Race Recap: The American Odyssey Relay, Part 2

...continued from Part 1.

When we woke up that morning, we had just enough time to grab breakfast at the hotel. I ate light since my stomach was in knots the night before. I had two scrambled eggs, a bite of sausage and a cup of coffee that I could not finish. 

The ride to Poolesville was beautiful. We were able to watch the sunrise as we drove. It was a great way to start the day.

Thanks for the photo, Bobb!

When we made it to the transition point, we were waiting for Michael to hand off to Tracy. While we waited, we meet up with the others in Van 1, who had enough time to shower and relax after their final legs were complete. I was a bit envious since I had not showed since the start, but there didn't seem to be a point since I had another run left.

We watched Michael finish up his last leg and hand off to Tracy, then were immediately off to my transition, which was on the C&O Canal. By now, faithful readers, you should know that this would have excited me. C&O Canal <3!!!

While we waited at the transition for Tracy, we were able to meet some 2 week old puppies! Such cute little babies!

It helped take some of the pre-race butterflies away, but I felt pretty okay. I was just amped to see this side of the C&O. So when Tracy came down the road, I was ready.

...or so I thought.

I made my way down River Road. It was a surprisingly long stretch until I actually made it to the canal. On the way, I actually saw a deer that did not seem the least bit surprised I was there. I was able to run so close to it and she just looked at me like "Oh, another runner?"

When I hit the canal, I could immediately feel the humidity. It felt like a greenhouse. I was able to maintain an 8:45 pace for some time, but then the heat just started to get to me. That and my legs just felt dead. This is why you do not run after 2 hours of sleep.

I began to slow down because I knew I was not going to be able to maintain and 8:45 pace for nearly 5 miles. At one point, I did stop to catch my breath...and take a few pictures. 


I did not linger though because I had a team depending on me. I tried to pick up the pace again as it had fallen to over 10 minutes/mile. When I got to the end I was in the high 8s/low 9s and averaged around 9:15/mile for the entire leg. I was so thankful when I saw Chris.

I only wish I had worn less. I did not anticipate for it to be so warm. Still, I was done. No more running for me!

As the day progressed, we were quickly making it over to DC. The remaining legs were primarily on the C&O canal and it was so scenic!!!

The last leg, run by Megan and Jason, led our team into DC. While they pumped out their 6 miles, we rode to the finish to meet them. The finish was at the Waterfront Wharf. Lovely view.

When we caught site of our team members running through DC, we ran to the finish line with them to celebrate our completion! 

It was an awesome feeling to have completed 200 miles as a team, traveling from Gettysburg to DC in an official time of 26:37:21. Overall, we finished 13th out of 115 teams. In our division, we finished 2nd out of 51. Not too shabby, if you ask me!

So to sum it all up, I rank the Odyssey as a 9! Being my first relay race, I may be a bit prejudice, but it was an amazing experience and I would recommend that all runners compete in something similar. I was able to work with fellow runners as opposed to compete against them. I was able to spend time with friends, but also make new ones! I didn't know more than half of the team prior to this experience, but I am glad that I met them and that it included the people it had. I have every intention on doing this again if I am invited back because it will never be the same race twice. Different legs, maybe different team members, etc. 

Anyway, if you ran the Odyssey and want to share your experience, comment below! I would love to hear about your legs and which team you were on! Also, if you were apart of either of these teams that tagged my car, I'll be back for you ;-)

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