Huh. As I sit down to type this I realize I never wrote my race report for my very first triathlon, the Together We Tri Indoor Tri. I will have to get on that. But for today, a recap of the reason I’m a little stiff and a little bit sunburned right now.
In short, I had a blast with Ashley, Regina, and Melissa in St. Louis. We very creatively named ourselves team GLAMorous and signed ourselves up for the marathon relay. (Get it? GinaLaurenAshleyMelissa? Yeah. We’re cool like that.) We were a motley crew. A couple runners currently in training, a marathoner who hadn’t run in quite some time, and a fabulously in shape woman who didn’t actually train for this running thing.
The relay concept was simple. Attach our D-tag to a velcro wrist thingy. Somebody runs at the start until mile 6ish. Pass velcro wrist thingy to the next person. Person 2 runs from mile 6 to just past mile 13. Pass velcro wrist thingy to Person 3. Person 3 runs until about mile 20. Pass velcro wrist thingy to Person 4. Everybody meets Person 4 like 200 yards from the finish, and we all cross the finish line together smiling. Throw in some hills for good measure and we’re good to go.
After getting those directions at the Expo on Saturday, we quickly came up with a plan. Ashley, Lauren, Regina, Melissa. That was the order. Regina and I would tackle the longer legs with lots of hills, because we’d really been training. Ashley and Melissa had been working out, but not running so much, so they’d take the shorter legs. (And God bless Melissa for being willing to take the sunny, hot final leg of our journey.)
We woke up a little groggy on race day, thanks in part to our #1 fan Baby Finn who decided to throw a little 3 am party for himself. Nevertheless, with a little banana, some bagel, and water, we were out the door and onto the Metra in no time.
Once we were on site, Ashley and I met up with the fabulous Barb and Mike. She planned to keep up with them for as long as she could. (They were pacing a friend for his first half marathon.) Back with the rest of my GLAMorous team, we cheered and hollered as loud as we could for all of the athletes crossing the starting line. Then I headed off to wait for the fabulous wrist-thingy to get passed to me.
As soon as Ashley got to me, I grabbed the wrist thingy, yelled, “I LOVE YOU!” and took off. She had been speedy, and I wanted to keep our speed-factor going. There’s not much to report about my hilly 7.25 miles except that I loved them. I loved the hills, I loved running, and I loved the warm sunshine. I even managed to walk everything but the water stops, which was pretty hardcore for this runner. My average pace ended up being 11:35, making my leg about 1:25. I ran through St. Louis University, and even got to run through some of Forest Park. It was a really beautiful, really fun run.
After meeting Regina, I headed to the next relay transition to spectate with Melissa. Mile 20. I took it upon myself to scream and yell for all the marathoners who were losing steam. This is where the crowd kind of thinned out — which reminded me a lot of the way the Chicago course is set up. Thin crowd, no shade, industrial area. So we cheered and cheered and cheered.
Once Regina passed the wrist-thingy to Melissa, we headed to our final meet-up point, just before the end of the race. There we yelled and screamed some more. It made me all weepy and emotional and really excited to take on the Chicago Marathon again this October. When we saw Melissa approaching, we screamed even louder, now jumping up and down like lunatics. (The best part about the relay experience was having three more lunatics like me out there!)
And of course… we crossed the finish line together… holding hands… arms in the air… victory. :) We also decided that this whole “Girls Running Weekend” thing needs to become a tradition. Too much fun.