Part 1 here.

Without keeping everyone in suspense, CK4’s head popped up over the horizon at his precise projected time and he threw me the band to send me on my way. I hadn’t even looked at the packet to see what type of run I had but it was 6.3 miles of trail, easy right? Not exactly. I had 15 minutes of straight uphill climb which I’ve never done in my entire life. Towards the end of the hill my legs were feeling the strain but I made it up without walking or slowing down. I had about 10 road kills, 6:30 mile pace and felt pretty good as I handed off to Bob for the next leg. Bob completed his leg with no problem and I want to point out that he showed up this year much improved over last year. This guy was ready for AOR and picked up the slack in a big way which I’ll mention in a later post. .

Bob after finishing his leg

Bob handed off to Lisa who had an easy run through the country side… except that we have a feeling this leg was longer than indicated on the packet. Lisa worked through the leg though as we found ourselves along the Mason-Dixon line and some beautiful countryside.

Nikkii by the Mason-Dixon Stand

Lisa handed off to Nikkii who is also a much improved runner from last year. She handled her leg with little van support while David had to check the tire pressure on the side of the street. She made it to the transition point right on pace and we had beaten our Van’s projected time by about 20 minutes which was fabulous. This transition point allowed us to meet up with the other Van 2 and go out to a dinner at Vento’s in Boonsboro for the 2nd year in a row. Boonsboro is a historic town in the boonies that I have to imagine doesn’t get much action. With AOR in town they tend to find themselves a bit overloaded. Nathan entertained us with his magic tricks and Nikkii with her straw dog dodging bullets while we patiently waited for food. We ordered a few pizzas but nobody was really into downing food with only a few hours until the next set of legs. We went to the high school and started preparing while Van 1 was running.

David taking care of his sister Lisa

Something that I wasn’t aware of was that no matter what time you finished the 18th leg, you couldn’t leave Boonsboro before 11pm. I believe Fran finished 23 minutes ahead of 11 and we had a bit of a break before we were set to run again. I was running around trying to figure out where everyone was and trying to get a game plan but everything sort of worked itself out. Chad’s first complaints were about the hill on Leg 1 and now that he was finished that he started complaining about his “bloody nipple.” Once bandaged up we figured we’d hear the end of the complaining… At 11pm David started his leg with about 50 other runners and it was really a cool sight seeing many headlamps under a full moon making their way through quiet streets. David handled his leg with no problem and handed off to our X-factor Chad who said that if he didn’t arrive at 31 minutes into his run, something went wrong. He hands off to me so I was anxiously awaiting his arrival at the transition. 31-32-33… He probably just fell off pace a bit, 34-35-36, uh oh…finally he came across and his running odyssey reached uncertainty.

My night run went fine but it wasn’t as good as last year’s run through Antietam. I only had 4.8 miles and forgot to time it but was probably in the < 6:20 range and I amassed 15 road kills. I handed off to Bob on the next leg and we headed to the next transition point. We met up with him about halfway and this proved to be a bit problematic as it didn't give us enough time to meet up at his finish which was a bit chaotic. He got there about a minute before Lisa did but it was handled with fine temperament. Bob did manage to lose his license along the way somehow. I believe Lisa felt much better on this run as she beat her projected time by a bit and handed off to Nikkii who only had 3 miles which didn't give us much time. We got to the transition point fine but Van 1 wasn't there yet so we had no one to hand off to. Bob was contacting Howard and asking him where he was and this was annoying David a bit who was ready to jump through the phone but this little mishap only caused about a 15 second delay as Jim was there to receive the bracelet shortly after Nikkii finished. This concluded our second set of legs and had us a bit ahead of our projected pace. However, Chad made us aware that he wouldn't be able to run his 3rd leg and we had to decide how to handle this. The joys of AOR and compromising situations (I think this was a Skinamax show in the 90's.) Part 3 here.