Sunday, July 20, 2008

R2P 2008

27 hours, 42 minutes, 10 seconds to cover the 168 miles from Longmire on Mt. Rainier to Ocean Shores on zero hours of sleep. We came in dead last, but we got first in our division! (We were the only six runner team). Event organization was just as poor as it has always been, but we still had fun, though by morning we were pretty lonely out there on the course. From about daylight on, we saw only one other team, and once they passed us, we were out there alone - no volunteers, no course marshals, nothing. But, we know how to have a good time and we did!

Steve and Eric have this Mad Monkey thing going on, it became kind of a weekend theme.

We really ended up being a 5.5 person team. Jenny had to leave after her third leg to fly to Tennessee for her Grandpa's funeral. Her husband drove out to pick her up, they went home for a quick shower and a couple hours sleep, then headed for the airport. The amazing Rob picked up Jenny's last three legs, plus ran with me on one of my night legs, bringing his total mileage for the event to 44 miles. Jamal met us in Elma and ran through the night and into the morning with each of us to get in a 40 mile training run. It was fun having his company at 3:00 in the morning on quiet back roads! Rick came to the race with a out of whack back, and ran five of his legs before letting Margaret and I talk him into resting. She and I split his leg - I tacked two extra miles on to my last leg and Margaret added the remaining 1.7 to her last leg - the final leg of the relay. My mileage total for the event was 33 miles over six legs. We lucked out and had cool, cloudy weather through out the race - never any rain, never too hot.

Here are the stats on my legs (time is the time I started running):

10:57 am 6.37 miles 9:44 pace
3:29 pm 6.15 miles 11:02 pace
8:34 pm 6.95 miles 11:44 pace (w/Rob)
2:59 am 3.95 miles 12:38 pace (w/Jamal)
7:44 am 4.07 miles 11:53 pace (w/Jamal)
11:33 am 5.44 miles 11:29 pace

This photo is all about air quality, and is a team tradition.

We learned that having a six person team is fun, but hard work. On the plus side, there is only one van to be responsible for, less gas used, it's easy to keep track of six people, we experienced all the legs and saw both vans of all the other teams. The downside is that you are always "on". There is no down time with only one van - other than the assigned one hour layover in Elma, where we grabbed a shower and breakfast at the high school, the van is always moving. We used the van as a rolling aid station - moving one or two miles ahead, then watching for our runner and offering water and support. We could have had a little more rest time had we skipped that part and gone straight to the next exchange, but there is a certain amount of fun in cheering for and supporting the runner on the course, plus it feels safer for the runner.

Margaret supplying me with water on my last leg.

Friday morning, Eric drove me over to Steve's house, then collected the team's beach gear - the stuff we needed to stay at Rob's family beach house after the race. He worked all day Friday, then drove to the ocean to meet us yesterday. He found us at the beginning of my last leg and hopscotched along every mile or so, cheering me on. It was really nice having one wide awake person to keep us on task for the rest of the day. Abi was a last minute fill in on a men's masters team - which I guess they really weren't with her on the team. She had a blast running with 11 men ranging in age from 50 to 78. (Abi is 29). She waited at the finish line for us (for about five hours), then joined us at the house.

By the time we got in, it was too late for naps, so we ate at the post-race taco feed, then went to the house to shower. We sat around a while drinking tea and beer, then drove to the store to get dinner fixin's. Eric, Margaret and Abi prepared us a wonderful meal. The food seemed to revive us and we managed to stay up until 9:30. This morning Eric got up early to run, then Rob and Steve joined him for about eight miles - Eric got 20 in. Margaret, Rick, Abi and I walked the beach instead. I forgot to mention that I had three lovely blisters - two on toes, one on bunion - and I just wasn't up for running on them.

Fabulous finish line photo.

I can't think of many better ways to spend a weekend than running with our friends - whether it is sharing a room, road trips to marathons, working an aid station, working at an expo, running a race, or jammed up in the Yeti for 27 hours, then spending another 12 hours together at the beach. It is said that life is about the journey - Eric and I are incredibly blessed to share that journey with so many fine and adventurous friends.


Journey to a Centum said...

The "STANK METER" on the back of your relay rig was really cool! Just like all the people in the car!

That was fun!

robtherunner said... you make me feel like a loser for being such a crankpot all weekend. Next year, yes I said that, I'll try to be more of a Tigger than an Eeyore.

Anne said...

Everyone looks incredibly fresh at the finish, especially if this is the same party responsible for the high stink-o-meter rating. What an amazing time for everyone! I can't believe everyone didn't just crash at Rob's family beach house. Not only that, but people had energy to burn off more miles the following morning!!

Wes said...

Wow! That's a tough one! Will you do six again next year? A day at the beach just sounds like a fantastic reward!!

Gotta' Run! said...

Sounds like you all had a ball!! Major SAMO here (Sadness At Missing Out!).


Sarah Elaine said...

Sounds like fun! I like how you decorated the car, too. I expect nothing less for your big Canadian adventure. Skulls all over the place!

BTW, I just this morning got a reservation at the Misty Mountain, so I'll be seeing you and Eric there for sure!!

Mother of Martineau Tribe said...

I love reading about your adventures, you give me soo much to look forward to!

Joe said...

Great report, Michelle...quite the event. You guys rose above the poor organization. Also sounds like Eric was a plus to keep someone at the finish line so you could get that cool photo!!

Rest up this week and take care of those feet!

Sarah said...

Sounds exhausting but fun! better way to spend the weekend. : )

Thomas said...

I think I'd really love to run in one of those relays one day, but the continuing poor organisation you mention in this one would definitely put me off.

I love the windows of your car!

Jon said...

YAYZ to finishing "first in 6 runner, 5.5 runner division"!!! *LOL*

angie's pink fuzzy said...

what fun!!!

(and to answer your question, the catwalk is in new mexico. the camping we did was in northern az.)

Irene said...

Still laughing over the "Stank-o-Meter." You all look like you had a great time, even though we all know the effort it takes. You guys rock!

How many miles do you think you've ran this year, so far?

olga said...

You guys truly are blessed with friends been like-minded.

Sunshine said...

Your energy continues to amaze.. and inspire.
Spending the rest of the weekend at the beach: Sweet!

When I have been out there in July or August, it has been sunny every day. Maybe I was just lucky.

Berry season is my favorite food, I think. How great that you have discovered yogurt cheese.

Mama said...

My Yeti hasn't been so clean in years. Steve came home and washed and vacumned and polished and cleaned leather. It is great. I wonder if I can hire him to do it again when I get home from Bend.

I'm glad you all had a good time.


Darrell said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all. Congrats for rising to the challenge of a 6 man team and pushing on through.