This past weekend I got to run the American Odyssey Relay for the fourth time. It is by far my favorite race, and I love that I can still participate even after having babies! The idea of the race is to run 200 miles from Gettysburg, PA to Washington D.C. with a team of 12 people. The first time I ran was in 2010, and the only years I haven't run since then were when I was super pregnant with Noelle, and when I had just given birth to Jonah (literally two days before the race!)
back in 2010 when I ran for the first time and Luke was a driver
Each runner runs three "legs" of the race with specified transition spots between each leg. Teams usually have two vans so that one van can go relax/sleep/eat while the other van is completing their runs. I was in van one this year, and even though it seems like van one gets a smaller chunk of time to try to sleep, it was nice getting all my runs done and being able to relax while cheering on the other runners.
Each person's three runs are ranked for difficulty based on length, terrain, hills, and what time of day the runs will be completed. This year I was runner five, and my runs were ranked as seventh hardest. The very first year I ran, I was runner six, which is now ranked as the hardest, mostly because of the four mile mountain the runner has to run up during their very first run. The guy who ran it this year totally rocked it, and was even smiling every time we drove past him to cheer him on!
Luke running part of leg 6 with me in 2010
This year my first two runs were about 4 to 4.5 miles, and my third run was just over 8 miles. My first run was my shortest and started at a ski resort and ended at a church. I ran along some back roads past farms with rolling hills here and there, alongside the train tracks for a little while, and some nice flat areas before getting to the church. My middle run was completed in a little town where three runners run basically the same route so that the team has some time to rest and/or shower at the local high school. Even though I started this run around 10:45 at night, I felt pretty safe running the out and back with all the other runners on the same course. My last run was about 5 miles along the C&O canal and then 3 miles on some country roads. This one was hard for me because my Garmin would not stay connected to satellite and I had no idea how far I'd gone or what my pace was. But once I was done, it felt so good to be done!
team Feet on Fire this year!
I missed Luke and the kids a lot, but I'm going to work on convincing Luke to come next time. He was a driver for us in 2010 and he ran it in 2011. He says he won't do it, but I'll work on him! When we saw two of our friends at church on Sunday limping around from being a bit sore after their runs, our one friend looked at Luke and said "This should be you!" Next year Luke, YOU will be coming! (Unless of course we have another baby...)