Wednesday, July 06, 2016

2016 Race #11 - Time Laps 24-hour relay

When my friend Beth mentioned a 24-hour relay race, I told her of course I was interested. I ended up getting a spot on the team just a few weeks before the race when someone had to drop out and we weren't too sure what to expect. This race was going to be different from the other relays I've done - we had 12 people on our team and 24 hours to cover as many miles and get as many points as possible. The team I joined had actually split into two teams from the previous year - a full team (12) and an ultra team (6). Not really knowing anyone before the race made finding all of our teammates a little difficult, but we had some awesome lime green team shirts that helped us stand out from the rest of the teams. 

The camp sites at the Whitewater Center weren't formal, so I fit my 2-person tent in between our campsite and the one next to us - it was the perfect size to sneak in between the trees. 


Leg #1 - Blue Loop

The race started at 7:00pm on Friday night. Teams didn't have to follow any specific format for runners, so since I was willing to run in the dark, I wasn't going to start my run for a few more hours. One of the ways to get bonus points in this race was to complete all 6 legs within a 6-hour period, so I volunteered to run the longest leg in the dark. My first leg just over 6 miles and had a lot of up and down hills.


This leg was a lot harder than I expected it to be, but after traveling from Charlotte to Pittsburgh to Tampa to Pittsburgh and then back to Charlotte in the week leading up to the race, I wasn't surprised that my legs were heavier than I was hoping they would feel. Since it was a trail run, I didn't follow a standard walk:run ratio and just walked when I had to. 


  • Mile 1 - 11:51
  • Mile 2 - 14:40
  • Mile 3 - 15:50
  • Mile 4 - 16:57
  • Mile 5 - 15:31
  • Mile 6 - 12:02

Overall time: 1:27:23

I definitely struggled a little bit with the fact that I didn't start this run until almost 10:00pm - I worked all day and didn't eat a very good dinner, so I had to fuel more than I would have expected for a 6 mile run. I am glad that I did this run in the dark - there was quite a bit at the beginning and end that were unshaded, so once we got into the day on Saturday, I'm sure these areas were really hot. Instead, I got to run in the dark with temperatures in the 50's - perfect running weather!


Leg #2 - Yellow Loop
Originally I was thinking I would have to run my second leg around 5:00am, but the team decided to stick with a 6-man crew for each 6-hour section, so I wouldn't run again until the next 6-hour segment started at 7:00am. That meant that instead of being up at 4:30, I set an alarm for 6:30 and headed back up to the start line area to meet my teammates.

  • Mile 1 - 14:12
  • Mile 2 - 15:07
  • Mile 3 - 13:30
  • Mile 4 - 15:09
  • Mile 5 - 13:22
Overall time: 1:14:06

As part of this loop I had to take our team card and find two flags that had a hole punch on it so we could collect our extra points. Since this was the third time our team was looking for these, I was able to get clear directions on what to look for, which was really helpful when I got to the Burma Bridge because I knew the hole punch was on the first side of the bridge, so I was easily able to find it. When I got to the other side of the bridge I caught up with a girl who had passed me while I was taking pictures of the lake and she asked about the hole punch and was concerned about having to go across the bridge to get to it, so I was able to tell her where to look and feel better about the time I took to stop to take pictures!


The rest of the loop was pretty straightforward and was definitely easier than the Blue loop the night before.

After I finished my run, I just hung out with the rest of the team, grabbed some lunch and cheered on other teams as they continued running until 7:00pm. As we got closer to the time limit, you could see all the teams strategizing who they were going to send out on the 1-mile loop, trying to get as many points as possible. Our team finished with 190 points and came in 7th place. There were 43 teams in the race, include 10 in the solo category and runners covered over 3,800 miles combined over the course of the 24 hours. As part of the race we all got a race medal and a nice t-shirt - the back actually has a much better design with the same logo as the medal on the back.




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