Three years ago I ran in the Marathon Relay with a couple of guys from the office. I was in the middle of rehabing my hip so it was not really a race. Four years ago, was the last 5-man relay team that I had put together. We had won our division for each of the previous five years. This year I recruited James off of that team and then added Karl, Scott and Victoria. I was not sure that this team would win the division, but we would have a good shot at placing.
We settled on the following order: Scott, Vic, James, Karl and with me running the anchor.
The weather was not good. Very warm and 20 mph winds gusting to 40!! The south winds meant that Karl and James would be fighting most of the wind. And Karl had to do the famous Dolly Parton Hills to boot.
Vic and I drove down to the first exchange together in her car. I dropped her off at 7:30 and then drove to the last exchange. I had over two hours to wait, so I curled up in the back of the car and had a nice cat nap. At 9am I got up and got moving. Hydrated, had a couple of snacks. Hit the portapots. Etcetera. At 9:30 I stated my warmup.
I jogged south on the race course and after about six minutes I found Vic jogging back to me. She told me that Scott ran about 41 and she ran her 38. We got back to the car and Scott texted me that he had run 40, which was a bit slower than he wanted. I finished my warmup. Vic had my T5s ready to go. It was 10am, the leaders had come though. The portapots had big lines, but I knew that there were some a quarter mile down the road, so I jogged down there - no lines! I was ready.
Shortly after 10:15 Karl turned up. He was a couple of minutes late, but not too bad. I took the baton and was off! I immeadiatly started picking off the marathon runners. It was at least 65 degress and these guys were all suffering badly. They made great windblocks however! I concentrated on my pace and picking these guys off, and I did not even look at my watch for the first five miles! I was just running hard. When I hit Swiss Ave, I lengthened my stride and ran hard down the hill. I picked off my first relay runner here. Also, as I ran down Swiss Ave, there was a film crew taping - the race was being broadcast live on TV. This guy filmed me executing one of my use-the-marathon-runner-as-a-windblock and then pass them manuevers.
Finally at Mile 5 I looked at the split on my watch. Wouldn't you know it, it was 5:39. There was no way I was running 5:39 after five miles. I did not look the elapsed time. I just kept powering on. Mile 6 was 6:14. That seemed more plausible and/or the two mile split of 11:53 also plausible. Anyway, no time to analyze that, there were two young guys in front of me to catch. I came through the finish with 2:52 on the clock. Not a bad run.
Then the fun began. Someone gave me a heatshield blanket. Then someone gave me a hat. Hey I need five of these. Then someone gave me a shirt. Hey I need four large, one XL. Then five medals. Then some lady grabbed all of this crap that I had collected and told me that I had to get a mug shot. Ok - two photos later and with an armload of crap I finally got out of the finisher area. Where is Vic?
While I waited I reviewed the splits on my watch: 5:47 - this was not a complete mile; the handoff was about 150 meters from the mile marker. 6:02; 6:09; 6:13; 5:39; 6:14; 1:25 (37:32) although I stopped my watch well after I finished. So for the five miles 21-26 I ran 30:17. I'll have to check this, but this is likely to be the fastest five miles in 8 years. Not too bad. Certainly better than the 31 that I ran at Sugarland four years
Good job Karl, Vic, James and Scott!
Labels: MarathonRelay, Race, Run, Running