12 June 2012

Rainier to Ruston Rail-Trail Relay- Part 2

Waiting for Zoe
Mel's hubby and their kiddos met her at the start of her second leg so they could run with her for a mile or so -isn't that cool?  After Zoe tagged Mel in South Prairie her family headed off down the foothills trail (a paved path) heading for Crocker.  We piled back into the Honey Buckette mobile and drove down to the next exchange area.   
Mel and her family- they ran part of her second leg with her!
Mel is an amazing teammate- she gives 110%, leaving not an ounce of energy to spare! 
Once Mel arrived and tagged Kerrie both Zoe and I could tell that Mel was not feeling very good.  She had been sick for the last two weeks and she was pushing herself so hard on these runs her body was not having a good time.  She is definitely an inspiration- she knows how to give every single ounce of energy she has into a race, that is for sure!  We ran and got her some water and a cliff bar and soon she was feeling better. 

The crazy thing about this relay was that every 1 to 1.5 hours it was your turn to run again, so staying properly fueled and hydrated was a bit tricky!  I had brought bananas, cliff bars, pretzels, mini bagels, individual peanut butter cups and some string cheese to munch on while waiting to run again (I like to be prepared).  As soon as I was done running I would drink an entire bottle of water -with NUUN inside of course, and have something to munch on so it had a chance to settle.
There goes speedy Kerrie- apparently there was an Emu along this stretch!
Anyways, we didn't have too much time to dilly dally- speedy Kerrie was out on a short 2.7 mile leg and we didn't want her to beat us to Orting!  She was on a serious mission to pass the "f my third leg" team (orange shirts) so I knew that in no time at all she would be ringing the bell and it would be my turn again!  We parked the car and I hurried to use the bathroom really quick.  The sun was peeking out off and on so it was a bit warmer but I figured for 3.4 miles I would be ok without my handheld water. 
I forgot my second pair of shoes- thanks Will for cleaning all of the mud off of these ones!
Kerrie was at the exchange before I knew it and off I sped- about 60 seconds away and then I was stopped at the light to cross the road with one of the other relay teams.  And then before the light changed guess who else joined us?  Mr. Orange shirt from "F my third leg" of course!  So the pressure was on, and I was ready to kick it into high gear once the light changed- which took an eternity by the way!  But as soon as the walk sign lit up I bolted across the street and never looked back- I kept my lead for about 1.71 miles- I know this because the orange shirt guy was suddenly matching my pace and he asked how far we were so I told him.  And then suddenly he just stopped running started walking- I was thinking "what the heck!" he was making me push my pace faster!  I found out later that he had exhausted himself trying to catch up to me and thought we were closer to the end I guess! 
The girls- Mel, Kerrie and Zoe while I was probably sitting at that light haha.  Could have had my picture taken!!
On a mission.  And heel striking- darn it!  I try so hard to focus on my stride.
I passed quite a few people along here- plenty of 50 mile ultra runners and I made sure to give them a "good job" as I passed.  Believe me- it really isn't that impressive to pass somebody who has been running for about 30 miles at this point!  Those runners were amazing and I was trying to be as respectful and encouraging as possible.  I also passed at least one relay team and the other two relayers never caught up to me.  I was pretty thirsty and getting hot- the sun poked out during most of my run and I found myself wishing for my water bottle and a tank top!
I can see the finish line!  And the 'F my 3rd leg' team, probably wondering where their buddy is!
Soon I was heading into the exchange shoot and everyone was cheering me on and I zoomed into the shoot, rang the bell and tagged Zoe for her second run!  My leg ended at the Scholz farm in McMillin off of the Orting Highway- it was 3.4 flat miles on a paved path with a couple of spots where I had to wait for a light to cross the road, but nothing too complicated.  I finished with an average pace of 8:41- would have been faster without that darn light in the beginning!

I pulled the string and the bell didn't ring- tagged Zoe and she was off!  We were all smiles!
As we were heading to the next exchange we realized that the directions were wrong or we had missed a turn, but we were definitely not in the right spot!  Luckily Mel was familiar with the area and we quickly turned around and made it to the exchange before Zoe did!  I changed my outfit (in a honey bucket- that is a first!) while we waited and Mel was chatting with some of the other runners- she was a little worried about getting lost on this leg. 

Zoe is in the bright orange top, heading down the trail
When Zoe arrived she tagged Mel and she began our last set of legs- but it was apparent that Zoe's knee was really bothering her.  We got her some ice but she wasn't sure if she would be able to run her last leg at that point. 

To be continued...

That's right- we won our division! 
Photo credit goes to Mel!

1 comment:

  1. Such a fun day! I want to go (back) to there. :)

    PS: I know Ragnar would be fun, too, but we have a lot going on this summer, which is why I have to pass. Feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. Sorry!