It's not too late for a race report is it? It's only been a week and a half! I think it's taken me this long to catch up on the sleep I missed out on during the race.
Before I get started, though, I want to express my condolences to the Mayasich family, whose son, Robby, an 18 year old Phoenix kid, was hit by a car while passing water to one of his teammates about half way through the race. He was air lifted to the hospital, but died a few days later. I don't know all the details, but it is really a sad story.
I had never done a relay race before, so I was really looking forward to this adventure with a bunch of friends. I was excited to be running over 20 miles in about 36 hours. The plan was to run our first leg, get dinner, nap, run our second leg, go to our team captain's parent's house to sleep, then run our last leg and finish as a team.
Everything started out as planned. I was in van #2, so we went straight to the first major exchange and waited for van #1 to arrive. As the last runner from van #1 passed by us (almost without us seeing him), we cheered him on and jumped in the van to cheer on our first runner. I was telling Lani later that it was like running three races while having our own little cheering section. The van would leap frog the runner throughout the course and everyone would cheer them on as they ran.
So, we cheered on our #1 and made our way to the next exchange where I got ready for my first run of the day. My first leg was a 5.5 mile route that started out slightly downhill, but had a couple pretty tough and long hills. I really wasn't intimidated by the hills, and thought they wouldn't really be anything to worry about. I started out pretty fast, and when I passed an older gentleman, he made a comment about the hills coming up. He was probably thinking something like "This kid is gonna die on those hills." To be honest, I had actually forgotten about the hills, and it got me thinking that maybe I was starting out too fast, but I didn't want to slow down. I had been waiting to run all day (this was 1:30 in the afternoon), the adrenaline was pumping, and I was feeling great, so I just kept charging ahead. The hills definitely humbled me, though. The were much tougher than I anticipated, but that man's comment helped push me up those hills. I just focused on moving forward, and like in any other race, focusing on the person in front of me. I finished my leg in 40:44 with and average pace of 7:19. I was totally expecting my pace to be well over 8 minutes. It certainly felt like it! After handing off the baton/snap bracelet, I stretched a little, and we hurried to cheer on out next runner.
Click here for Part 2.