Tuesday, September 04, 2007

GRR Day 2 continued.: Overachievers

(Insert blaring 70s music here)


About an hour after we lay down to sleep, one of the vans (I'm looking at you MN RED) pulled in near us and started blaring music. All of us were unconscious before this started. I probably could have slept for a couple more hours contently on the concrete.

Kori and I looked at each other. We were not amused. When I am hungry and/or sleepy, I can be a total beeyotch, so I walked up to them and asked them to turn it off, guaranteeing that we wouldn't be getting the Homecoming Team award. They nicely obliged and I went and laid back down. Sleep was coming again then...

The Worst Effing Band in the Entire Universe

Ragnar Relay gets major boo points for not only having a loud band at an exchange where people were trying to sleep, but having the crappiest band I have ever heard playing.

We were not amused.

So we got up.

We still had a couple of hours before Van 1 was going to roll into the exchange so we just hung out, getting nervous about how hot it was getting.

Kimberly went off to be alone so that she wouldn't be mean to anyone.

I started looking at our legs and realized we had 30 miles to go. At this point, Kori and Nisha had already run three legs and Kimberly had to run 10 of those 30 miles. If we were lucky, we would average 10 min/miles, which meant at least 5 hours of running.

When Audrey rolled in about noon, it was really hot in the sun. The shade wasn't so bad actually. Audrey handed off to Nisha, who had a 6.5 mile leg. Nisha was a total trooper and walked/ran this very hot and exposed leg. Lots of people were walking as we passed them in the van. After about 4 miles, she wanted to give up and have Tim finish for her, but Kori pep talked her into finishing it up.

Nisha handed off to me for my final leg, which was 5.2 miles. I lucked out here. My last leg was pretty much mostly downhill. The first mile and a half was on city streets (including running on a dirt path that went under the I-94 overpass). It was hot, but I got to turn onto a bike path after 2 miles. That was just wonderful. It was a downhill, shady, beautiful path (that had no forks to get lost at). I totally had my groove going. A little after mile 4, I had about a half a mile of gradual incline along a major road that sorta sucked my mojo out of me, but I got to turn into the woods again for the last half mile. I did get passed by a dude in the last quarter mile, but I was just happy to finish. I did that leg at a 9:54 pace, and I felt it when I finished. It took a while for my heart rate to come back down again.

I handed off to Kori, who also had an exposed leg along the river. She finished up her 23 miles for the relay and handed off to Kimberly, who was doing her third of four legs. Kimberly's route wasn't along the road, so we didn't see her until the end of her leg. While waiting for Kimberly, I managed to score a ride for Tim back to Rochester so that I didn't have to do it. I was soooo not looking forward to a two hour trip either that evening or at 6:30 the next morning! We sent Tim off and then pretty much got on our way to the final exchange, since he is speedy! Kimberly got about a half an hour to rest before doing the final leg of the relay.

This is where the real fun began. We sent Kimberly off and stopped every mile for her. She was beat, but she had a determined attitude and was going to finish that mofo up. She was looking good the first two times we stopped for her - she didn't want water or anything. We saw her at about mile 3 (out of 5.8) and she said "give me the map the next time you see me!"

If that wasn't foreshadowing...

At this point, the route got a little crazy with all the last minute detours they had to do because of the I-35 bridge collapse. We left the river and climbed into town and there were several turns. Each turn was marked.

I pulled over about mile from where we left her last and we waited.

And we saw the runners who had been ahead of her.

Then we started seeing runners we didn't recognize.

Then we finally decided she was lost.

In Minneapolis.

Nisha and I got in the car and turned around to the last place we saw her and drove around, trying to figure out which arrow she might have missed. The enormity of this task was dawning us when we got a call from Kori that Kimberly had arrived and that she and Tim were running the rest of the way.

Kimberly had missed one arrow and had ended up at the University of Minnesota campus. She tried calling the police to see if they knew about the relay and where it was ending. She called the city parks department to ask the same thing (the race ended at a park in St. Paul). She didn't have a cell phone or our numbers, so finally some nice couple let her borrow their phone and she called her husband who looked up the directions for her. By the time she found us, she was almost in tears but she totally finished up the leg, running an extra mile and a half (so 24 miles total), earning the title of Team Rockstar.

So after 33 hours, the Agony of DaFeet finished up the Great River Relay. Between Shaun and Kimberly, we added an extra 4 miles onto our race, because we are overachievers like that.
The Agony of Dafeet: Shaun, Kori, Laurie, John, Kimberly, Audrey, Al, me, Nisha, John

There was apparently much hunger amongst the team because we weren't even allowed to go and shower after finishing before we headed off to eat. We went to Grandma's, which seems oddly just wrong to me, since I consider it a Duluth sorta place (which came first? the restaurant or the marathon?)

Then we went back to the hotel where there was bathing, hot tubbing, sleeping, and imbibing of blueberry flavored alcoholic beverages (blueberrytini! blueberry mojitos! yum! I also had a blueberry Naked Juice for breakfast).

The End.


Laurie said...

Grandma's was perfectly fitting! Lots of running and pain, right?

The restaurant definitely came first and then the marathon. The restaurant was the race's sponsor though that may have changed by now but don't quote me on that.

Audrey said...

yes, "the end" indeed. this is the longest blogging saga i have ever been a part of... :)

Lisa said...

man. good job, you guys! sounds like a pretty shittackularly organized race.

Danielle in Iowa said...

It wasn't that bad organizationally, but more signage would have been good!

Sempre Libera said...

Wow, great race reports. I've always found these relays so overwhelming (in a good way) that they're too hard to write about.

Anyway, sounds like you guys had a great time! There are hiccups for sure -- someone always gets lost, and there's always some jerk playing loud music at a very inopportune time -- but it's a tremendous experience nonetheless. Congratulations to you and your team!

jeanne said...

that was thrilling! the agony of dafeet indeed!

nice nice job, i'm jealous, but not that jealous!

Al Dimond said...

(That band at exchange 30 really was the WORST BAND EVER. I don't think that can be emphasized enough. They weren't even a normally-OK-but-drunk band, they were just plain awful. Definitely not major-exchange material.)

John said...

I agree. More signs would have been nice. Even with directions in my pocket I missed a turn in Trempeleau that not only did not have an arrow, but was one of those streets that "becomes" another street (i.e., turn left on Pine means turn left on 6th street, which becomes Pine after a bend in the road.) I went about a quarter mile in the wrong direction before a van caught me.

And yes, the band was abysmal. Worst Pearl Jam cover I've ever heard.

Apart from those two things, it was great fun! You guys rock.