So, it’s not really a race report as a relay is a different sort of race, but I wanna clue you in to all of the craziness that occurred so we’ll call it a race report for today and get to getting. Any who.
The plan was to meet at a teammates house that was up near Saratoga at 7:00 AM. This would give us time to pack our trusty van, decorate it and head over to the start line for our safety briefing, flag acquiring, etc before we hit the roads at 9:00 AM. I awoke at 5 AM to the sound of rain and I knew it was going to be a long weekend. The forecast called for rain, and rain it did. Needless to say, not a lot of van decorating was done that morning. Every time we tried, the marker ran down the windows. We were successful in attaching some bloody hand prints to the inside windows and writing on the inside. We quickly discovered that this was pointless since the windows were tinted and no one could see it on the outside, but party on relay people, we tried……
That is some of Laurie’s finest artwork.
We made it successfully to the start and not to worry, it was still raining. We were informed in the safety meeting that due to the rain our beautiful reflective vests would be mandatory at all times (instead of just night-time hours) until we heard different. We never did. We collected our things, flags, goody bags and what not and stocked up the van. Then it was just a waiting game in the dry van until we needed to hit the start line. Fortunately despite the rain, everything was running on time and Allie left the big Ragnar arch at 9:00 on the dot. Hind sight, this was too late for our team to be starting. But I’ll get to that later.
Allie says hi!
Our first exchange went smoothly. I like to call them Double A’s.
I can safely tell you that the first several legs in and around Saratoga went well. I don’t have great pictures of everyone as again, it was raining. Our first snag was encountered at exchange 6…. It was a major. So picture a busy, busy exchange where van 1 & van 2 for regular sized teams were switching. We pulled in to discover that our runner was there ahead of us, and had been waiting for 10 minutes. Oooops, sorry Laurie. I can also safely say that it wasn’t intentional. We lost track of time, there was coffee involved and we didn’t mean it. But next time we’ll be sure to bring her a coffee too so she’s not so mad. Anyway, after that little incident, Jen was out for her run and we were finally heading to pick up our one missing van member. Ms. Jess.
I like to think of them as My Angels
Jen had a cool leg taking us right past Kings Farm. I snapped the above photo and we bought some delicious chocolate milk for a post run recovery drink. Jess also headed out on a leg that was semi uneventful.
As night was closing in (I think it was like 6), I finally headed out on my first set of legs. Originally I had been so excited as much of this ten-mile stretch was on a bike path. This all sounded fine and good until it got dark. And I mean dark. One a bike path, with little to no van access for what felt like forever. Even though I was on the bike path, I was relatively certain I was lost. Then we popped out onto the road and head to the exchange. As an ultra team we ran two legs back to back. So we would run through our first exchange and actually exchange at the next. This is where my snaffoo came in.
I ran up to a school, was to run through the exchange and did. Ran right through it. Past the volunteers who told me great job, keep going. And then I did. I kept going for another mile out of my way before my mistake was noted and turned around. Unfortunately, those volunteers were busy chatting and hadn’t even noticed my error. We righted it and I headed back out for the remaining 5ish miles of my 10ish mile leg. Back to the bike path. Back to the pitch black. All I could see with my head lamp was the rain coming down in front of me. So freaky. I’m not going to lie. I was a little scarred out there. But finally I began to hear the noise of the major exchange ahead and could tell that I was making my way into Million Dollar Beach. In the end that leg was 11 miles rather than 10 due to the error. I’ll get over it, eventually. It was at that point that we picked up our van driver and set our course north to travel through the night.
To be continued…