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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the 4th year in a row, I ran with the "Stupid Running Friends". jensparks and vogelMd were also in my Van. Saw many other CH/PRTers out there as well!<br><br>
My first leg was a 4-mile steep downhill quad-trasher. I tried not to run it hard, and just used the hill for a decent 7:45 pace. It evenually trashed my quads anyway. It's just that there was a 48 hour delay (today). My second leg was an 8.2 mile rolling hill night leg. Note to<br>
self: Never drink Grape Gatorade again. It contributed to some dry heaves right before my 2nd leg. Van Mom Jen was worried about me - but my stomach felt fine once I started running and I was left with only the normal, every day searing leg pain. The leg was weird - there were so many short up and downhills, running it at night became impossible to tell if you were going up or down. Naturally, I blasted the last 100 meters for good measure, blowing by a confused runner. My total pace was 9:15, slower than my target of 8:45, but this is where I am these days, at least when it comes to distance running.<br><br>
Leg 3 yesterday morning after 2 hours of sleep. 8 miles in the rain. Towards the end I was going up a steep uphill and the skies opened up and then the winds came. That was special. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> A guy came up on me and was slowly passing me during it. We whooped, high-fived, and then both started laughing. A 9:35 pace, respectable for me, given the long, mostly uphill leg.<br><br>
Just had an ice bath. Beer and football now.
 

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I did worry about Arrojo, but he came through like a trooper! I love Grape Gatorade go figure. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> This was my fourth year too, third time as a Stupid Running Friend (last year I ran on an Ultra team).<br><br>
My first leg (leg #2) was 9.3 miles of wind & sun around 12:30pm on Friday. The first 5 miles or so felt like I had a 30mph headwind, then it was just hot & sunny. My lips were sunburnt since I forgot to bring lip balm with me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad"> The first 4 miles of this leg were downhill, starting at 1468.2' dropping to @800'. Then up again for 3 miles back to @1100'. I was soooo happy to see the turnoff into the trail at the Lincoln Woods Visitor's center. The last .2 took me over a small footbridge through the woods, where I handed off to Vogelmd. My pace for that run: 8:38/mi.<br><br>
My second leg (leg #13) was only 3.8 miles around 8:45pm on Friday. It was a cloudy night, but not raining (yet). This leg was gradually uphill the whole way, starting at 475' and climbing to 603'. Pretty uneventful, except I worried the van was waiting too far back for me. I hadn't seen them pass by, and apparently they missed me too, so they drove Vogel up to the transition and double-backed. I gave them a playful "It's about time you guys showed up" with about a mile to go. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> My pace for that leg was 8:23/mi.<br><br>
The final leg (#24) was around 7am. I'd done this 6.9 miler last year too. It's rated as easy-moderate, but it seems like a roller-coaster (until driving the next leg which made the one I just ran look like a joke). The start is at around 350', drops to 300', and then goes up & down & up to 380' before the finish. I'd asked the team to meet me @1/2 way with water, and when I didn't see them where I thought was 1/2 way I was discouraged, was I really running THAT slow? About 1/2 mile later, I see them just before the beginning of one of the bigger hills, and one team mate says "2.9 to go!". All I could spit out to Vogel as I threw the water they gave me to the ground was "You were supposed to be at 1/2 way!" Yeah, I was a wee bit grumpy, and used that to fuel my way up the next few big hills. This was the only leg I got roadkill on (passed other people) and they were both men - always a good boost as a girl! My pace for that leg: 8:17/mi. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
I was thinking of running trails today, ha! I might jump on my bike trainer, or take a nap, but first more eating. In total I ran 20 miles and managed an overall 8:28/mi pace. I was shooting for 8:15's, but I'm happy with it since i did manage to better my pace with each leg.<br><br>
I saw a whole bunch of CHers and PRTers ... PJ, PJ's Dave, Bhearn, Oache, EdVed, Notey, American Idiot, Fairytale, JillieD & Krismas! I also saw a bunch of others I know who were dispersed on different teams. Stupid Running Friends did really well, considering we had a few newbie runners - we ran a total of 29:00:45 for 206+ miles (they mis-measured a lot of legs). 172/351 total teams and 58/154 in the Mixed Open teams. Arrojo did a great job as captain (again), putting up with all our teams' injuries and whining!<br><br>
I am already looking forward to next year. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/headbang.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headbang">
 

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Great to run into you guys, Arrojo and Jen. I was on CHalupas, the other team formed from members of last year's Stupid Running Friends, with Notey et al. as Jen mentioned.<br><br>
Our overall placing wasn't so great this year, but we did finish about a minute before SRF, so there! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> (Oh, nevermind that we started two hours earlier!)<br><br>
I had the killer leg #3, 8(?) miles, 1500 ft. gain, starting around 12:30. It was HOT. I managed 1:06<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/mad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Mad">x, Garmin said 8:13 pace. I'll take it. I had no idea what to expect, and was pacing for 8:15. By mile 6 I felt great and had sped up to where I was averaging 8:02, but then it was like I hit a wall. I think it did get a bit steeper then. Also the course map said it was 7.7, but the Garmin said 8.1. I was spent at 7.7; finishing was hard. Vogel also measured it at 8.<br><br>
Jen, I ran your leg #13 (so you guys had 11 people this year??), starting at 7:38 pm. 25:45, 6:33 pace. Felt great in the coolth, after leg 3.<br><br>
Then leg #23, again in the dark. We had a botched transition here, and my Garmin never locked on, so I had no idea how I was doing, which really threw me off. Not to mention there was nobody around me, and I saw no RTB arrow signs, so I thought for a while I'd missed a turn, until my van passed. This was 6.2 miles, downhill for 3, then flat. I could tell I was running sub-7 pace, but by distance estimator was not so good. I passed someone with a working Garmin and asked where we were; she said just past 4. Damn, I was guessing 5 and a half. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad"> Anyway, I finished in about 42:00, ~6:46 pace.<br><br>
Finally, I had leg #32, 6.8 miles. Moderately hilly. You might remember running this one last year, Arrojo, and the extra motivation you received along the way? I was feeling great at this point, happy that my legs were not complaining at all. Ran this one in 46:09, 6:47 pace.<br><br>
Total roadkill: 50<br>
Reverse roadkill: 1 <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"><br><br>
Too bad we didn't hang out with you guys afterwards on the beach. We skipped the bbq, had a bunch of beers & ciders out of the back of Robert's (Krismas's boyfriend's) truck, then showered and had dinner at a restaurant.<br><br>
I drove back to Hanover today, and ran an easy 6, legs still feeling great. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> I'm feeling good for the Portland marathon on 10/7.
 

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Nice reports!! I wish I could have been there to cheer you guys on. Maybe take a few pictures. Thanks for sharing them with us. And that was quick!!
 

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I was helping at the TA at leg 25-26 - Did I see you arrojo ? I saw soemone dash by - and really thought it was you but the runner was gone down the road before I could say hey!<br>
I missed everyone this year- oh well- maybe next year!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Turns out my last mostly uphill leg in the rain was actually 8.4 miles, so I wasn't as slow as I thought (9:10, I estimate now) but still just as wet.<br><br>
bhearn, great seeing you guys. I do remember leg 32. Same steak and BJ offer from the same person? I may volunteer for that leg next year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You were there? Yes, I got the handoff from vogelMD at that exchange. Jensparks and I were waiting around for a bit there. We saw the ambulance pull up for that woman. Where were you?
 

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Sorry we missed you, RaisingArizona. We were wondering whether we might run into you as we finished leg 24. We were at TA 25 for quite a while; that was a van 1 -> van 2 transition for us (10-person team).<br><br>
I didn't see an ambulance, but there was a woman on the ground being attended to as we left. I didn't see what happened; looked like maybe she had collapsed at the transition line? Must've happened while we were right there, looking the other way.
 

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The ambulance showed up for her while we were waiting for Vogel to finish that leg, so I'm guessing you saw it just as it happened. We heard she'd had a massive asthma attack. Hopefully she's ok!<br><br>
I still want to know what happened to all those 8-10 people who we saw running on Rte. 93 (they were on leg 2). I ran that leg, and they must have followed the curve of the road up the offramp instead of following the arrows straight ahead. I was panicked thinking they might have re-routed the course last minute, and I really didn't want to run on the Interstate!
 

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I think I saw bhearn uterus fall out on leg three....it finished on a 9% grade...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/surprised.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Surprised"><br><br>
Fudge...I missed RaisingArizona....I ran the wonderful leg 25.....9.5 miles of rainy joy.<br><br>
Nice job Arrojo.....did you run leg 15 because that was an awesome route...too bad I couldn't see what it looked like in the dark.<br><br>
I dreched Jensparks in my sweat after my last leg....woot.
 

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Bummer! Arrojo - I had just headed down to the corner on the "main" road out front at the school. The police officer had runners asking her where to go and vans cutting off runners going out and she weren't happy ! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad"> I just started and I thought it was you.. but being my usual shy ( not) and sleepy self I didn't yell to you because I Knew I'd never catch you at that point.<br>
I missed the ambulance fun - though I did see some of the DVFD zoom by at one point.<br>
Oache - I left all kinds of messages on the pavement for you... in chalk ARGH! They dissolved with the early rain.<br>
Well maybe next year you all can let me be a driver or something so I can get in on the hilarity !
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I ran that route. There were so many ups and downs on that roller-coaster that in the pitch black, it was impossible to tell if you were going uphill or downhill! An odd sensation....<br><br>
Raising Arizona, yell at me next time, it's OK! And if its really not me, I'll never know. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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awesome job again!! i love the relay race report format. you owe us some pics though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Beer Near!<br><br>
(sorry, couldn't resist <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> ... your avatar!)<br><br>
Per Meri's request, here are some photos.<br><br>
Me, Rollin' Down the Highway (specifically, Route 3 in Lincoln, NH. This was leg #2 ... 9.3ish miles rumored to really be 9.5. It was long and hot, but I loved the extra .2 on trail at the end!)<br><br><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v717/jensparks/005.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br><br>
What kind of friend VOLUNTEERS to run 7.7 miles (or 8 if you go by everyone else's maps but the RTB folks) at mostly a 9% Grade? Why a <b>Stupid Running Friend</b> of course! Here's Vogel truckin' it on up leg 3.<br><br><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v717/jensparks/012.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
I have to add one in of our Arrojo or he'd be sad.... (I changed it to one where he's actually running, not just holding my coat <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/razz.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Razz">)<br><br><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v717/jensparks/017.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Do you know these people?<br>
Vogel, Arrojo, FT, PJ, PJs Dave, Me, Bhearn<br><br><img alt="" src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v717/jensparks/030.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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Arrojo - I had leg 4 too. All I can say about that is OW! My quads are STILL trashed. I, too, had the "I'm going to run it slow" mentality - but that was impossible. Slowing down was a futile effort and just made things hurt worse. 4.5 miles later, I looked at my 7.07 pace and cringed. My next leg hurt (leg 14), 8 miles in the dark with a lot of ups and downs - I think I managed a 9.25ish pace for that. The ups were fine, the downs, not-so-much. I had to walk a lot of the down. Leg 24 was the only one I really enjoyed, terrain-wise. 7 miles of very gradual ups and down hills with only one notable hill towards the end. I somehow eeked out a 8.40 pace for that. As long as I didn't try to stop, I was fine. I was supposed to run a 4th leg but there was NO way that was happening. Thank God American Idiot was a trooper and ran a 4th for me. I would have been walking it. I owe AI big time.<br><br>
Good times. Despite the leg pain, lack of sleep and some tummy problems (I spent some time after leg 24 throwing up), I had a ball!
 

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<span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">After running the 2005</span></span> <a href="http://www.rtbrelay.com/" target="_blank"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="color:#800080;">Reach the Beach</span></span></span></a> <span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">relay race, I knew I’d be back. After some of my Fall ’07 plans fell through and our previous captain didn’t answer the call, I volunteered to take the helm and organized a team for the 2007 event. The 2007 Reach the Beach relay spanned 208 miles from Cannon Mountain (Franconia Notch State Park) to Hampton Beach, NH.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">My planning for the event began in May by soliciting teammates - starting with our original 2005 team (of 12). Initially I had 10 commitments and I didn’t think that picking up 2 runners would be an issue – and it wasn’t. However, between May and early September, we experienced a bit of turnover…all to injuries (one whom was to heart surgery…yikes)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I lost Brian and gained Andrea</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Lost Flossie and gained Kate</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Lost Dave and gained Rod</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Lost Kate and gained Jen</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Lost Frank and gained Shaun (1 week from the start)</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">And away we go…</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Team Name: Blood, Sweat and MORE Beers</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><img alt="" src="http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb44/dsweet20/OurFirstMeetup.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">If you can’t tell by our name, we weren’t in it to win it, just to participate, finish and have a flat out blast. My (I'm the tall guy) goal was to make sure our team had a positive experience and didn’t have to sleep outdoors (as often happens, it rained during this year’s race). Personally, I had to complete 24.5 miles in 3 separate legs and I wanted to do it cramp/injury/pain free. Being fast wasn’t really an option – not with that kind of distance to cover.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">In a nutshell, the planning was all my doing. Details aside there was much coordination including securing shelter, question answering, emailing, recruiting, team patching, motivating, fronting of cost, cooking, shopping, t-shirt creation, printing, binding, yawning, driving, spreadsheeting, re-binding, calling, etc.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><b>Korbs</b> described how the relay works in his Ragner summary but in essence, we functioned with 2 vans and a total of 12 people (as a ‘standard’ team…that is, a non-ultra team), 6 people in each van and the vans leap frog each other after completing 6 consecutive legs. I was in Van 1 (115.9 total miles to run). Van #2 (90.1 total miles) was to meet us at Lower Falls on the Kancamagus Highway at the 1st vehicle transition.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Van 1 left my house at Omygoditsearly Fri AM (0545), and we arrived at Cannon ~8:30. Driving into Cannon was pretty comical. Everyone there seemed hung over, pie-eyed and the coffee definitely hadn’t yet kicked in. Teams were starting to gear up – decorating themselves, their vans, teammates, competitors, etc. The place was a zoo. Echoing above the lodge we could hear “AND THEY’RE OFF” as the earlier waves of staggered starts left the mountain. If the coffee didn’t work, that certainly got the juices flowing!</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I checked us in, passed the safety check, collected bibs & shirts and, whoops, they only had us down for 11 runners so I had to add my 12th to their list (and pay the $10 ‘late’ fee).</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I accompanied our 1st runner to the start for our 9:20 date w/RTB. We snapped a few pics of her with the others in the starting corral, the horn sounds and we’re off. The months of anticipation, planning, emailing, coordinating is now put to the test.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I was running legs</span></span> <a href="http://www.rtbrelay.com/Attachments/Combined_Maps_RTB2007.pdf" target="_blank"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="color:#0000FF;">3, 15 and 27</span></span></span></a> <span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">for a total of 24.5 miles. As captain….or as an idjit I still haven’t decided, I signed myself up for what was originally the longest and most difficult leg (leg 3 itself was referred to as the ‘hero leg’ in the official course description but I have a few other choice descriptive words for it). I was hoping someone in my Van would step up and offer to take it…no dice.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">The weather was clear, breezy and about 65 – 70 degrees. Awesome for the scenery – a little warm for a Clyde to be trudging uphill.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Leg 3: 7.7 miles long, up 1,600 feet with an average grade of ~4+%...one hill all the way up to the Kancamagus Pass. I had run Mt. Washington in June so I felt mentally prepared to tackle the leg. My preparation included a buildup to a long run of 16 miles and several repeats on the 1.3 mile road up</span></span> <a href="http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1274206" target="_blank"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="color:#0000FF;">Pack Monadnock</span></span></span></a><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">. The biggest challenge was going to be how my body reacted to running an additional 17 miles in the 2 legs following the mountain leg. Physical challenges aside, I think the mental games during a mountain run can be much more taxing – the seemingly infinite uphill, trying to stay focused and keeping the legs moving little by little, convincing yourself that every little step gets you that much closer to the transition. Most training runs offer a bit of a reward (downhill) after a tough uphill – not this one. The only break is the slight decrease in the elevation. Additionally, I figured I’d be surrounded by every other team’s best runner…meaning I had to prepare myself to be passed again and again. Great.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">The first mile+ I struggled. My breathing was all over the place, my stride length and cadence varied – I was getting ahead of myself, thinking about my other legs and how I was going to feel. Then some 150-lb gazelle in a yellow shirt bounded by me like he was being chased. Okay, time to hit reset, regroup and get at the task at hand. I think I was a little too anxious. I was also operating on 4 hours of sleep so focusing on my breathing helped quiet things down a bit. I slowed my pace, let my breathing do the pace setting and settled into a rhythmic and comfortable groove. One foot in front of the other – repeat – repeat – repeat.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Before the event, I estimated I’d pace at about a 10 mpm (I averaged 14 mpm in Mt Washington, 7.6 miles, ~5,000 ft vertical) but I had no idea what pace I was actually working on – I didn’t care and it didn’t matter, it was comfortable and my breathing wasn’t labored. I knew I had to save some gusto for legs 15 & 27 (no cramping, stay hydrated – repeat – repeat). I had the solar-inspired strap-on working for me so fluids were an arm length away. There was one person in a white shirt barely visible in front of me – no chance at catching him/her so I cast that notion aside. I eventually passed 3 others, only to be passed by 2 more. Since my breathing wasn’t labored, I did manage to mutter some encouraging words of some sort as I passed them or they passed me – always giving…</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">The one thing that pissed me off was having other teams parked on the side letting me know that I ‘only’ had 4 more miles to go or I ‘only’ had 2.3 more miles to go. Uh, thanks but no thanks on the distance beacons. Regardless, the scenery in the Kanc Valley was fantastic.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Between 52 and 62 minutes elapsed, the elevation increased pretty significantly (as if I wasn’t already slow enough). I toyed with the idea of trying to pick up the pace but stuck with my plan - thankfully. I kept justifying that finishing a few minutes quicker wasn’t a big deal to our team...although expending the extra energy to do it would have been a big difference to me – likely a catastrophic difference. Around mile 7, near the final turns in the leg, another team had pulled over to the side waiting for their runner. They were awesome – partying, wooting, beach balls flying, playing football (I had to throw it at least once!) and providing a great distraction.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I was dialing in on the home stretch and with about ½ mile left to go, a runner much more junior than I flew by, frothing, breathing heavily…but cruising. This dude just got done telling me (at the start of the leg) that his team was 1 runner short so he had to run an extra leg for a total of 29 miles….and he’s sprinting uphill? Leg 1? See his finishing photo below. Serves him right.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><img alt="" src="http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb44/dsweet20/Noticetheguythatfinished.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Projectile vomit…sweet!</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I really focused on letting my breathing do the pace setting. Overall, I averaged 9:50 mpm and I sucked my strap-on dry. Transition #1 done. I didn’t really feel like a hero but there was some satisfaction in having the others in my van say ‘better you than me’.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">The views were awesome coming down the other side of the Kanc. Three of my other teammates had to deal with the thigh pounding/knee crushing downhills for the next 11+ miles. God bless ‘em.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">We met Van #2 at the transition area and rewarded ourselves with a quick dip in the Lower Falls…well, at least I did. Most folks soaked their ankles or knees – I went for the full enchilada. 55 degree water, what??? By-standers thought I was a bit nuts – but weren’t we already nuts for running across the entire state? Who can resist a clean, clear running mountain stream?</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><img alt="" src="http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb44/dsweet20/SoapAnyone.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">After backstroking in the Swift River, we hit a friend’s ski condo in Jackson for some nourishment and R&R. We had ~2 hours before we had to be at the next transition to meet Van #2 which meant little to <span style="text-decoration:underline;">no</span> sleep.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">My next leg was 8.2 miles mostly rolling hills and thankfully some downhill! I rolled out ~9:40PM and started off the first ½ mile at a conservative pace. After chatting with a few other runners in a small group that had formed, my legs said GO…so, I went (sounds very Gump-like). I dusted 3 or 4 other runners, and then got passed by a tutu…yes, she was wearing a bright red tutu and looked mighty fine I might add. After the euphoria of starting the leg and seeing a cute tutu wore off, the cramping crept in. My diaphragm and lower abdominal muscles started talking. This was my first inkling that I was still pretty dehydrated. I was still cranking along – I figured at about a 7:30-7:40 mpm pace based on my effort and breathing – through lots of rolling hills. It’s pretty cool to be cruising along a darkened rural road, able to see the blinking red beacons of other runners ahead plodding along under the guise of the NH night. The image can’t really be caught on film – it is in a way the essence of the race. The ab cramps did a good job at keeping me associated with my running, but several times the darkness and sleep deprivation induced a semi-conscious state and I’m sure I was wandering around the white line a bit. At one point, I passed a female participant waiting on the side of the road for her runner who said something like…’don’t fall asleep yet’…I must have been wandering a bit too much. I had decided not to carry my strap-on figuring the leg would only take an hour (big mistake).</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Details are sketchy down the homestretch but I do remember a fellow runner providing encouragement to the finish as he was passing by. About 50 yards from the transition my left hammy went into instant and complete lockdown. It felt like a sniper got me. I had to stop, stretch, regroup and hobble to the end – every step was excruciating. After making the handoff, slugging down a bottle of water I had to take 10 minutes +/- to stretch out the hammy to a relatively comfortable state. Climbing back into the van for more riding was tough.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">After thinking about it, I spent the day taking care of our other runners, handing out the water, Gatorade and nourishment and didn’t replenish my own supply – stoopid! Over the next 4 hours I think I pounded 2+ gallons of fluid, 6 Thermotabs and as much salt as I could eat (mmmm, Cheetos). I finished leg 15 with an 8:04 pace – satisfying but painful. Two down, one to go.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">We finished our last few legs and transitions, meeting our other van ~1:15AM in Laconia. The front lawn at the transition point (NH VocTech) looked like a post war battlefield – bodies in (sleeping) bags were strewn everywhere. Most teams either sleep under the stars or climb into their vans for some stinky shuteye. Not us.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">We cruised to a friend’s house on a local lake for some shelter, hot foot, hot showers and warm beds. On our way to the house – the skies opened up and it absolutely poured. I did feel a little bad for those back on the lawn. After filling up on pizza (again) and pasta stir-fry, we settled in for a few hours of sleep. We had to share the house with another team but unfortunately they weren’t as diligent about noise control as we tried to be. I think we were able to get 2 hours of pseudo-sleep.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Alarms sound, shits taken, car packed and on our way to our next vehicle transition in Bear Brook State Park ~6AM. We maximized our downtime at the lake and were knowingly cutting it close to make it on time to the next transition. We ended up running into a road closure on our way to Bear Brook (closed bridge) and had to get directions at a local 7-11 for a detour (that wasn’t on Mapquest?!?). We ended up being only 3 minutes late to the transition but I’m sure it seemed a lot longer to our other van (apologizing profusely).</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Away we go…again. Saturday morning was about 60 degrees, overcast and misty. Perfect for some running.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">My last leg (27) was 8.6 miles with gradual and rolling hills in a rural setting. It was still clouded over and was looking like rain again. The roads were wet and I transitioned into my run ~8:30AM. I quickly connected with a runner from team Memento and we ran the length together. He was also captaining his team so we passed the miles comparing notes on our previous beeotch legs and various captaining woes. Turns out he hadn’t done any hill training to speak of – all of his training was done in downtown Boston. At one point during the run, we passed by some grape vines and I asked him if he could smell the grapes (if you’ve never smelled them in season, it’s intoxicating). I think he thought I was delirious or on drugs, but he made a crack about living in an urban setting and if it didn’t smell like diesel, it didn’t smell right. Heh. The next vines we came across I picked a handful of nature’s M&M’s and we chewed on them for the next few minutes. I apologized for acting like a NH-hic but, man they were o’so tasty. I made a believer out of him!</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">The pace was relaxed – it started ~8:20 mpm and faded into an 8:40+ mpm. I could have gone a lot faster, but I preferred having a running partner. I think I was helping him battle the leg pain and he kept my pace in check (no more cramps). It poured and we got soaked but it turned into a super relaxing recovery run after busting out the previous 2 legs. Again, I had my strap-on and wound up getting blisters on my hand b/c of the wet conditions. Final pace for the leg was 8:43 mpm. Perfect.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Blood, Sweat and More Beers finished in 30:21:47, 251st place overall. It never seems to last that long – before you know it, the race is done, clothes are washed and the metal is stored.</span></span><br><br><b><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Some parting shots:</span></span></span></b><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- I guess it’s better to wear a strap-on and endure blisters than not wear it and get cramps.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- My team kicks ass – they’re awesome people.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- As cool as sleeping outdoors in the stars sounds and as much as it might add to the experience, you can’t beat a roof over your head, a hot shower and if you’re lucky, a warm bed when it’s pouring outside.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- It’s all good to take care of your teammates, but if you give a drink, take a drink (that goes for the post-race party also).</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- I guess I did something right – everyone is already talking about RTB ’08. Even the guy that had the heart surgery – the pace maker did the trick.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- Quoting John Bingham “every mile answered questions, about courage, strength, hopes and limits, but others remained that could only be answered with another mile, and ultimately, another (RTB)” – (substitute freely – mile, race, marathon, etc)</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- I didn’t know any of these people before I did this race 2 years ago and now some of them are very close friends. Take a chance; you may be pleasantly surprised with the long-term outcome.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- Funny, the above bullet has me thinking about some of the talk of a 30s team next year. To date I have only met 2 of the 30s crew and would share a van any day w/them. Sadly, I’d have to ditch my current team, but I have 220+ days to ponder that (planning starts in May).</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- It’s amazing how the running community really supports and protects each other, even in the midst of a competitive event.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- I feel really good about meeting and exceeding my goal that everyone on my team would have a good time. I had 6 first timers, 5 2nd timers and one 11-timer. Everyone, including me, has lots of positive memories.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- It helps to talk to the volunteers at the transition areas – especially the kids. Most importantly, they often know where the clean bathrooms are. If ever any of you run a relay, be prepared for disgusting (mounded) porta-potties. Yeach.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- Thank all of the volunteers you can. Not many people do and I think they truly appreciate the tiniest amount of recognition.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- Diaper wipes aren’t just for babies.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">- I now find myself asking…”what’s next?”</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Why do I run this race? I get to see parts of the state that I don’t normally get to see. Like these:</span></span><br><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><img alt="" src="http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb44/dsweet20/YupBeautiful.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span></span><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">Sugar Hill Overlook</span></span></span><br><br><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><img alt="" src="http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb44/dsweet20/ScenicVistas.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span></span><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">(coming into Lower Falls looking back up the Kancamagus)</span></span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><img alt="" src="http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb44/dsweet20/Whathill.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">(that’s me – more uphill to the Kanc Pass)</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;"><img alt="" src="http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb44/dsweet20/9Prettycoolviewtostartaracehuh.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"></span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">(the start at Cannon…not a bad view, huh?)</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Sorry for the verbose report. Hope you enjoyed it.</span></span><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">Cheers</span></span>
 

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great pictures everyone!!!!! if we do not go back to the VT50 next year, maybe i will actually make it up there. Looks like a total blast.
 
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