Thursday, October 05, 2006

Reach the Beach 2006--Story and Photo Essay

Sorry, this entry is a little belated. I've been working on it for weeks, but it's taken me a long time to do the pictures.

The weekend of September 14th through 17th was my annual pilgrimmage to New Hampshire for the Reach the Beach Relay. This was my third time doing this race and I was hoping for this to be the first year without rain.

The first time I did this race, we ran 24 of the 25 hours in the rain during a hurricane. The second year it rained during my first leg, but was pretty clear the rest of the time. This year when we landed in New Hampshire it was pouring down rain. Great! This race was going to suck. Except, we woke up Friday morning and it was clear. And, amazingly, it did not rain once the entire race.

Reach the Beach 2006 had approximately 300 teams, which teams starting in waves. The waves started at 7:00am and went every half hour until, I think, 3:30pm. The idea is to start the slower teams first, fastest teams last and then teams should all end up at the finish line at approximately the same time. Our start time was 2:00pm, and there were only a few teams starting after us. We raced as a men's open team even though we had four women on the team. You need to have at least six women on the team to be considered a co-ed team. The course is 210+ miles, which is broken down into 36 segments. The shortest leg is 3.1 miles and the longest leg is about 8.8 miles. We start at Brenton Woods ski resort and end at Hampton Beach.

Bridget started for our team and was the only girl in the wave. We were against some fast competitors including some teams we've been paired against for the last several years. The first leg is straight up one of the ski slopes, across the top of the mountain, and then straight down another sky slope. Bridget held tough with the guys, though, finishing 5th out of 7th on the first leg. And, we were off.

The first van was comprised of Bridget, Brian G., Andy, Nathan, Bob, and Jim. The second van was me, Dad, Brian Y., Mandy, Steve, and Nancy. Van 1 ran the first six legs and Van 2 ran legs 7-12, and then Van 1 started again and the rotation continued. I have always been in Van 2 and therefore have always experienced running in the dark twice. This year was especially hard to run in the dark as it was foggy. For my second leg in the dark (around 4:30am), I wore my headlamp over my ballcap, which created tunnel vision with the fog. Even with the headlamp is was hard to see. Again during the second leg in the dark, I thought I was stepping on the white line on the road only to find out it was the edge of a sidewalk. Yeah, I fell. And a guy just zoomed passed me and asked me if I was alright while he kept running. Thanks for the help, buddy!

I really don't have much to say about the race. We finished 17th out of 296, in 25:27:43. Our average pace was 7:16. It's a good thing we have much faster people on the team than me. I'll let my pictures tell the story about the race.

My dad goofing around at the Profile Deluxe Motel.

Bridget preparing for her first run.

Bob is also warming up.

I like my warmups in the dancing variety.

OMG! Too funny!

Van 1 minus Nathan.

Van 2 minus Brian Y.

Our fearless leader Andy. Nice porn 'stache

Brian and Andy drinking a little Red Bull.

No botox here.

Nice shiner, Nathan.

Dad and I.

How to sleep in a minivan.

We don't look like we're having fun.

Yeah, we had fun.


Flatman said...

Awesome pictures!

Meredith said...

I probably should have said somewhere in the entry that I didn't take any of these pictures. These pictures are courtesy of Nathan, Andy, and Brian Y. I 'borrowed' them from Shutterfly.

Andrea said...

ha!! nice call on Andy's 'tasche!