Today was quite a hoot. Andrea at Practical Coaching put together three relay teams to run the Colorado Colfax Marathon. It was quite the logistical doing on her part! Getting 15 people all to the correct location, and making sure everyone knew who they were handing off with, and how they were getting around was quite the feat. Great job Andrea! We met at 4:30am! Ouch! But it was necessary for everyone to get on the same page. After our pre-race meeting each group of three took off on their own to get to their starting spots. I was running the last leg, 7.5 miles and so Andrea, Noell and I had brought our bikes. We planned to ride the course, following the runners until it was time to head to our start. That way we got a good warmup and we weren't waiting around all day to run. The biking part was so fun. We biked over to the start line and watched that, then we rode along with the runners until we had seen all three first leggers (Kayla, Laura, and Beth). We hung out at the first exchange until they came in and watched leg 2 take off (Chelsea, Shaun, and Ann). They all ran such fast 5K's that by the time we visited the portapottie and tried to catch them on our bikes we had missed them. We continued riding up looking for the leg 3 runners (Jenna, Michelle, and Chris). We saw Michelle and decided it was time to turn around and head to our own legs.
I was looking at my watch and seeing how fast my team was running I knew it was time to skedaddle. They were bookin'! We stashed our bikes on Chelseas bike rack, suited up, and took off on the 3/4 mile jog to the exchange point to wait for the leg 4 runners (Jenna, Doreen, and Gaye). I was getting a little worried running over there because I knew I was cutting it close. I arrived and looked down the road and the first person I saw was Gaye. I made it with a max of 30 seconds to spare. Eek. No time to catch my breath, no time to compose myself, I was off.
I took off really slow, just trying to get into the swing of things. The first 2.3 miles I just warmed up. Then I started picking it up. I definitely negative splited the effort in the race, but it ended up being like a tempo run because I would see a marathoner who was struggling (every one of them was hurting pretty bad). I would slow down and run with them for a little bit telling them they looked good, to stay strong, and that this is what they trained for. Then I would pick it back up hard and run to the next marathoner. I felt like a total fraud in the race. People cheering kept saying the nicest things likes "you look great" and "awesome pace". I needed a big sign on my chest that said "RELAY" b/c my green race bib wasn't doing the trick.
The race flew by with my little "support" tactic and before I knew it we had wound back through downtown, along Colfax and were heading into city Park. That last mile was cake for me, but so tough for those marathoners. When I came into the finish all the other Practical Coaching legs were there, cheering their heads off. It was great to hear them. They rocked the cheering house and totally upstaged the cheerleaders (yup, cheerleaders...pom poms and all).
the finish tent was sweet, Panera bagels up the yin-yang, lots of tasty treats, and drunk looking marathoners.
This race was a total blast, but it was a combination of watching and cheering the marathon runners, and having all my peeps there that did it for me. Lots of fun. Thanks to all the ladies (and the two boys) that ran on our relay teams today. Also many thanks for Jon, Tyler and Anthony who acted as our very studly male support crew. You all rocked the house.
We were 4th in the Open Female division (but we would have been third in the all male teams. Our times were: Gun Time: 3:25:55 Chip Time: 3:25:31 Pace: 7:51 Leg 1 - Beth 10K: 50:36 Leg 2 - Ann 5K: 26:03 Leg 3 - Michelle 10K: 48:43 Leg 4 - Gaye 5K 26:40 Leg 5 - Sonja 7.5 miles 53:56
Great Job ladies!