Sunday, September 12, 2010

Red Rock Relay

I am on my way home from the red rock relay in southern Utah. It was just like a ragnar, 186 mile, 12 person relay. The race was awesome! We were van number 2 and had all couples. We started our legs at 4 pm on Friday. Van 1 started at Brian head and ran to the canyon. We ran up one side of the canyon and down the other to SUU. We got there around 9 pm and ate dinner while our other car started to run.

Our second set of legs started at 1 am. We ran from newcastle to Veyo, and finished around 6 am. It was pretty cold on our legs so far. the first set was 55 degrees, and my second leg was 43 degrees. I was worried about running in the night, but I did great. I ran an 8'14" mile up a canyon, entirely uphill, starting at 3:30 am, so I felt good about it.

Our last set of legs started at 9:45 am. I got about an hour of sleep between the second and third set of legs, and woke up with a horrible stomach ache. I was the second runner. When I started my leg, it was 70 degrees, and by 2 miles in, it was 95. It was a 6.5 mile leg. My first 2 miles were downhill, last 4.5 uphill. I ran a total of 15.5 miles, 13.5 which were all uphill. I had all hard rated legs. I hit a wall 4 miles in to my last leg, and it was so hard to finish. I had run between a 7 and 8 minute mile up to mile four, then I crashed. I finished though. I had numb hands and lips, going in to heat exhaustion but I finished!

Overall I loved it. Incredible experience. Lessons learned:

1) distribute legs more evenly. I had all hard legs, as did another runner on our team. 2 runners had all medium, one runner had all easy, and two runners had a mix. I was happy to take two hard, but with three hard I crashed with two miles left.
2) Prepare for all weather conditions. We ended up at Wal-Mart twice because we just figured southern Utah meant warm. we had a temperature change of over 50 degrees over the course.
3) Doing it with a spouse was awesome. Huge bonding experience. I have two kids, 5 and 1, that I have never left home before. My husband has never been a runner or done a race. He did awesome and it was a great bonding experience. Plus, when you are packed in a car its nice to have someone to snuggle up to.
4) Try a race with family. We were all related in some way in our car. Half our runners were not runners before this race. We still completed it in 30 hours, which was great, and our car averaged under nine minute miles most of the time.
5) Be prepared to learn a lot about your teams poop!

If anyone else has done a relay, I would love feedback on what you learned.
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  1. Glad you liked the Red Rock. My friend Matt is the Race Director and is a cool guy for sure. Doing a relay with your spouse sounds awesome, especially when the boys can run fast which = finishing earlier :)

  2. Love it Jess! I'm so glad you guys had fun. I'm going to give Rusty a hard time that Jeff did this race with you.

    My biggest "lesson learned" from Ragnar was EAT REAL FOOD. Our bodies were so whacked out on sports beans, shot blocks, 5 hour energy, and power bars, that by the end of the race I was just SICK. I will pack real, nutritious food and not count on being able to find food along the way.

    And way to Rock almost 9 miles at 3:30 am! Wahoo!!

  3. Amen about the pooping! That was probably topic #1 for our team - in training too! :) Thank heavens there were decent Honey Buckets (I only remember one exchange where they were gross). I hope the same is true for CA!

    Welcome to our team - can't wait to meet you!