Runners Forum - Kick Runners banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,572 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Wow.  I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to convey the entire experience in a race report, but I will do my best. It’s probably a bit jumbled and I am leaving out a zillion details, but you’ll get the idea – it was hard!!  I am still in a bit of shock after doing this, and wondering which was more difficult – BRR or my IM?   Nine months ago when a guy from our running group announced “Oh, I just signed us up for the Blue Ridge Relay in September”…it didn’t sound like such a big deal.  Yes, some hilly running, but broken up in segments, I could get some rest, blah blah blah.  How hard can this be?  As we got closer to our race, I began to panic when I started looking at the elevation profiles, the logistical issues, everything that needed to happen in about a 30 hour span of time. </span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">The relay is 208 miles in length, spanning from Grayson Highlands, VA to Ashville, NC.  It runs along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but only short segments are actually run on the parkway; it’s mostly rural mountain roads sort of off the beaten path.  We had a team of 12 people in 2 vans which included a mix of faster and slower, younger and older, male and female runners.  OK, only 3 female runners, and I was the lone female in van 1 with 5 male runners. Good times <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="width:16px;height:16px;" title="">. </span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Our van started at 7:30 a.m. Friday, and I was runner #2.  My first leg was around 8:00 a.m. and 7.5 miles, and the elevation profile looked like it was downhill, dropping about 1000 ft in elevation.   Apparently I had no concept of what that would do to my quads, because they were cursing me right around mile 4.   As it turns out, there was also a bit of a climb right in the middle that I did not anticipate either, so right about then I knew I was in for a long day.  Or days.  Whatever, this thing was just really fricking long.   Finished that segment in 1:02:ish, so I was happy with that.</span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">Segment 2 included a 10 mile climb up Grandfather mountain starting around 7:45 p.m.  It the dark.  It was really stupid dark.  This went from about 3500 to 4300 feet, and it was really dark.  Dark!  No lights, longish stretches with no cars, no runners, just me and the bats.  Bears.  Panthers. Lions. <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/shock.gif" style="width:15px;height:15px;" title=""> Whatever else my imagination could conjure up at the moment. Good thing I had my pepper spray, because that would surely help me fight a lion!  Did I mention it was dark??  I did actually see a lot of bats – I suppose bugs flying around my headlamp made me a bit of a moving target. Pretty scary stretch for me, and I came into the exchange zone literally screaming the name of my hand-off runner.  I don’t think I stopped shaking for about an hour and my poor van mates had to then put up with my endless ‘near death’ stories.  Sorry guys.  The good news is fear-based adrenaline will send you up that mountain a lot faster – I finished the 10 mile climb in 1:29:55, well ahead of my projected time. Yay!</span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">By segment 3, I was *really* tired as it was hard to get any sort of rest at the transitions due to noise, activity, etc….oh, and it was still really dark.  And it’s foggy now too!  Yay again!  We had a runner become almost completely disoriented on a gravel road on her segment, so I was more than a little freaked out.  It was about 4:30 a.m in the middle of nowhereland, and I was to head out in the dark fog.  I won’t even go into how easy it was to get lost on this course, and now with the fog and dark, I was really not looking forward to this.  It was described as a rolling stretch of 4.5 miles of running, but their rolling is my ‘really hilly’.  Ouch.  I was able to follow the lines on the road to keep moving in the right direction, as head lamps and fog simply do not mix.  Finally finished this segment in 38:35, and I’m done. Needless to say, I was a little giddy.</span></span></p>
<p> </p>
<p><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'times new roman';">We finished in Asheville around 3 p.m. Saturday after about 31 hours (not sure our final time).  I love that town and it was a really fun finish where we all got back together to cross the line as a group.  Had a great dinner at Laughing Seed, and then it hit me that I had not slept really during the whole ordeal.  It became increasingly difficult to form a coherent sentence and everything became a bit of a blur (probably much like this RR), but it was finally time to head back to Raleigh.   I would definitely do this again, but perhaps not on this course.   We had a guy in our group that had done Hood to Coast, and he thought BRR was a good bit more difficult b/c of all the climbing/descents.  One important lesson was that it is crucial to have a good team out there – it was challenging, and I would even say grueling, but everyone pretty much kept their head together.   Surprisingly enough, we were able to keep the van stink at a minimum (and I was with all guys!) through the use of Rubbermaid tubs for all our running gear, and keeping sweaty clothes in plastic sealable bags. Oh, and lots of baby-wipe-sponge-baths behind whatever dumpster I could find.  I’ll spend the next few days recovering and catching up on sleep, then it’s on to my trail marathon in October!</span></span></p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,201 Posts
<p>sounds like you handled the new experience very well.  Great report.make notes of things you would do next time because there will be a next time count on it <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/lol.gif" style="width:15px;height:15px;" title=""></p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,312 Posts
<p><img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/shock.gif" title="">  and <img alt="" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/notworthy.gif" title=""></p>
<p> </p>
<p>Awesome RR and fantastic job out there!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,572 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SpartyGirl</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/70232/blue-ridge-relay-rr#post_1947503"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Pure awesomeness - any room for a slow chic on your team?!  " class="bbcode_smiley" height="1" src="<a href="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies//smile.gif">http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies//smile.gif</a>" title="<img alt=":)" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies//smile.gif" title=":)">" width="1" /></p>
<p> </p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br><br>
Oh heck yeah!!!  We're actually talking about doing another one next April - there is a new one in SC, I think called the Palmetto 200?   We're always looking for runners!!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,280 Posts
<p>Wow!  Running in pitch dark all alone in the middle of woods???  How did you do that?  Have you run in that kind of condition before (with somebody maybe as a practice)?  I would freak out.  Yeah I saw a bear in one of the National Parks in VA.  Glad you had a great time.  I would love to try something like this, only if I run in the daylight or in the dark with somebody who can take the lions and bears and all.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Great job Heidi!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,153 Posts
<p>Wow...what a race!!! Glad you got through the dark parts and had a good time all in all. Sounds like a tough course...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Your description of your "dark experience" reminded me of a relay I did years ago with a good portion through the desert. I had a 2am, 7-mile leg through a section that had jumping spiders...yes, jumping spiders. We were forewarned about them, and between those and all the other things scurrying around, I'm surprised I didn't have a heart attack.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Nice job on the race all in all!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,384 Posts
<p>Wow! I guess at your next IM we'll send some bats out to chase you and you'll get a huge PR!</p>
<p>Great job in tough conditions. I think these long relays sound kinda fun- in that crazy kind of way.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,430 Posts
<p>Wow, that sounds awesome.  I can't imagine adding all those crazy hills to what's already a super-long course.  We had some killer hills for Reach The Beach, some with 100s of feet of climbing and ascending but nothing like running along a mountain ridge.  You were super speedy on your legs despite the craziness.  I am really impressed.  Congrats!  Do you think you'll do it again?</p>
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top