First up: Market to Market relay! Back in December, I asked some friends if they would be interested in participating in this race. It is a 76.4-mile relay race that begins in Milford (a suburb of Cincinnati) and ends in downtown Dayton. This is the second year of this race, I believe, and I'd heard great thing about it from my friend Jamie. I recruited some of my best friends to join me, and we've been planning things for several months! Our team was aptly named "Classy, Sassy and a bit Smartassy," and was composed of Jen, Stacey, Christine, Amy, Jess and Allison.
|We all got these tanks in different colors. This one highlights Jen's assets ;)|
Christine picked me up on Friday afternoon as soon as we both got done with work, and we met up with Jess, Allison and Amy at Christine's house to load up the van. We picked up Jen and Stacey and then we were off!
|Jen & Stacey--cheers!|
So it was off to the starting line, where we were easily able to park and find the packet pick-up, which was in a local camping/sporting goods store right next to the starting line. Since we were early, we hung out in a coffee shop and studied the course maps that we'd been provided... this was actually a thick booklet with specific directions and instructions.
|Amy's gonna hate this one...|
|Fooling around pre-race!|
|She's so ready!|
|Christine coming in!|
|The first exchange!|
The next few stages went by quickly.
|Official photographer :)|
|Stacey coming in for her first exchange!|
|And Jess heading out!|
|Selfie at the top of Ft. Ancient, waiting for Allison!|
|Love these mamas!|
The next few legs flew by. We watched the temperatures rise and started to get worried about the heat. By 1 PM it was almost 90 degrees and still climbing.
|Amy waiting for Jen in the crazy heat|
|Stacey throwing water at Jen as she came in!|
|Amy isn't too happy in the heat...|
|Stacey finishing her super-long leg in the sun|
|After her 2nd leg, Stacey needed a snack...|
My time came though... I stood at exchange point 12 waiting for Jess, trying not to cry. Thankfully I had on my sunglasses so no one knew how scared I really was. Jess ran in and then I was off. This time, I'd decided to put Pandora on my phone in my FlipBelt, so at least I'd have something to listen to while I suffered. I was hot... oh so hot... but I was less alone this time. I had three men pass me during my leg, but I passed several walkers, and I also passed one of the men who had passed me when he started to walk. I made it a little game... I wouldn't let myself check my progress on my Garmin till I passed someone. Otherwise, the tenths ticked by super slowly. I managed to keep my pace relaxed and only felt a little dizzy twice during the run; both times I just drank more water and breathed slower. But man was it hot! Oh and did I mention that this leg was entirely uphill? It didn't feel that way, thankfully... probably because I was too busy thinking about how I felt like I was in an oven. I again controlled my pace well... 9:06, 9:10, 9:01, 9:12, and 8:47 for the final 0.6 miles (overall pace 9:04/mile for the run). I honestly couldn't go much faster than that, not safely at least.
I was so very very happy to see the final turn off from the trail to the exchange point. I handed off the chip to Allison and grabbed icy water and Gatorade from my friends. They were a little giggly... more so than usual. Back at the car, I immediately gathered that something was up. As it turns out,. there had been some navigation issues and they'd arrived only a minute or two before I finished... needless to say, I was more than happy to take over navigation duties again!
I didn't feel so hot after I'd finished my second leg... tummy issues mostly. It was still fun cheering on everyone else on my team and laughing about how awful we all smelled at that point.
|One of the few pics of Allison, since I handed off to her!|
|How Jen feels about the heat...|
|Christine powering through her final leg!|
|Their last exchange!|
|Because she didn't work out enough today ;)|
|Amy is so thrilled to run her third leg ;)|
The best part was meeting up with a team of very attractive college-age male runners who seemed to be at every exchange point just ahead of us for the final 4-5 stops. Lots of eye candy to keep us happy!
|Our favorite ;)|
|Amy's got this!|
|Stacey is ready for her final leg!|
|Waiting on Stacey... Allison is checking out the guys ;)|
|Here comes Stacey!|
|The final exchange!|
|Stacey lending Jen a hand ;)|
|Here comes Jess!|
|Our team finishing!|
We did stop in Urbana to have dinner (half of us at Chipotle, the other half at Five Guys Burgers & Fries--oh, the deliciousness of a burger and salty fries after running!), and made it back to central Ohio before 10 PM.
Our official results:
We were the 10th-fastest all-women's team out of 31, and 65th out of 163 teams overall. Our overall pace was a 9:09/mile. Given the heat of the day, we were pretty happy with that! We all agreed that it was an amazing experience, one that we'd all definitely like to repeat.