Well, where were we? Right. I had just finished my second leg of the day with the horrible uphill climb and Greg took off like a rocket.
Off he goes on a 6.1 mile run!
We got into the van and made our way to the next exchange point. Greg's leg was the longest leg of the entire race, so even though he is speedy, we had some time to get to Note Fragrances.
At this point, I was getting tired, but I knew that I only had one more leg to run. We kept catching more and more teams, which was exciting since we had been alone for awhile in the beginning. I was hoping that we wouldn't have to deal with too much congestion in Sampson State Park later on, though.
Laura waiting for Greg
Another leg down
Off she goes!
We were almost 2/3 of the way done with the race! And time-wise, the last legs of the race always go the fastest since most of them are pretty short.
Last runner's turn to run!
It was a great day for running
Gustavo was out running, and that meant our first runner, Jenn, would be starting her final leg soon. I started to pay attention to my needs since it wouldn't be too long before my final leg.
Another exchange with a kiss, this time everyone around said, "awww"
Now it was time for Mike to get ready to run. His final leg was his longest of the day at 4 miles along some "trails" through Sampson State Park. He got to go around a snowplow, over some boulders and he ran by a state penitentiary. I made sure to use the bathroom at the golf course because there weren't going to be anymore port-a-potties before my final leg. Luckily, I got through the line before Jenn came through to the exchange.
Happy to be done for the day!
Mike's turn to finish up his legs
We had some time to get to the next exchange point, but I knew it would take a little while since we had to drive through Sampson State Park. Our theme for the day was, "be aggressive", and when we got to the exchange point we kept driving until we were right at the exchange and found a place to park.
I got ready for my next leg and then went out to cheer on Mike and Prem. Mike did great and finished out the day with a 4 mile run at 7:30 pace!
Next up, we had to be even more aggressive. Thankfully, the congestion wasn't as bad but we drove all the way until we could see the exchange before parking. Last year we had a bit of an issue and Greg made it to the next exchange before the van did, and we didn't want that to happen again this year!
It's the truth! Photo courtesy of Jenn
Here we go, photo courtesy of Jenn
I went over to wait for Prem and psyched myself up to run 3.3 miles. After a few minutes of waiting, we saw him running down the road toward the exchange point. I took the slap bracelet and took off for my final run of the day!
Admittedly, I may have started off a bit too fast but it was flat. My run took me through the tail-end of Sampson State Park and then back out onto East Lake Road. I hoped that the van would get through in enough time for Greg to be at the exchange point waiting for me!
I ran out of Sampson State Park and there were some people spectating and they cheered me on. As I ran by, they told me they liked my purple socks (calf sleeves) and that they wished they had my muscles! That made me laugh and I kept running toward East Lake Road.
I was still hoping that our team had made it out of Sampson State Park and I wondered if I was going to see them at all while I was running. I passed a few more people and after a little while, the van went by me and my team cheered me on.
As I got closer to the exchange point, I was ready to be done. I knew it wouldn't be too long before I saw Greg doing his wind sprints and after a few more minutes, I could see the exchange point.
"Take this slap bracelet, I want to be done!" Photo courtesy of Jenn
I ran as fast as I could at that point, and I handed Greg the slap bracelet. My fifth Seneca7 was done (almost)! I ran the 3.3 miles at an 8:12 average pace.
We got in the van quickly, because Greg didn't have a very long leg. We continued to be aggressive at the next exchange point and parked right near the road at the exit of the winery. After a few minutes, we saw Greg running up the road (I stayed in the van).
This guy is so speedy and averaged under 7:00 pace all day!
Our team took off again and went to the final exchange point. Gustavo wore a safety vest because he would be running after 7pm. Once we saw Laura, we cheered on Gustavo and then we took off toward the finish line and team reunification point.
Last runner out!
Off he goes!
The finish was a little different this year due to construction on the lakefront, but we were able to find a parking spot really close to the team reunification area. We waited for Gustavo to come down the lakefront path and we were able to see a few teams finish the race. Finally, we saw him running toward us!
We all joined him and ran toward the finish line. After 10:09:42, we were done!
Crazy finish line selfie, photo courtesy of Gustavo
FIT1Runners! Photo courtesy of Jenn
Our team came in 31st overall and 17th for mixed teams, not too bad! We had originally been given a 27 minute penalty because we deviated from our predicted team pace by more than 10% (we put 7:00 and ended up averaging 7:50 pace), but the race directors decided to only give penalties to teams that were more than 10% faster than their predicted pace. This year did seem a bit unusual with all of the penalties and disqualifications, regardless, we still had a great time!
I love this race and I can't wait for our 6th time running it next year!