American Odyssey Relay 2013 – Part 3

Part 2 here.

It was about 2:30 am and we didn’t really have a good game plan so we decided to head to the next part of the race which was about an hour away. In hindsight, I think we should have gotten some pancakes at the Bavarian House. Nevertheless, I got behind the wheel and SIRI sent us to a blank part of West Virginia and after an hour of driving we arrived at a deserted John Poole High School. Bob took the field but the rest of us huddled up in the van for a few hours of shut eye. I closed my eyes and instantly fell asleep and awoke 2 hours later at 6am. Much to my surprise, the high school opened exactly at 6 and I was able to drop the kids off at the pool which is always annoying at a relay like this. The timing of this made it so there was no line and no problems. The morning was cold but the sun was out and it started to warm up fast. I spent another hour in the school gym where Ck4 and I got an extra hour of sleep. I managed to sit in gum which ruined my pants but that’s the price you pay sometimes. With a perfect weather day lined up, we were prepared for our 3rd and final set of legs.

Nice pants David
david

David had managed to get a good night’s sleep in the back part of the van, which he claimed as his realm, and was in full effect this morning. Unless you get to spend some time with David this sentence won’t mean much but let’s just say he has a certain edge to him. With Chad hurt, we decided to give Bob a new set of legs (4 & 4.8 miles) and shift David to Bob’s legs (4 to 6.8). I had an 8.3 mile leg and give these guys tremendous credit for stepping up because I wasn’t in shape to do so. Bob received the transition from Fran and this set us on course for our final runs. At this point Nikkii was behind the wheel in a crowded parking lot and after some slowness in getting to van, she felt rushed. In aggressive fashion, she was urging other vans to get the flip out of her way and at one point was riding close to a set of trees to the left and other vans on the right. David’s line of “Make it Happen” made her floor it through a tight space and some branches managed to knock our side view mirror off. We were all hysterically laughing during this highlight. We caught up to Bob who was running and Nikkii got to hold the mirror our of the window and use her “looking good” line to Bob. Hijinks aside, Bob worked through the first part of his two legs, took some water at the transition, and made it through his 2nd leg for a total of 8.8 miles. Thanks for that.

Bob and I on the Potomac
potomac run

My 3rd run was a flat 8.3 mile run along a stretch of the Potomac. There isn’t much to comment on except that I got it done while finishing on E. There was no more gas in the tank. I did 6:40 miles for this leg and managed to pass about 10 people while enjoying a beautiful Saturday morning. I handed off to David who crushed his leg. I personally thought this was his best leg but he didn’t agree. Nikkii drove to the next part of the course and almost spazzed when the van had to clear a tunnel that’s height requirement was probably 6 inches higher than the van (why do we let Nikkii drive? Oh yeah, the stories!) We met Lisa at the next transition, who once again beat her projected time, and after her run handed off to Nikkii for the final leg of the race. We managed to head into DC without a hitch and awaited Nikkii at the finish line. There was some minor confusion during her leg but she finished without too much problem. Our finishing time was 27 hours and 32 minutes which was good for 6th place.

Our Final Leg
finish

After finishing we got a beer and some food (which was sloppy Joe’s and a terrible choice if the race director reads this blog) and hung out for a little bit while we waited for the other team to complete their legs. This experience is truly one that I can’t describe only in this blog. You make acquaintances, have experiences, and develop connections in two days that you can’t find anywhere else. There is something about the sweaty, stinky, camaraderie of running that brings people together. As long as we keep fielding teams, I’ll continue signing up. I’m going to have one more post which will describe some of the randomness and better parts of the run but this 3 part post will give anyone who wants to know what happens in a 200 mile relay an idea. The first shower after this run is also one of the best you’ll ever have. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I liked being a part of it. Pictures here.