Sunday, September 11, 2011

Red Rock Relay 2011 -- The Rest of the Story...

I always wonder what motivates other people to run 180 miles+ for two days without sleep, eating when/where you can along the way, riding in a van with 5 other people who haven't showered during that time, running 3 legs with a couple of them being in the dark and pushing yourself to your physical, emotional and mental limit... it might be about the glory of the stripes or getting the shirt and the medal,

but for me it's about the comraderie, friendships and FUN that happens during those 2 days. Our van began at Brian Head Resort and it was only in the 40s due to the altitude and early morning hour. Kathy and Ray Fisher, me and John, Steve and Karen Mordue made up Snow Van #1.

There are 12 people on each team but you only see your other van at the exchanges. Sun Van #2 had to run when it was much hotter and consisted of Trish and Morgan Brown, Steve and Laura Gardanier and Lauretta and Scott Sechrest.

We ran so fast this year that we took 2-1/2 hours off our time. We started at 7:25 am on Friday and arrived at the finish line Saturday at 1:23 p.m.--29 hours and 58 mins.

I posted about our RRR journey on FB, but the rest of the story needs to be told. For once, I felt like I had "THE best" legs. I had a 7-mile downhill, a 5-1/5 mile downhill and a 2-1/2 mile flat. I NEVER get 3 amazing legs in that order in any relay I run. Because of those legs, I was able to run close to 8-min. miles and I am not sore, will not lose any toenails this year and am ready to run again tomorrow morning.

One of my main motivations for doing a couples relay is to get John to exercise. I am a runner. He is not. He starts training 2 weeks before a race but is willing to do it.

John gets along with everyone and makes people laugh with him and at him which makes it a fun experience.

John's a good sport. I gave him my size small safety vest and he was totally willing to wear it even though it looked goofy until someone let him borrow their large one.

I told him he had to run until he thought he would have a heart attack or throw up. He pushed himself to please me and help our fast team.

Kathy Fisher is fun. She has such a positive attitude and willing to run anything assigned to her. She even did push-ups in front of the race director to win this hat. She is also very good to her husband Ray. They were great examples to me.

Kathy always had a smile as she began her legs and a smile when she handed off the bracelet.

Ray was a trooper. His hips hurt him since he started training for this race and he stayed with it and pushed out 11-min. miles.

Ray responded well to our cheers and support and showed a sudden boost of energy as he "killed" one more young runner right before the exchange. He was one determined 61-year-old.

Karen is a gem. She brings easy-going steadiness to our group. I am type A and she is type C. It is good to have her in our van to even me out. She took some of the longer legs--8.4 and 6.2--and never once complained.

Karen is like the energizer bunny and just keeps going and going and going--never walks. She too, is good to her husband Steve and is a great example to me.

I learned a lot about Steve during this race. He is a true athlete. He is driven. He never quits. He is a biker but showed he is also a runner. He got the 3 legs that were the gnarliest due to their hill climbs and road conditions. The titles for his legs were The Diablo (2.8 steep uphill at 11,000 ft.), Dirty Devil (all uphill on dirt road with vans creating choking dust), Black Dog (3.1 hill right out of Veyo). He never walked once and came in with under 10-minute/mile times!

He found a "girlfriend" to run with on one of the legs which we all teased him about--especially when he shared his water with her...

... but we knew his heart was always with Karen as he greeted her at the exchanges with a hug and kiss (good thing they only exchanged with each other!)

...and that's why I run these relay races.

OK, the stripes are pretty cool too.


Karen said...

Thank you, Alicia, you brilliantly captured our thoughts/feelings about this relay. We loved being with all of you and I was so proud of everyone and their incredible efforts. I am always reminded that we can do more than we think we can. Now, how is the motorcycle shopping coming??

Shauna said...

CONGRATULATIONS on another relay! Surely you are ready for a full-blown marathon? :) I would do this in a heartbeat if I could get my husband on board! A job well done!!!!!!!

Mrs. Organic said...

Your muscles are awesome! One day I hope to have legs like yours.