It was after midnight. We were exhausted and ready for nothing more than a shower and sleep after a day of running the Vermont 100 on 100 Relay.
As we parked the van at Allie’s condo, Nat, with tears in her eyes, said those words. I’m so glad she did because she’s absolutely right.
We go through our days bouncing from one commitment to the next. How often do you pause to let the events of the day absorb?
1 van, 6 women, 100 miles, 14 hours, 7 minutes.
That’s a lot to soak in.
The last and only other time I ran a relay race was 5 years ago. It was a lot of fun but being in a van for 24 hours is a lot. You smell, you are tired, you are sick of eating random snacks, and you just want to be done.
She made it sound so fun – 100 miles on Route 100 in Vermont. The best part? It was a one day relay! How could we refuse?
Before we knew it, August was here. Sadly, at the last minute, Allie had to bow out of the relay due to a family funeral but still graciously offered up her condo to us. Thankfully, Kara hopped right in to take over her legs.
Our team had a 9 a.m. start on Saturday morning. We had plenty of time to check in and get ready to run. Unlike RTB Relay, VT 100 on 100 is one van of either 4 (ultra team) or 6 runners. Since we had 6 runners, we each would be running 3 legs. I was runner 2 with legs: 2, 8, 14. I volunteered for the most mileage (21.75) and the most elevation gain (over 2000 ft) since I had 20 miles on my training plan anyway.
Good 50k training, right?
My first leg (leg 2) was so fun! It started off on the trails of the Trapp Family Lodge (i.e. the Von Trapp family…the hills are alive), met up on a pretty tree lined dirt road and finished on pavement.
I played it safe on the trail and dirt road section (lots of wash out spots) to feel out my ankle since I had sprained it the week prior on the trails. It felt decent but I had a long day of running ahead.
Once we hit the pavement, I had caught up to the lone woman ahead of me. The heat and humidity of the morning was already kicking in. I was drenched with sweat but feeling great. So great that I didn’t even know that the other woman was still hot on my tail.
Seeing my team gave me a boost of energy as I tackled the never ending hill climb to the next transition area where Laura would take over.
Leg 2: 7.47 miles, 551 ft elevation gain
We then hopped in the van to cheer on Laura and to get Sandra to the next Transition Area (TA). The day flew by as we repeated this routine over and over again (Sandra handed off to Nat, Nat to Sarah).
Before I knew it, my second leg was up. It was the longest one of the relay and the most elevation gain. The description made it sound heavenly – climbs at the beginning, followed by downhills and relatively flat with shade. I think there was even something about the runner who runs this will be “enlightened” when finished with this leg.
It started off on a mega hill, it was just after 2 p.m., hot, humid and I was feeling ‘meh’. The climb and the downhills felt great on the dirt road. But then I hit the pavement and the full on sun got me. The shade that was mentioned? It was on the other side of the road. The flat road, which you would think would be a welcomed sight, was horrible. Womp, womp, womp.
My calves started cramping up at some point. Thankfully, my teammates were able to deliver my trusty Spicy Brown Mustard to stop it immediately.
When I finished the leg, I was not enlightened. I think I may have said, “I hate running!”
Oh and to make it even better? The leg was 1/2 mile longer than it was supposed to be. Yup…not enlightened one bit.
Leg 8: 10.3 miles, 875 ft elevation gain
It started to get really dark soon after that with big dark storm clouds looming. We were excited for some rain to cool us off.
We got a little bit more than a little shower. It full on poured during Kara’s last leg complete with thunder and lightening.
By the time Kara passed the slap bracelet off to me for my last leg, it was almost 8 p.m. and the rain had turned to a gentle mist and night was closing in. It was refreshing but still very humid.
With “only” 3.9 miles for my last leg, I was ready to give it my all. It started off with a climb right away from the TA followed by an amazingly long downhill in Killington. Of course, that was short lived. There was one last long climb to tackle. There was a guy in front of me who I slowly reeled in before turning into the next TA.
I was so happy to be done!
Leg 14: 3.9 miles, 608 ft elevation gain
The rest of the ladies killed their last legs in the dark like the badass runners they are.
Of course, that now means we have to go back next year to shoot for 1st place.
More race day recaps from Team Air Supply
I can’t forget to give a huge shout out to our AMAZING sponsors who helped power us through:
Pre-race blood testing from Inside Tracker
To see how the whole relay unfolded, check out this awesome video Sarah put together. FYI – you’ll want to watch it just to see my phenomenal dance moves. 🙂
Have you ever done a relay?
Linking up with Coaches Corner.