Wednesday, August 29, 2007

GRR legs 14 & 26

After my first leg you would think I'd be smart enough to check over the courses for my next leg more carefully. What can I say? I can be pretty stupid at times. I believe it was Laurie who told me that there really weren't any turns on leg 14 so I didn't need to worry about losing my way. This was true so no problems in that respect. My only concern for this race was the one big hill. I had glanced at the route a couple times mostly just to see distance and how hilly it was. This leg was about 8.2 miles with most of the ups and downs being fairly mild. The hill of concern rose over 400 ft. Somehow I got the thought in my head that it was about a mile of uphill. On the bright side it wasn't actually that steep. The 400 ft climb took about 1.75 miles, but after running uphill for about a mile and seeing no end to the climb I was starting to wonder how much longer it could go on. I was still sore from the earlier 17 mile run especially in my knees and calves which didn't help at all with going up hill. To fully appriciate this next part I need to tell you that I finished the run in about 57 minutes. That averages to about 7 min/mile. I know I had be going up that hill pretty quick since due to my soreness I couldn't go down the other side of the hill very fast. Anyway a little over a mile up this hill this middle-aged man sprints by my while saying something about how tough this hill is. It was unbelievable. He might as well been running on a gentle downhill. I found out later that he was part of an ultra team, Michelob Ultra, meaning he had already run more miles than me and had more to go. I may be a decent runner but that team was amazing.

So anyway, completing leg 14 put me at a total of about 25 miles. While that may not seem like much to team Michelob Ultra it was a fair distance for me. Fortunately my last leg was an easy one. About 4.4 miles without any difficult hills. I didn't really get any sleep before this point so when are van finished it's second round of running we drove to our next exchange point and had something like 4 hours to get some rest while the other team was running. Wouldn't you know this was the section when they had all their shorter legs. So I slept what I could and was pretty much awaken to some more good news.
My teammates handed me a paper saying that due to a crime that happened a few hours earlier on my route an extra 2.7 miles was added to my leg to avoid that area. Instead of 4.4 miles I would have a 7.1 mile run. It seems like my first reaction was that they had to be joking.
Yes, that's me with the paper in hand in disbelief. My short leg was still shorter than legs 1, 2, and 14. Just not by as much as I had been planning on. When it got to be my turn to run I slowed my pace a fair bit from my earlier legs and began chanting things in my head such as "please don't walk" and "just keep moving" until finally I met Laurie at an exchange for the last time. On a side note Laurie was also the one that handed off to me at the beginning of this leg. It was her turn to run the extra leg so I recieved the baton from and gave it to the same person. I then limped off back to the van having completed 32 miles since starting almost exactly 24 hours earlier. So now a few days later the question is when's the next one?!?


Laurie said...

Poor Shaun. Thank goodness we had you on our team! I would not have taken that news as well as you did.

You get a gold star! Or two ;)

Audrey said...

"he might have been running a gentle downhill."


you didn't mention that team was second overall. as in, that team with 6 male runners beat all ~100 other teams who had up to 12 runners. damn.

Shaun said...

Yay stars!!

You guys made it more than enough fun to make up for a few mishaps.

Leah Swedboston said...

okay....Women High on Running here...

Shaun is HOT!