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!
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.
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!