I ran a 75-mile relay last weekend with the same team I did last year, but with a few subs because one of the gals up and moved, another’s son was running for a college recruiter, and another one went off and got pregnant right after we signed up last summer. All good reasons to not run with the team, but I did miss each and every one of them.
We welcomed 4 new gals to the team and they were fun, but it wasn’t the same. I knew going into this relay that this would very likely be my last year running it (third year in a row), but by the end of the race, I knew I was done. We had an amazing lake house to stay at the night before the race, we had a full 8-woman team, we had a killer 15-passenger van with room to stand up and change inside (we removed 4 seats so there was room to walk back and grab snacks even while on the road), we had an awesome app that helped us arrive at each checkpoint in time for the specified runner, and we had perfect running weather (but not perfect spectator weather – a bit chilly). To have the same great setup again seems pretty impossible! The van was the best part, and it was supposed to be smaller but the company upgraded us for free – unlikely to happen again) and I don’t know if I could happily do this again in a smaller vehicle. It’s best to go out on a high note. AND… I was the final runner this time and got to lead us across the finish line. It was a great way to end this phase of running. If I do it again, I want to do it with a coed team with my husband.
I wasn’t as fast as I was last year, and that was OK with me. The first leg was pretty darned fast at an 8:19 pace. The second leg was an 8:42 pace, way off from last year but I didn’t care. The final leg was an 8:57 pace in the rain, and I was perfectly happy with that! To do all 3 legs under a 9:00 pace was my goal, and I met that goal. My average pace for the full 12.5 miles was 8:43. That works because I told my team to plan on me running an average of 8:45!
We were supposed to have thunderstorms along the entire route all day long, but somehow, we stayed ahead of it until the very end (my final leg). We got lucky, and honestly, the weather was perfect for running. Last year, it was really, really hot by 2:00 in the afternoon, but this year, it never got hot. It was nice. I didn’t mind the rain at the end either, because I knew I was done and it was a bit refreshing.
We finished the 75 miles in 12:40:35. That’s a 9:59 average pace which is what we told the race coordinators it would be (for staging purposes). Not too shabby!