Race Recap: American Odyssey Relay Race 2017 - Part 2


I was somewhat revved up for my second leg because I was very familiar with area. I actually ran the same route before while marathon training in the past. I liked having this advantage against other runners who were strangers to the area.

Once Bob came into view, I was pumped and ready to get some kills (the number of people you pass in a relay). He handed over the slap bracelet and I shot off into the streets of Boonsboro, resuming my 7 minute range pace.

I was pretty floored that I was able to pull this off. Last year, I can't recall ever seeing times like these. In fact, I can't recall seeing paces like this in any run/race I have been involved in recently. I was passing other participants left and right. In total, I had 8 kills and 0 deaths! I finished with a time of 26:21 and distance of 3.40.

I tried to hang on to the energy my runner’s high gave me, but I began to tire quickly. It was now after midnight and I was spending many of the remaining transitions in the van catching some shut eye. It was hard though as there was always something going on. Between driving from one destination to the next and teammates prepping their runs, there wasn’t much time for remaining quiet and keeping still. I turned into grumpy ginger and tried to keep that part of me to myself. I think I did okay. ;-)

Anyway, we ended up finishing our 2nd round of legs at about 2 am. That's when we went to a nearby hotel and crashed for about 2-3 hours. While we had a few hours to sleep, Van 1's runners got so much less just before us. We had shorter distances in our second leg while they rested in the hotel. They had some long sessions on the canal for their 3rd and final leg and since that was our time to rest, we were fortunate to get so much time.

We all rolled out of bed around 6 and were on the road shortly after.

We had about an hour-long ride until we would arrive at the final van transition in Poolesville, MD.

I was confident that I would be able to stay up with an 8 minute pace, as I already decided a 7 minute pace was pushing it at this point. When you've already run 2 legs at a pace which you're not normally programmed to do, you're tired and sore. You're legs have not recovered since the run you had just hours before.

My stomach was also acting up at this point, which really irritated me. I went out of my way to pack food that my body was used to, but for some reason, my stomach was like “Nope, not today!" So although I gave myself a few hours between the time I ate and the time I was projected to run, my stomach burned the whole time. I could have blamed it on nerves, but honestly, I was way too tired to be nervous. At this point, I just wanted to get my run done and start the recovery process. So believe it or not, I was thankful when I saw Bob come into view. Still, my stomach was objecting.

No sooner than I was tagged to go, my legs were fighting back. For once, I think my mind was working in my favor rather than my body. My legs were nagging about how tired they were, but I begged them to work with me for this final stretch. I KNEW I could do awesome, but I had to have a constant argument between my legs, my stomach, and my brain. I pushed them the best I could.

About a mile in, my van rolled up next to me to cheer me on. All I could say was "This sucks!" What I thought was going to be an easy 4 miler, ended up being hilly. Based on the elevation map, I thought it was going to generally be downhill, but it was pretty consistent with hills until the last mile. That was when I began catching up with another runner.

I had high hopes at this point that I could get a kill, but as we rounded the last turn, he caught site of me and sprinted down the hill. Though I had a pace within the 7 minute range, I could not muster enough strength to catch up and pull ahead, so I let him fly. That didn't mean that I wouldn't still push it to the end though. I sprinted with newfound energy and passed off to my teammate, Kirsten.

And like that, I was done my part in the Odyssey.

Most of the remaining legs took place on the C&O Canal and for those of you who have read up on me for a while now, you know that I LOVE running the C&O where I live. So needless to say, I loved seeing areas which I have not run myself and took lots of pictures.

The final leg took us off the canal and into the heart of DC.

All of our team met up for the first time since the final transition between vans a few hours later, while our final runner, Chris made his way towards the finish line. We waited on the street for him so, as a team, we could cross the finish line together.

Chris came a lot quicker than I thought. I guess with the hustle of getting to the finish line and seeing the other teammates waiting for us made time fly. So as soon as he reached us, the entire team crossed the finish line with him and quickly took a finish line photo prior to other teams rolling through.

The results!

Our team finished in 26:32:26! That was 2nd out of 34 in the mixed division. We placed 7th out of 94 teams overall! So, to say the least, I think we KICKED ASS! Oh and I think I should add that we won Best Team Name. If I haven't already mentioned it, it was Green Leggs and Hamstrings. :)

Anyway, I felt that this year far exceeded last year. I had a lot more fun and felt that my performance improved a lot!!! Our team just really seemed to mesh and we all seemed to go beyond performance expectations! It was pretty killer! There's one thing about running a race alone, but working as a team to accomplish 200 miles is beyond anything you feel alone. Celebrating with others and also sharing struggles over the course of 26 hours is unlike anything else.  :)

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