|i looked like a hot mess all weekend.|
but, my team still pretended to be my friends!
soon enough, our teammates arrived and we made our way through the tunnel and out onto the racetrack. it sounded cool for runner #12 to have a lap around the track to finish their leg, but in reality it didn't look that fun. it was warm, there was no shade, the track is over a mile long and the stands were empty. taryn handed off to brian and we were back on duty. at least this time he had a 9+ mile leg, so we didn't have to sprint back to the van.
while brian ran, we stopped at dunkin donuts for more food and coffee. you'd think you might lose weight doing a relay but in reality you eat the entire time you are not running.
back on the road, we caught up to brian and stopped to cheer for him. we then rushed to the next exchange so daphne could get ready. this exchange was in the middle of a farmer's field; you could see the runner's for. ever.
the next two legs were on a gravel canal trail. the pre-race safety briefing warned about snapping alligators on this trail. the team vans drove along next to the runners, and the extra noise helped keep the gators away. i'm sure it was also helpful to the runners to have the headlights around once the sun went down. we pulled over on the trail and opened the doors and pumped black eyed peas to the
the next exchange was a wider section of gravel and the sun was almost completely down. daphne handed off to danna and we continued down the gravel trail. i drifted off to sleep again and woke up at the next exchange point - an on-ramp to US1. i donned my safety vest (borrowed from the lovely redhead), headlamp and my brooks nitelife hat instead of a butt-light. i wore my sugoi tatu arm warmers to intimidate the gators and filled my fuelbelt handheld bottle with gu brew. my next run was almost 12 miles and vans were not able to stop and provide aid to runners.
i downed a pineapple roctane and danna came out of nowhere. we hustled to the official exchange point a few yards away and i was off -- up the on-ramp and over the bridge. i passed a runner and her bike pacer. i was aiming for an 8:00/mile pace and wanted to get this scary leg over with.
i'm not in the best shape speed- or distance-wise, but avoiding gators and crocs was motivating. my headlamp wasn't the brightest, every runner i passed could light up the whole the shoulder of the road while i could barely see 4 feet in front of me. i was quite nervous about stumbling upon a reptile - the ones with legs and those without. i saw a lot of squiggly-lined road patch and jumped at every one thinking it was a snake (really i did 12-miles with hurdles).
ragnar had provided 3 water stops on this leg; i only took water at the third. i popped two more gu's during the leg and dropped a wrapper shortly after the second water station. race organizers had stressed not leaving food/trash on the route because it could attract gators. i didn't want to be responsible for anyone's death so i stopped to find it.
the route was flat except for a few bridges and one off-/on-ramp. i was excited thinking i was getting off US1 and almost done with my leg, and then realized i had to go back up the ramp. i was motivated by a few blinking lights ahead at times, only to find out they were ragnar directional signs.
soon i was running on a slight downhill and arrived on key largo. only a few more miles to go. the running path was setback from the road and the headlights no longer helped light the way. i was still leary of reptiles.
i pushed through the fatigue to pick off a few more runners, called out my number to the volunteer radioing them ahead and probably looked awkward handing off to hunter. brian and raffi asked how many creatures i saw and i said 90, then i said to myself "you moron, that's ridiculous, no one will believe you". i shuffled back to the van where i learned that danna had wiped out on the gravel trail and was more concerned about getting pictures for facebook than administering first aid. at least my van mates had something to keep them busy during the longest leg of the relay.
|documenting battle wounds > first aid.|
leg 2 (1/7) - 11.75 miles, 1:34:10 (avg pace 8:00), 55*
24 road kills!, but got passed by 2 fast guys like i was standing still.