If you’ve been following the blog for the last month, then you know how excited/nervous I was for this race. The fact that it was 12 hours overnight, and 10 miles (which is a lot for me right now), was enough to have me worried. I’m happy to report that it was a fun night with no major injuries (though a few falls).
Here is how our night shaped up:
6:00 pm – Be the last one to arrive (silly traffic) and help get our area set up. All competitors brought tents, or some other form of shelter, to put up in the field right by the start/finish line. I loved that it was a big community feel and people were ready for the long, 12-hour haul.
7:00 pm – The gun goes off! Cassie was our first runner and she beasted through the 10-mile, trail only, hilly course at an 8:15 pace. While she was running, the rest of us had some dinner and munchies while chatting in our camp chairs. The lead runner returned within one hour!
8:30 pm – Cassie returns and hands off to Aimee. We ask Cassie a ton of questions about the course to get a better picture of what the rest of us are up against. The sun sets and we are able to watch the headlamps of the runners descend down the finish hill as they come in from their second loops.
10:00 pm – Aimee passes off to Logan. Since it was dark by this point, it was hard to tell which runner was ours. Aimee was passing right by us while we were looking down the course trying to pick out her red glow in the dark necklace.
By now, Cassie and Aimee have set our team up with a solid lead over the other 5-person all female teams and we’re starting to feel confident in our chances of possibly winning our division!
11:40 pm – Logan cruises in, yelling “Cereal Killers!” and transfers to Amy. By now, we were all feeling pretty tired and sluggish. I wasn’t really sure how to fuel for a late race and if sleeping just a few minutes would help or hurt the upcoming 10 miles. To keep us entertained, we played glow in the dark horseshoes (we were all terrible) from our camp chairs with Amy’s husband and friend who came to cheer her on.
1:45 am – Amy hands off to me! I was worried about Amy since her time was a bit longer than she had predicted. When she came into the transfer area, she said she had fallen three times along the course and warned me to be careful out there. So glad she was ok with no major injuries!
2:30 am – Running along the course, trying to keep my mile splits in the 9-10 minute range (I failed this in the last 2-3 miles), and feeling good. It was dark, the moon barely out behind the clouds, and glow sticks lined the course. I was concerned about not having music for such a long run, but it was so peaceful out there that I didn’t miss having a soundtrack. Add in the fact that I only met other runners every 2-3 minutes, and it was all very zen-like.
There were gorgeous views of the city lights for a good portion of the run, but with only a headlamp to light the trail, I wasn’t able to look around too much. The hardest part of the trail was the ending 3 miles when little mini dip hills kept popping up to ruin my stride and my body and mind were so confused about what it was doing so late/early.
3:30 am – I hand off to Cassie for her second lap. Cassie was a huge asset to our team with her speedy times and running 20 miles for us! While she ran, I changed into some dry clothes (it was so humid) and the rest of us crashed for about 20-30 minutes.
5:00 am – Cassie rolls on in to the finish looking strong, but the rest of us are exhausted. The lack of sleep, confusion on how to fuel, and the fact that the race directors didn’t shorten the course to a 10k (like they said they would), made it easy for us to call it a day.
5:30 am – Along with some other runners who called it quits, we pack up our camp area, eat a few pancakes, and watch the sun come up.
6:45 am – With the race ending at 7, we sit by the finish and watch the final runners come in. At this point, I was starting to feel pretty tired. The sitting, the adrenaline wearing off, the 10 miles behind me.
7:30 am – Awards begin at a park just across the football field. Our team placed first nin our division covering 60 miles in 10 hours! The overall winner, a female, ran something like 73 miles over the course of the night! What cracked me up was that each solo winner (top 3) they called up was limping worse than the person before them. It was somehow comforting to know that these amazing runners were human.
8:30 am – Arrive back home and feel really fortunate that I had a short drive (the other ladies had 1-2 hour hauls!). After saying hello to Rob and showering, I proceed to sleep like the dead for 3 hours.
Overall, I thought the race was really well done. The organizers were friendly, there was plenty of food, and volunteers were at the aid stations ALL night! The one problem I have is I want to see how far I can make it on my own in a 12 hour night race. This could be a problem.
*The winner of the Camelbak Relay Giveaway is Rebecca! I emailed earlier today to let her know!
RQ: Would you ever compete in an endurance race? Why or why not? When was the last time you pulled an all-nighter?