Last March at a work happy hour a few of my coworkers hatched a plan for an office softball team. And naturally we needed to start running and cross training to get ready. Well the summer ended and the softball team never happened, but the Tuesday Night Run Club was born. After months of running together we decided we were ready to compete and we signed up for the Baltimore Running Festival Marathon Relay.
The Marathon Relay splits the full 26.2 mile distance up between four people.
Leg 1 5.7 miles Greg
Leg 2 7.1 miles Hannah
Leg 3 6.1 miles Bob
Leg 4 7.3 miles Courtney
You run with a timing chip on a wristband and hand it off in special relay exchange areas.
We all headed up to Baltimore on Friday night and headed to the Expo to pick up our numbers and shirts.
|step 2: walk through all vendors to pick up number and walk back through all vendors|
Then we headed to Little Italy for some carbo loading. We were running a little late and I arrived before Bob, who had made the reservation. When they found the reservation, they pointed to an almost full table of older people and said, "there is your party", I looked and they were not my party. Turns out they other party had a similar last name, but no reservation, and they stole ours! I've never had that happen before. They were able to set us up in the banquet room, where it was a bit quieter and the food tasted just as good.
We all went straight to bed to prepare for an early wake up. I woke up at 6am to be able to meet the team at bag check at 7am.
|Good morning Baltimore!|
Hannah had to catch a 7:30 bus to the staging area for the second leg of the bus, but the rest of us had a little time to get pumped up.
|Greg aka Hill-lover|
|Bob aka Speed-demon|
|ME aka Spiritual-leader|
For the few weeks running up to the relay we went back and forth over what our team uniforms should look like. When we finally decided on lime green shirts, it was impossible to find any in plain ones in the proper sizes and fit. So we settled on green shirts and electric orange headbands and wristbands (which just happened to match the relay bibs and medals!).
|ready ready ready ready to run|
The race started at 8:00 and I had to catch the bus to my starting point at 8:30. The route the busses took wasn't the smartest, it crossed the race twice. First we waited for the back of the 5K race, but they finally stopped the walkers and let us through. Then we crossed around mile 8.5 where the really fast people were already running. At the second crossing the school busses just floored it and darted through. Once we arrived at the exchange point, everyone got in line to use the porta potties and while we were still in line, the first wheel chair racers arrived and then the elite runners. I met up with a friend on racing on another team in the porta john line so we chatted while we waited and as soon as we arrived at the staging area I received a text that our second leg was complete. At that point it hit me that I'd be running in about a half hour and started getting ready and taking off all my layers.
We were positioned on top of a hill so we could see people coming for a little bit. The green shirt and orange headband made Bob easy to spot and our transition was flawless. I started off fast with all the adrenaline flowing from the hand off. The route continued up hill for awhile then around a big lake. The only problem with running after a fast teammate is that most of the people he passed, started passing me back. I was still definitely towards the front and running mostly alone. There were crowds along most of my route, which really made it fun. With several rolling hills my pace bumped around between 7:28 and 8:01, but averaged out at 7:44 a PR for me at the 6-7mile distance.
With a mile left I saw that we were going to be way under 3:30 (our loose goal) and picked up my pace for a strong finish. An official time of 3:16:29. It was hard to see who was running the relay and who was running the half marathon and who was running the full marathon mid-stride. But I hadn't noticed any relayers passing me, and knew that not that many teams had came in to the exchange before us so we thought we might of finished pretty high up. Turns out we were 14th out of 579 Mixed (male/female) teams!
|at the finish line|
|what hills don't kill you make you stronger|