Monday, September 21, 2009

Reach the Beach!

First off, I highly recommend a relay race with friends. 
Its a great bonding activity, you never know what is going to happen. 
It can be a lot of work to organize, especially if it is a 24 hour race but it is definitely worth it!

There are all kinds of relays now but Reach the Beach and Hood to Coast are a couple of the original 24+ hour relays.  My running crew is talking about maybe doing one in Florida put on by Ragnar Relays, although I also found one that goes from Key Largo to Key West.... its a little shorter too and we could have a smaller team.  

Any how back to Reach the Beach.  

We headed up to northern NH.  Luckily one of our crew has a good hook up, so we had a free place to stay.  I hit the hay relatively early, as I knew I wouldn't get much sleep Friday night. 

I was up before 7am, showering and packing up. We had to be at the start close to 8am to get registered.  I was our team captain so I had to do all of our check-in, I also was our first runner too! 

My first run was about 8 miles so I had to fuel up for my run.

-poppyseed bagel w/ PB

We of course had to take a few team pictures........

And decorate our vans...
Although this year was a bit sad compared to past years.  We just didn't have much time to decorate or the motivation. 

But at least we had me & Tito.  ;-)

And then we were off!

Beautiful scenery along the way of course. 
This was one of the transition areas. 

If you don't remember my explanation.  There are 12 of us on a team, you can have less too but no more than 12.  If you have 6 or less you are considered an "ultra" team. 

We each ran 3 legs, the legs are split up by the race directors, you have specific transition areas.  Once you pick an order you have to stay in that order.  I was our 1st runner so I ran legs 1, 13 and 25.  

The total mileage of the race is just over 200 miles.  Each runner has a combined total of miles ranging from about 14 to just over 22.  I was the lucky person with just over 22 miles.  :)

While it may sound great that most of the first few legs have a lot of downhill.... you quads pay the price.  The start of the race, you are full of energy...... you are excited.... you are.... well stupid..... you go out too fast and later on when you have to run up hill during your later legs.... it. really. hurts. 

But despite all this talk, I was able to recruit a newbie from my blog.....

Mrs. Our Life is Delicious donated her husband to the cause.  :)  
Or well he donated himself I guess. 
Yay Artie!!!  He even sported his "No Meat Athlete" shirt. 

Soon it started to get dark..... and that meant dressing up in such fashionable items as
-reflective vest
-2 blinky lights... one front, one back
-head lamp

This is my sexy night runner pose.

I swear it did get dark on my run.
This was a leg or two  later when it was really dark out. 
My teammate Tom was getting ready to head out on his run.  It was one heck of a hilly run too... he started going straight up a hill that lasted at least 1/3 of a mile, went down for a bit and then right back up.  

So I have to admit, my eating was not all that spectacular.  For lunch I had a turkey, swiss, baby spinach and mustard sandwich.  It was camera shy.  Also had some trailmix and a chocolate chip cookie 

But after my 2nd run of the day, I got snacky and we had lots of snacks. 

Twizzlers......... evil.

Cheez-Its....... even more evil. 

But when you are living in a mess like this...... it kinda fits I guess. 
My van was lucky and we finished up our 2nd leg by midnight.  We headed to the next team transition area for some sleep.  Most of us slept in the van.... on seats, on the floor, outside in a tent... where ever we could find a place. 

At 4:50am we got a call from the other van.  Their last runner was on course for her 7 mile run and I was on deck. 

I started my run just around 6am. 
 It was dark, but soon I could see a beautiful sunrise in the works.....

My team stopped by to give me some support..... 
It was my longest run, about 9.5 miles and the first half was pretty much all uphill.
This is at about the top of the hill section, right before I hit the downhill.
As you can see I was happy to see them and the downhill!!!

Me finishing up my final run and passing off our reflective slap bracelet "batton" to Mia

So my team thought it was odd that in my purchase of food for the van I got baby spinach.  I figured.... who wants just a meat & cheese sandwich, spinach is an easy addition and its like lettuce but even better for you. 

Well it became a running joke. 

At one point we showered one of our teammates with spinach during his run.

Here we are posing with our mascot vegetable....

Pretty much the answer to any problem involved....... baby spinach.... and sometimes hummus or baba ghanoush (which we didn't have any of but its fun to say).

Then we finally REACHED the beach!

This is the crew after we ran through the finish line together and got our medals. 

Our Stats
Overall Time: 28:48:42
Average Pace: 8:20/ mile
Runners: 6 guys, 6 girls.... ranging in age from 29-47

Overall an absolute blast!  :)

Let me know if you have any questions, its hard to fit it all in.  But hopefully that gives you an idea of how it all went.  



  1. It sounds like such a fun time I almost want to start running!

  2. Great run and great post. I liked the pictures - really captured the race vibe - especially the messy van shot!