Note that I backdated my last post on our legs 7-12 so that it came in the right sequence of events, so it is down below :-)
While Van 1 ran their second set of legs, our only thoughts were of "Where can we sleep?"
We headed out to Exchange 18. As we drove over the hill the Shaun had to run, all I could think was "Holy f#%#"!
Exchange 18 was at a school and wonderfully we did not need to camp as they were letting people sleep inside. We crashed in the library and there was pure silence. Except for me realizing I had no cell phone signal and there was no way that the other van could get a hold of us to wake us up. So we set up a guestimated time and the school actually had wake up calls, where they would come find you and wake you up. As someone who stresses about missing alarms, this was a God send. But still... being awoken two hours later just seemed... evil.
We were all pretty grumpy and groggy but we got up and got Nisha ready for her 3.4 mile leg. Audrey and Shaun came into the exchange and we sent her off at about 3:30 in the morning. We headed to the next exchange where I got ready to run. Nisha came in and handed off to me and off I went!
The middle of the night runs are always the most fun on these things. Running woke me up and I felt quite invigorated. Now, running down a dark road all by yourself in BFE Wisconsin isn't recommended, but the occasional van passing somehow made me feel safe. But if the crazies ever wanted a good night to drag someone off into the brush, a relay is quite the opportunity.
I started out this 4.9 mile leg with a 9 minute mile and was keeping a pretty good pace. And I actually passed someone! My first pass on one of these relays! And I didn't get passed the whole leg. It was dark out and there wasn't a runner within sight ahead or behind me.
So I started out fast. And then I started running downhill. And downhill some more. And downhill some more. I had seen the elevation map, so I knew that I some other teammate didn't get the job of running back up. Eventually I had to stop running down and had to climb back up. I was glad it was so dark out since I couldn't see the top. The hill kept twisting up. It was about a half mile going down and a half mile going up, but it was pretty steep. My pace dropped down to like 15 minute miles, but I won't walk because once I start walking, I sort of give up. When Van 1 passed by the hill, they said everyone was walking it, so I felt like a rockstar. The top of that hill was pure bliss and the last two miles seemed easy after that. Even with the hill, I managed to average a 10 min/mile, which was faster than my first leg.
I handed off to Kori, who finished up her five miler just as it was starting to get light out. Then Kimberly ran a fast four miler - it was a good thing Tim had been out getting ready as she ran into the exchange earlier than expected, while the rest of us were still huddling in the car for warmth. Tim, like usual, kicked butt, again blowing past another runner 20 yards before the exchange. This time Nisha was taking the double leg, a 3 miler that would bring her across the river into Minnesota where Van 1 was waiting for us. While we drove to the exchange, there was this dog that kept running along with one of the runners (and occasionally running into the middle of the road). He was just a random dog who just seemed happy to run! But the race people had to catch him and hold onto him, as he wasn't the brightest dog when it came to cars.
Nisha decided she was going to really push on this leg, so she came hauling into the exchange and handed off to Laurie.
We were dead tired after finishing this leg. We found a diner to eat some breakfast and headed out to Exchange 30, where we threw our sleeping bags down on the ground and tried to get some more sleep.
We Survived Cannon Falls Duathlon!
7 hours ago