So unlike Joe's report and Chicago Megan's report, I am too lazy right now to actually recount the race all in one big piece. And my camera was broken (I believe I complained about this in January during the Phoenix Half-Marathon and have I fixed it? No.) so no photos yet, but I will blatantly steal those of other people later.
So last week was pretty much defined by Danielle freaking out. What else is there to do when one of your team members drops out on MONDAY?!!! Being one person short already, this was not good. I scratched my brain and bothered everyone I could think of and begged and begged and finally my friend Caroline (who covered our asses at the Wild West Relay by being a last minute volunteer for us) agreed to do it. Caroline is relatively new to running so this relay was a big stretch for her mileage-wise, but she totally saved our asses again. To add to the freak out, the screener messed up our t-shirts so I had to go down to Des Moines to have him fix them all at the last minute - we ended up getting them for free at the end, so I guess I can't complain too much!
On Thursday afternoon, Chris, Ames Megan and I left Ames waaay late due to my craptastic day at work with everything breaking. We hauled ass to Madison in four hours and met the team for some carb loading downtown. After eating, all I wanted to do was find a nice patio in downtown Madison and have a cold beer, but my team was totally lame and wanted to do stuff like sleep :-p I didn't have that option since I had to go pick our teammate Tim up at the train station, but I went back to the hotel with the rest of them. But not before Ms. I-didn't-know-the-turning-radius-on-this-rental-van-was-so-wide (that would be me) totally sideswiped a cement pole in the parking garage. I have never hit anything in my entire life and I had to go and do it in a rental van? Tomorrow, returning the van will be good times... Mental note: I am so not cut out to be a soccer mom in a minivan... After driving out to the train station to pick up Tim, we crashed and got ready for the next day.
Our original start time was supposed to be noon, but switching Caroline in for Brian reduced our average pace by 20 seconds or so and we weren't going to make all the exchanges before they closed, so first thing we had to do was get moved up. But the start time was late, compared to our early ass start at the WWR and our 9-something start at the GRR so we actually got to sleep in and eat a leisurely breakfast at the hotel. For free, unlike the suckers who stayed at the relay hotel next door where the race started and had to pay for breakfast. I hope they had been planning for swarms of runners as one woman walked off with the entire basket full of bananas. When we were going to steal bananas, we at least were going to be a little more subtle about it and only steal two at a time :-)
I checked our team in and we got Van 1 (Ames Megan, Lauren, Chris, Al, and Tim) all ready to roll. While we were waiting, a torrential downpour swept through. To say the weather during the relay was unstable would sort of be an understatement... Fortunately the weather held off while we were milling around the start (nothing like starting a two day adventure already soaked). We got Ames Megan already to go, lined her up with a fairly large group, and she was off at 11am.
I have to confess that one of the things I like about organizing is that I get to choose which legs I run. And running the first position is somewhat petrifying to me. Because you run with other people! Then it is like a race! I don't think I could handle the pressure. What if I was last?! I totally could be! Anyway... the first set of legs coming up next. Right now it is waaaay past my bed time.