Sunday, June 29, 2008

Wasatch Back

I know I am super slow getting this post up but I was waiting on pictures for a few days. Here's the rundown: it was awesome!

This year I was in van 2 so no 4:30 am meeting times to get to the start of the race. Our van rocked 100% this year. Of course this year we ran with gear again and we stepped it up a notch too. Jim, our CEO, ran in a pair of skis. Literally had skis on his feet while running! It was awesome.

Since we were running with gear we were the last of teams to come through the first exchange (we had four teams from work). We knew we needed to make up time so we motored the best we could.

My first leg looked like this:

Yes it was only 3.1 miles, but it was uphill the whole way, it was like 4:30 in the afternoon, it was blazing hot (at the time it was the hottest day of the year on record, close to 100 I think) and I ran in this:

Yup, I ran in a tent. It was a one man tent to Jamon rigged up with sticks and duct tape so it would hold it shape while I ran. Running it looked like this:

It was pretty hot. One good thing was the tent was almost solid mesh so a little breeze would blow through it. On one corner as I was coming around I got hit with a short headwind and it blew the tent like a sail. I did manage to put down something like 8:30 miles running uphill in a tent. It was awesome.

Our second legs were night legs. Coming into third exchange we were now in third place but were a long ways behind the other teams. Our team put the hammer down and ran a set of killer legs. We were starting around 10 pm so the sun had gone down and the temperatures were nice and cool. Highlights were Cathy put down her 7 mile leg with sub-7 minute miles. Jamon put down his 6+ mile leg with sub-7 minute miles. They were booking. I started my leg about 2:00 am. I had 5.5 miles of general flatness heading into Rockport that looked like this:

It was about 40 degrees and it felt great! I was a little chilled starting out but that lasted about 2 minutes. I was running in a backpack. Starting out I could see two people a ways ahead of me and my goal was to run fast and pass them. I got the first guy after about 3 miles and it took me close to 5 to get the second guy. Side benefit of passing two other people. One guy ran with a red bike blinkie on his back for better visibility. The crappy thing was the one mile left markers had red blinkies on them so I kept thinking he was the one mile left marker. I realized I was getting closer to him and had to pass him just because. As I came around the final corner there was probably 300 yards or so to the exchange and the place was lit up with generator lights and cop car lights. I put the hammer down and ran as fast as I could. I came flying into the exchange and the next runner wasn't there. Apparently they overslept. My van-mates had called them at the start of my leg and let them know I'd be about 45 minutes. Yup, they went back to sleep. After giving it my all and after running my entire leg in about 7:45 minute miles I had to run more. I ran a little over a mile more before my van caught up and Jamon got out to give me a break. 30 seconds later the other van showed up. Oh well, it was still fun.

We got a couple hours worth of sleep before our next exchange. When we woke up we were about 30 minutes behind our first team. We figured we wouldn't be able to make up the difference but still ran our hearts out. As we came into the start of the second to last leg we were about 8 minutes behind the first team and about 2 minutes behind the second team! Ben rocked the second to last leg and coming into my leg we were two minutes up on both teams. My last leg was at about 10:45 am and it was just starting to get hot. It looked a little something like this:

I knew I had no chance of keeping us in the lead. After the previous two runs and about an hour of sleep I knew I'd be running about 8 minute miles and guy I'd be running against would be putting down about 6:30 minute miles. I held him off for about the first mile or so. I completed my run wearing a backpack and a helmet with cardboard goat horns taped to it.

We finished in second place, about 5 minutes behind the first team, and about 5 minutes ahead of the team that were 30 minutes behind at the start of the day. I don't have any pictures from the night leg or from my last leg.

It was an awesome time this year and I'll definitely sign up again next year. I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone.


teleknees said...

whoa...killer job buddy. im impressed

Mrs. Olsen said...

I LOVE hearing about this race! I think it's great! I also think your tent outfit is awesome! I'll be telling my running friends about that one!

*MILLY* said...

that is so rad you ran with a tent on! It protected part of you from bug bites