Last year I broke this race up into three posts and I am going to do the same thing again this year, but I'll actually run during the first part this time!
My parents got into town on Friday night and we watched how the manhunt was going in Boston, and we were all relieved when they finally got the guy alive. Saturday we went out to brunch at Jines and then we just hung out, dropped Bernie off for boarding and had dinner with two of our teammates Sarah and Mark.
Sunday morning we were up early to get to Geneva to pick up our race packets and get ready for our 8am wave start time. We got there just as the 7am wave was taking off, and there were a lot of runners hanging out at the start.
First wave, 7am, taking off!
A bike team - their transportation for the day
Our team started to arrive and then our lovely driver for the day, Cat, got there after I picked up our stuff. Cat was on our team last year, but unfortunately she was injured this year and couldn't run. She still wanted to be a part of the day and she volunteered to drive us around all day, so amazing!
Sole Sisters and their Misters and honorary teammate!
My mom was our first runner and as it got closer to the start, she made her way with the rest of the runners down Linden Street. After a brief countdown, the runners were off and starting our 77.7 mile trek around Seneca Lake!
8am wave runners
There she goes!
Our team hopped into the van, with my dad there as well as our team cheerleader, and Sarah (our second runner) got on the shuttle. When we got to the second exchange point, we just hung out, used the bathrooms and waited for Sarah to get there.
Sarah and Mark's exchange
As the day went on, we realized we had a chance this year to be a little bit more competitive than last year. We were all running strong and we were catching up to some of the 7:00am and 7:30am starters. Mike and I saw our friend, Heather, and it was fun to see everyone having a good time (at least it looked like it to me).
Mark finishing up his first leg
Look at those determined faces!
Amber and me!
Paul flew, literally, all day!
I learned my lesson from last year, to go to the bathroom as much as possible since there aren't always port-a-potties available and I thought I was doing a good job of doing just that. We got to my exchange point and the line for the port-a-potties was LOOOONG! I was a little worried and then finally decided to just cut everyone, asking first of course, and they agreed (a little begrudgingly though).
Waiting for Mike
You can see him in the distance
Run around a lake all day? Yes, please!
Good thing because as soon as I got to the slap bracelet hand off point, Mike was coming in! My dad would signal to us that our runner was coming and I could see him waving a few minutes after I got to the exchange point. Mike came running in, after a first speedy leg of 3.8 miles at 7:32 pace, and I took off!
Slap bracelet hand off
On my way
I ran by the line for the port-a-potties and people who had originally been in front of me were still in line, I gave them a thumbs up and said thanks for letting me cut and ran on my merry way.
Sarah snapped this gem while she was in line for the port-a-potties
My first leg was 4.6 miles that was described as "incremental downhill", but I would say that there were some rollers in there.
As soon as I took off, I caught one of the female runners that had taken off right before me. Soon after I caught the other one, which was a good feeling because last year I didn't catch many or any runners at all. My first mile came in at 7:47 and I got slightly worried, I only ever run sub-8 minute pace at the beginning of 5Ks and then slowly die.
I knew that there were going to be nice rollers so I just kept pushing. I think I was passed at one point by one of the fast teams, you could just tell, but I had some people in my sights that I could catch. Also at one point this guy and I were running together for awhile, he helped push me!
My second mile came in at 8:13 pace and I felt great! I kept taking in the gorgeous views, the vineyards, the lake, and just appreciating the fact that I can run. There were a lot of people wearing blue and yellow, shirts that honored the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and ribbons (our team had on blue and yellow ribbons that Jenny made).
Just a taste of what we saw
I started to wonder if I could keep up the pace when the third mile came in at 8:12 pace and I just kept pushing, the guy that I had been running with got ahead of me slightly on one of the hills and I just tried to catch him. One of the negatives of this leg was that you could see the exchange point for over a mile before you got there!
My fourth mile came in at 8:13 and after going up a slight hill, it was all downhill from there. I saw my dad in the distance and the people at the exchange point. I passed some volunteers directing us and they said that we were almost there, the guy was still right in front of me - I never did catch him though I tried, and I pushed it as hard as I could.
Flying to Jenny
There she goes!
Jenny was running, and we took off to get my mom to the exchange point for her next leg. Which is where I will start off tomorrow!