I woke up the morning of the race feeling good and anxious. I had trained on hills. I knew I could run 5 miles on them. But, there's always that ping of doubt as to whether you'll master the hill or if the hill will humilate you in front of all your friends.
|Adrian, Kristan, and Me|
And then there was me. I was to run the 4th leg.
7:00am we meet at the starting line and see Kristan start us off. We all have personal goals for our legs. For some, it's to simply not die. For others, specific time goals are in place. Kristan wanted to finish her leg in under an hour. I've shared Kristan's running story on here before. Recently, she's worked up to run a 5k. She thought her leg was going to be a 5k or 3.2 miles until a day or so before the race when we let her know that her leg would be 5 miles. She didn't flinch, she just went to it. Some runners might have freaked out a bit to realize that they'd have to run longer than they've been training to do. But Kristan seemed to take it in stride.
|Adrian and Dani|
Kristan shows up 55 minutes after starting. She made her goal!!! She looks happy and I might say a little giddy. She did a really good job and you can tell she feels proud of her accomplishment.
Justin takes off on his leg and we all decide to stop every mile or so to cheer him on and to be ready with water or whatever else he needs. The 2nd leg is brutal. It's almost ALL uphill. About half way through the leg, you can tell Justin hurts and would like nothing more than to drag one of us out the car to trade spots with him. But he just keeps going. We cheer him on. Drive a little bit and then cheer him on some more. Justin makes it to the handoff and Adrian takes off.
We all pat Justin on the back, run and get him water and orange slices. He looks extremely tired. He turns around to look back down the hill, as do we all, and we're amazed at the climb in elevation he just did. The fact that he's still standing amazes us all.
Onto to Adrian. We do the same for Adrian as we did for Justin. My husband and kids find us and travel behind us as we follow Adrian. We drive a little, cheer him on, drive a little, offer water and cheer him on. Adrian is doing well. His hip starts to bother him and so walking a bit becomes necessary. I know I'm running after Adrian, so I'm getting a little nervous seeing how absolutely huge these hills are. The ones I've been training on seem like these hills' babies or something. We get to the next handoff. I quickly head to the bathroom and then warm up before Adrian gets here. We all see Adrian coming down the last hill. He looks tired but he just keeps coming. Before I know it, he's at the handoff, and I'm off to discover what hills lie in wait for me.
|Always go potty before you run 5 miles of hills.|
My wonderful teammates and my husband and kids were great cheerleaders. If they hadn't been there, I would have walked for sure. The unintelligible yet encouraging screams as they passed. The cheerful honks. The lovely water they ran along side to give me. Seeing my girls hanging out the car window chanting, "Go, mom, go, mom!" It was just fabulous.
Patrick, his dad, is going to run with him for support. Miles is only 8, so this will be a feat for him. The kid did awesome! He needed frequent walking and water breaks, but he just kept going. You could tell he was horribly tired, but he wanted to finish his leg. Go Miles!!
Next is Patrick's turn. This guy is probably our best runner. He did To Bone and Back last year on a two-man team. Meaning he ran 20 of these miles last year! Patrick's method of running means you walk when you need to so when you start up again you're going faster. I'll have to try that some day. We cheer on Patrick and he screams, "I love you guys!" as he runs past. 40 minutes later, Patrick comes barrelling into the hand off and Chris takes off for the last leg of To Bone and Back.
Chris' leg is mostly downhill and flat, but she's running in the worst heat. She running really fast and strong and she takes advantage of the water we offer at every mile. She alternates between dumping it on her head and drinking it. It was blasted hot. She doesn't slow and doesn't walk. We're so close to home, I think she's got the Anxious Horse Syndrome too. When she gets close to the finish line, we all join her and run past the finish line together. It was an awesome feeling to cross the finish line as a team.
We end the day with pictures, ice cream, Great Harvest bread, hot dogs and very very tired legs.
It was an awesome race and I will definitely do it again next year. The whole team aspect and the support is what made this race so awesome. The difficulty of the run was even awesome.
I'll probably find some tougher hills to train on next year so I can try and beat my time, but I hope to do this race every year.
Thanks to my great teammates, my husband and my kids who supported me during training and on race day. I couldn't have done it without you!!