Friday, November 18, 2011
My apologies for not knocking these out faster.... Work is super busy right now, so a lot of the time, I don't even want to switch on my computer by the time I get home.
Also, all pics in this post are from the last exchange of the first rotation... Not a lot of picture taking going on at night.
This is part 3 of the race report that will never end. Previously, I have been blabing about pre-race activities and the first rotation of van 2!
So here we were at around 12am Saturday somewhere in Tennessee... The last runner from van 1 was standing in the exchange chute and there was nobody from van 2 to slap the bracelet on. Eventually, Mike (runner 8) made it to the exchange and took off running for his middle of the night leg. That must have been quite a shock to the system.... Waking up, getting dressed, run up to the exchange zone and take off running for 7 miles.
He later said, that he felt so bad for letting Chris (last runner van1) wait, that he booked it... No kidding.
I was standing in next to the exchange chute, but still had my sweatshirt on when he came in. At Ragnar, they do have spotters a quarter mile away from the exchange zone, that walkie talkie the incoming runners number, but sometimes that communication didn't work.
After quickly peeled of my shirts, I was back on the road for a 3 miler with small rolling hills on a fairly calm country road. I always saw runners ahead of me, it's always nice to have company. I also passed through a town or a neighborhood and there were actually some people outside on their patios cheering for the runners... It was around 1am!
While I was a little worried, that I burned all my matches already in the first run, I felt great... Maybe BBQ as running fuel is not such a bad idea after all! ;-)
I ended up with an 8:44 pace for those three miles and I seriously have no idea where that came from. I normally don't run sub 9s for this long.
While Terry was out on the road, I once again did my little change dance under the towel. It just took me 4 relays to figure this out.... Also, I think this time around, I had the perfect amount of clothes with me. Sweet! Now I just need to remember for next time again.
Kelly was up next for a supposedly 2.9 mile run. I was the keeper of the van book, predicting arrival times at exchange zone and when Kelly's predicted time came and went, we started wondering a little. I heard the girl next to my saying, that she's glad that they shortened her upcoming leg. So I asked her, if you leg is short, has the this leg been made longer? The answer was yes and Kelly was running an extra mile.
That's another lesson learned. We did have the van book with all the legs printed out, but obviously, there was a change after we made all the printouts and we should have sat down with the Ragmag and make sure, that everything is still the same.
So when Kelly handed over to Bryan, we headed back to the van and I spend the next couple of minutes making sure that there were no more changes and there were, but at least we knew now what to expect.
On a lonely country intersection, we send off Eric, the last runner in van 2, who would finish our 2nd rotation.
As soon as van 1 was gone and Eric was back in the van, I passed out. The last thing that I heard was, that we would drive to the next exchange zone and get some rest there, too make sure that we no cutting it too close for handover.
Once we got there, we tried to get some shut-eye. It gets crowded in the bus pretty quick when everyone is trying to stretch out and while I got some rest on the way over, I wasn't really able to go back to sleep once we got to the exchange zone. I did have a mat and a thick sleeping bag with me and could still kick myself, that I didn't set-up camp on the lawn.
Eventually even this restless night was over and van 1 rolled in, just when it started dawning. They were now officially done and looked forward to a shower, bed and breakfast... Van 2 still had some running to do.
To be continued.