So we sent Ames Megan on her way, then Van 2 (me, Mark, Chicago Megan, Caroline, Shaun, and Joe) went back to the hotel to pack up and hit the grocery store. As we were wandering around, I was thinking about Chicago Megan's line in her About Me on her blog: "And yes, I will judge you based on the items in your grocery cart." It was not the healthiest of choices (we followed Ali's rule number 2 of relay running pretty well).
Except for Mark.
Who bought tinned herring.
Seriously, the British are weird :-)
After a quick stop at Subway, we headed to Exchange 6 were we were promptly blown around by huge gusting winds. Seriously, we watched one of the portapotties get blown over. Worst nightmare ever! I actually had left my phone in that particular portapotty by accident (I had taken it out of my pocket because I was afraid of this happening - it has happened to me in a regular toilet and that was traumatizing enough). Good thing I got it out before the winds picked up!
Anyway, fortunately it was a tail wind. How often does that happen? We waited around for Tim to come in and before he came in they paused the race because of weather. There was actually much amusement in watching the runners come in, hand off to their teammate, the teammate not going anywhere and the runner utterly confused. Mark said his favorite moment at that exchange was when a runner passed off the slap bracelet, slapped his teammate on the ass, gave some words of encouragement and then the teammate didn't go anywhere. Slapping another runner on the ass is only not awkward when they are actually going to run somewhere.
So anyway, we got stopped for about 20 minutes. Then they started letting runners go out in small groups. So I still had to live my nightmare of starting in a pack and being last. I was sent off with four other people at 3:30 and, although I knew I was going to regret it, I ended up passing them all. I wasn't breathing too heavy and my leg was only 3.1 miles so I figured I might as well go all out. But the motivation to not be *that* girl who starts too fast and then gets passed by everyone was very strong. I pulled out a 9 minute first mile. Then the trail headed southeast and that supergusty wind became a crosswind and my pace started dropping. I did get passed by two of the women who I had passed earlier, but at least I kept the other two behind me, so I arrived in the dead middle of that pack. And the women who passed me were completely in sight when I finished (actually my Garmin was off and the finish came up suddenly so I didn't have enough time to kick and try and catch them). I managed to pull out a 28:30 5k, which I'll totally take considering it was hot. I still am annoyed that I didn't catch the second girl that passed me. Her team drove me crazy. They were so antsy while the race was being held that they made me jittery and anxious. I wanted to smack them all upside the head and yell "Chill out! They'll start the race soon enough!"
My entire leg was on the Glacial Drumlin Trail was actually quite nice. I would have liked a little more shade, but it was a pleasant crushed gravel trail. The wind had actually taken down a few trees on the trail, so a little off-roading was required. Our entire van ran on this trail for the first leg. During Megan's leg, we managed to close the keys into the lip where the van back door closes. Panic ensued, but finally Joe figured out how to pop the back without the key (our hero!)We rolled into Exchange 12 and met up with our other van, cheered Ames Megan on as she headed out for her second leg, complete with blinky lights and headlamp even though it was light out still (silly rules).
After not responding to e-mails for four days, I need to go get caught up, so the report will continue tomorrow most likely :-)