Reach the Beach Relay {Leg 3}

Did you miss Leg 1 and Leg 2?

After showering at Kim’s house and feeling like a million bucks, we set off for the VTA and the final portion of Reach the Beach, Leg 3.

If you’ve ever done a relay, you know how stinky you can get from running and living in a van for over 24 hours. Showering is a game changer. Even though I was operating on one hour of sleep in the last 33 hours, I felt awake, ready to run but still slap happy.

Toilet Paper Couture |

Toilet paper couture. Look for it on the runways in Paris next season.

We had some time to hang out at the VTA before Mariette would be coming in for the hand off. I was so happy when I got a phone call from Christine saying she was there too. I immediately felt horrible when I met Christine and her other teammates. They could tell I was clean and were very, very jealous. Sorry guys! It was awesome meeting Instagram friends, Gia and Jess, in person finally.

Soon after I got the text that Mariette was off and had her game face on. She had a 5k to run so I knew she’d be in transition in under 23 minutes if all went well. Sure enough, 21 minutes later, she came flying in.

I got my last bracelet slap and took off. My goal was to go all out. I had 2.4 miles. My legs were sore and tired from Leg 2 but now was not the time to slow down.

Plus, it was only 2.4 miles.

The course was flat as a pancake. I didn’t pay any attention to my Garmin. I just ran. It felt like I had just started when the transition area came into view.

NO!!! I want to run more.

2.4 miles, 17:48. Boom!

Reach the Beach Relay Leg 3 | happyfitmama.comThe remaining legs flew by although poor Kim had the longest at 6.7 miles. Girl wanted more miles and she got ‘em! Jared had a killer sprint with another guy to the end of his 4.1 mile run which resulted in the other guy puking at the end. Haha!

When it came time for Karen to bring us home, we had to hustle to Hampton Beach to meet her. She had 4.1 miles but with traffic and parking, it was going to be cutting it close for us to run with her across the finish line.

As we parked the van, I got the text that Van 1 was at the finishing chute waiting. As we made our way through the crowd to the beach and the end of the chute, someone exclaimed, “Oh look, blue shirts just like ours!” It took a minute for us to realize – That’s our team! We scurried around the fence to run across the finish line as a team.

Reach the beach finish line

Team #islagiatt

120/520 total teams

21/101 mixed open category (with only 2 guys on the team)

8:15 average pace

28:31:16 – finished time

Team #islagiatt finish line |

Maybe it was a good idea after all?

What started off as a random group of 12 people, turned into a group of 12 friends. I can’t wait for RTB 2015! Just don’t tell Ron that I’m doing it just yet.

He needs a few months to get over his fun time being a single parent.

A huge amount of thanks to BIC Bands for providing our team with High Voltage bands. They were perfect for the night legs and just taming crazy runner hair. I unfortunately lost mine at some point. My well organized bag became a mess at 3 a.m. Saturday morning.

I’d also like to thank Saucony for outfitting the whole team with new shoes. No wonder we were all so fast!

Reach the Beach Relay Recap {Leg 2}

Miss my recap of Leg 1? Read that first!

FYI – This leg is not as photo dump heavy as leg 1. I think I forgot I was a blogger during this portion.


Van 2 was up and getting ready to run again around 1:30 a.m. for our second leg of Reach the Beach Relay. Most of the van got a little bit of sleep. Sarah and I were the only two who did not. Despite having zero sleep, I was wide awake. My number one priority – brush my teeth. I think that is what made me feel alive more than anything.

We were expecting Van 1 to finish around 2:45-2:50 a.m. I anxiously waited for Mariette at the transition. I think I screamed “Mariette?!?!?!” at every runner that came into view no matter if they were a 200 pound guy or a super tall woman (both of which Mariette is not). Another runner waiting asked me if there really was a Mariette out there or did I just like screaming that name. What can I say, I was anxious to run and it was hard to see in the dark!

Finally, Mariette did show up right on time. At 2:50, I was off running my second leg. This one was rated very hard. It was also a wild card option. What that meant was at any time in the designated wild card transition area, Kim (Runner #8) could take over earlier than expected. I was ok with running the full 8 mile distance that I originally had but I my teammates were concerned I’d have another episode similar to the one in Leg 1. We agreed that the van would meet me right at the beginning of the wild card area.

As soon as I started running, I felt great. It was chilly, in the low 40s, but I quickly warmed up. Running up an elevation gain of 1073 feet will do that to you!

I had heard lots of mixed stories from those who have run legs in the dark before. Some were freaked out and others said it was no big deal. I found it to be very peaceful and magical. My other senses were heightened. The smell of a freshly hayed field came before I even saw it. The moon was up and the stars were twinkling. I actually wished it would have been a no support leg. Seeing the vans along the road ruined the fun.

This leg was filled with three big up hills. Because of that, my pace was all over the place. I’d be cruising along a short flat section and then soon trudging straight up. I had 9 kills (passed 9 runners). They were all on the way up a hill too. Being that I’m not a good hill climber at all, that gave me a little confidence boost. However, getting passed by 2 guys that were running effortlessly up the steepest hill did not help at all.

The worst part of the run was a section that turned to gravel road. Running down steep gravel roads is not easy. I purposely took it cautiously. Last thing I needed was to slide and wipe out. In addition, when the support vans passed, they left a cloud of dust to choke on. If you’ve ever driven in a snowstorm with your high beams on, that is what the visibility was like too.

At mile 7.1, I saw Team #islagiatt painted on the back of our van. As I ran up along side the window, I surprised all of them. They weren’t expecting me! Kim quickly got her stuff together, jumped out of the van and started off up the hill. I really wish I would have kept going especially when I saw the even bigger hills Kim had to tackle. But she wanted more miles so that’s what she got. She later told me she was swearing at me the whole time she was running. What ever motivated her to keep going!

7.1 miles in 1:02. My splits are crazy. 8:03 – 10:07. Obviously you can tell where the hills were!

Once I was back in the van, we headed to the next transition to send Kailey off. Kim tackled those hills like they were nothing. BTW – did I tell you she’s 55 and didn’t start running till her mid 40s? Yeah – bad ass babe!

Sunrise and port-a-potties |

I’m not really sure what happened after Kailey started her leg. The next thing I remember is waking up to what I thought was a farm because in my sleepy fog, all I could see were fields. It turns out it was a lumber yard.

Farm. Lumber yard. Close enough.

Wherever we were, it was great. I got maybe an hour of sleep, the sun was coming up and there were port-a-potties.

Everything you look forward to when running a relay!

The rest of the runner’s in Van 2 rocked their runs before handing the slap bracelet back to Van 1. We were all feeling rather smelly and tired.

Team #islagiatt Van 2

We lucked out big time again. Kim and Rick’s house was on the way to the next van transition. They graciously let all our stink into their house to shower and relax before our last legs.

A shower never felt so good in my life.

Stay tuned for the last and final leg as we Reach the Beach!