and we were on our way again. Being chip-less worked out great because then we could just high-five each other and not worry about putting the chip band on, starting our running apps, making sure music was on, etc. all at once!
The weather cleared up and we enjoyed the day, but man alive, we were tired! By the time I was up to run again, I was just ready to be done. I ran my 4.3 mile leg in 36:10 for an 8:23 pace so I was happy with that! I was passed by 3 people but passed 5, so I netted 2 😉
Everyone ran way faster than they thought they would and our finish time was 11:45:06 including our 21 minute stop for the lightning – we were THRILLED! We ended up placing 54th out of 102 female teams which isn’t too bad for a team of gals who expected to run 10:00 paces the entire way!
I loved doing this, but I’m not sure I’ll do it again anytime soon. It took the entire day and I was left exhausted and spent! If I do it again, I’ll want to do it on a team with my husband. That would be more fun for me! But really, this was a blast and I’m so glad I did it!