Once upon a time, relatively early in my running life, I heard about these crazy things called long distance relays. I don’t remember who told me or where I learned about them, but I was intrigued. I began searching the Ragnar website and was immediately interested in the race from Miami to Key West. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything about Key West, including the beautiful drive over the many long bridges through the Florida Keys that take you there.
I polled a few of my running friends to see if they would be interested in getting a team together. A few were mildly interested, but mostly I heard something along the lines of: “Running ALL NIGHT LONG? ON NO SLEEP? No thank you!“ So for the time being, I abandoned my dream of doing a long distance relay.
Then 2 years later, a friend of mine told me she ran the Hood to Coast Relay with some of her crazy running friends. She said the team was entering the lottery for the 2011 race and needed a few more team members. I was in! I sent in my check and was ECSTATIC.
And then the team got rejected…and once again, my relay dreams were lost. Temporarily.
Then as most of you probably know, I had the unique and amazing opportunity to join my favorite hydration company and Team Afternuun Delight at Hood to Coast this summer.
But this race didn’t satisfy my desire to do a relay. Nope. It actually drove my hunger for more. I fell in love with the whole concept of being in a van with 6 semi-strangers, running on no sleep, no real food and with tired legs from giving your all on previous runs. I have been itching to do another one.
And suddenly, at the very last minute, I have been given the opportunity to do just that! And not at just ANY relay, but the relay that caught my attention all those years ago when the idea was first planted…
That’s right! On January 4-5, I will be running Ragnar Florida Keys with Team Nuun!
In related, and very exciting news Nuun is the official hydration sponsor for the Ragnar Relay Series through 2014!! Check out the article and definitely stay tuned for your own chance to run a relay with this amazing company!!
To say I am excited would be an understatement. I am thrilled. And of course, grateful beyond belief to Nuun for giving me the opportunity (again!) to support a product I love and believe in while running a race that has been on my running bucket list for a long time.
With the exception of one non-blogging/tweeting friend, I don’t know any of my teammates for the race, but we are all starting to get to know each other through e-mail. Comments like “…so that we can great van 2 with open arms at the finish line! With drinks in our hands of course ” makes me think these are my kind of people and we will get along just fine.
I will be runner #7, in Van 2, which will give me a little different relay experience than being in Van 1 at H2C. There isn’t much value you in showing you elevation maps, etc, since the entire race is essentially flat and there is less than 100 ft. elevation change on any of my legs. But in case you are curious, I will be running 18.2 miles broken down like this:
Leg #1: 4.2M (estimated start time ~3:00 p.m.)
Leg #2: 9.9M (estimated start time ~1:45 a.m.)
Leg #3: 4.1M (estimated start time ~11:21 a.m.)
I couldn’t be more excited to run 10 miles in the middle of the night! This winter I have rarely seen the sun on my runs (except in races) so I will be right at home with my headlamp and my own thoughts :).
This is all happening in less than 3 weeks! Between now and then: Brad and I leave tomorrow to drive to IL for Christmas, then we flying out to Breckenridge on the 26th with his family to go snowboarding (ahem…7 days with zero running?! Not the best relay prep!). We get back on the 2nd, I will work from our offices in the IL on the 3rd, then fly to Miami that evening. Whew! Crazy times!
I am not sure how much I will be blogging between now and the beginning of the year, so in case I am not back here before Christmas, I wish all of you a very, very happy holiday. In light of what happened in CT last week and a loss in my family and a very dear friend’s family in the last few days, I know I will be cherishing every single minute with the people I love.