After last year's experience it's hard to believe I would ever return to this race. But I did, and I'm glad I did.
The weekend started early Thursday with us all meeting at the airport for our flight to Manchester, NH. Once in Manchester we rented vans and headed over to the Olive Garden for dinner. Then it was on to the grocery and then the long drive up to Brenton Woods. We hung out that evening at the bar across the street from our motel, The Profile Deluxe, shooting pool and throwing darts. I turned in pretty early. I like my sleep and knew I wouldn't be getting very much of it this weekend.
Friday started with a hearty breakfast and then a relaxing lounge by the pool with my iPod. At about 12:30 we loaded up the vans and headed to the Brenton Woods Lodge for the start of our wave. Our wave started at 1:30pm and there were only 18 teams that would start after us.
Bridget and I at the Brenton Woods Lodge. That's me on the right with my eyes all squinty.
And we're off! Andy started as by bravely running up the ski slope at Brenton Woods. He quickly came back down and then case was on toward Hampton Beach. Our runners in order were Andy, Steve, Mandy, Jim, Brian Y, Terry (all in Van 1) and then Van 2: Bridget, Brian G, me, Nathan, Jen, and my dad.
My first run was very difficult. I had a 400+ foot climb in about a mile. My calves were on fire going up that climb. I admit, I had to do a little walking. I also walked as I passed this house that had huge barking dogs. Really scary!
In the van before my first run. That my dad, me, and Nathan (L to R).
It started to rain on my dad's first run and continued for the next couple of hours as we tried to get some sleep.
Our van's next round of legs started around 2:00am with Bridget. This is when things got really scary. In the past, our team has started to catch other teams during the night runs so you weren't out there alone, but that was not the case this year. When our van caught up to Bridget and asked her how she was doing she said, "Some fucker chased me." We were like, "what the...?" It turns out some guy got out of his car and started chasing Bridget, but Bridget was too fast for this guy. So the guy got back in his car and drove ahead of Bridget, got out of his car and started waving and saying things to her. Bridget stopped running and just stood there. A woman in a passing car came up and asked Bridget if she knew the guy. Bridget said no and then the woman followed her for the next 2-1/2 miles. Once the guy got frustrated and left the woman in the car called the police. The police were there immediately and questioned Bridget, questioned us, and patrolled the road the rest of the time. Poor Bridget. She has the worst luck. She's had her car stolen, her bike stolen, was beaten unconscious by an intruder in her apartment, and now a guy chased her in the middle of the night. Brian ran with Bridget the rest of her run and we followed close behind in the van.
During my 2nd run I was completely alone but my van followed closely and Bridget even ran the last mile and a half with me. My middle leg was a good run--7.4 miles in 57:09.
At the next double transition area I pulled out my sleeping bag and slept on the grass. It was nice to stretch out and get some sleep.
At around 11:45am our van was off again with only 6 legs left until the finish. My run was 4.1 miles and my official time was 31:24, but I had it at 29:56 because I got stopped at a red light where we were required to wait until it tuned green again. Our vans got stopped by that same light twice and I thought I was going to beat them to the transition. Luckily Nathan hopped in the first van which barely made it to the transition before I did.
Our finish time was 26:02:24 which is a 7:22 pace ofr 212 miles. We finished 20th out of 275 finishing teams.
Hampton Beach at the end of the race. Notice how bundled up the girls are and how crazy the boys are.
The rest of the weekend was a blur of food, margaritas, sleep, and plane rides. It's good to be home and I'm totally exhausted. Barring any changes, I'm planning to run this relay again if my team will let me.
The day after at the Sea Spirals Motel. Dad, Brian G., and me.