• Cape Relay Recap: Part 1

    May 9, 2011

    You guys already know that I’m crazy, especially when it comes to running, so I’m sure you’re not too surprised that I ended up participating in a 24-hour, 189-mile relay with less than 10 hours notice, right?

    It all started with a tweet from Becky on Thursday night:

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    It turns out that one of the runners on her relay team got injured, so they were frantically looking for someone to replace her. I’m crazy and a runner, so I immediately accepted the challenge. I really wanted to do a relay someday, so this my chance.

    Preparations

    Thursday night was insane. There were less than 10 hours (including sleeping and driving time) before I needed to meet my team for the relay the next morning. I threw running gear into a bag, set my alarm for 4:30 AM, and immediately went to bed (to sleep off my beer buzz). I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I just hoped for the best!

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    What I packed: three changes of running clothes (with hot and cold temps in mind), comfy sleeping clothes (sweat pants + sweatshirt), hat, gloves, Garmin, deodorant, sunblock, Wet Wipes, a blanket, flip flops, camera, and a few snacks. The team hooked me up with everything else I needed (water, Gatorade, bananas, bagels, copious amounts of trail mix and peanut butter-filled pretzels, etc.) and we stopped for lunch and iced coffees during the race.

    At 6:00 AM on Friday morning, I met the Kenya JV team at Borderland State Park in Easton to begin the 189-mile relay to Truro.

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    To prepare for the our adventure, we packed and decorated the vans.

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    The Relay Start

    Once everything was ready with our vans, we walked over to the official start of the race.

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    The first runner on each team kicked off the relay! (There were only a small number of runners due to a rolling start, which helped prevent chaos at the first few exchanges.)

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    How It Works

    Each relay team consists of a maximum of 12 teammates. Each teammate runs three inconsecutive legs varying in length and difficulty. Each leg of the Cape Relay ranges from 1.8 miles to 10.3 miles; this equates to each teammate running an average of just less than 17 miles. (You can also put together an “ultra” team. This consists of 6 runners, which on average will run just shy 34 miles each throughout the course.)

    Vehicle 1 (V1) starts off the relay with runner #1. V1 drives ahead of the runner to cheer them on and give them any food or water they have brought along for the ride. After that runner makes it to the first exchange area, they will hand off the “baton” to the second runner in V1. This pattern repeats itself until you make it six legs of the course to exchange #6, where Vehicle #2 (V2) picks up for the next 6 legs of the relay. (This is the time to get something good to eat or get some sleep.) This exchange between runners and the two team vehicles repeats 6 times until all 36 legs are completed.

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    The running order in Van #1:

    We kept this same running order for the entire 189 miles, so we knew exactly when we were supposed to run, which gave us plenty of time to prepare. It also made keeping track of our legs much easier. I ran legs 5, 17, and 29. (There were a total of 36 legs in the race.)

    Leg One

    Leg One started promptly at 7:00 AM with Christine leading the pack. Meanwhile, the rest of us drove in the van to meet her at the first exchange.

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    Speedy Lauren was up next!

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    She flew through her leg and passed the baton (aka a blue iridescent Snap Bracelet) to Evan.

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    After Evan, Esa ran next.

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    Christine, Lauren, and Evan sped through their legs, so when we arrived at the exchange for Esa’s leg, we noticed it wasn’t quite ready for us. There were no signs, the porta-potties were locked, and the volunteers were just arriving.

    Thankfully, everyone worked quickly to get things together and Esa took off on her leg.

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    By 10:00, it was my turn to run my Leg 5, which was 4.7 miles. The weather and route were beautiful and perfect for running. The route had a nice country feel to it— wide open spaces and long stretches of road through residential neighborhoods. I loved it and felt great. I finished in 39:06 (8:22 pace).

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    At this point, my team knew something was wrong. (I was running at the time, so I had no clue what was happening.) My teammates in Van 1 contacted Van 2, who were waiting for us at the first major exchange area. They spoke with race officials and received some interesting info:

    When Van 1 arrives at the exchange area, the first runner from Van 2 cannot begin running. The next runner cannot hit the road until 12:30.

    Apparently, we were running too fast, which meant were ahead of schedule and the race organizers were not set up yet. So, when I finished running my first leg, my handoff to Becky was pretty anti-climatic because she wasn’t in a rush to take off. Basically, she had two hours to run 7 miles.

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    When Becky finished her leg, we met Van 2 at the next exchange and hung out with them until 12:30 when we made the official handoff to Van 2.

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    Leg 1 was done!

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    While Van 2 ran their legs, we spent the next seven hours hanging out in the van, eating (we grabbed lunch at Subway), and resting up for Leg 2.

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    Ok, this post is getting pretty long, so I’m going to cut it here and recap Legs 2 and 3 in another post. I guess I had a lot to say about this relay. It was quite an experience!

    Part 2 coming soon!!!

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    { 49 comments… read them below or add one }

    Grace @ Healthy Dreaming May 9, 2011 at 9:41 am

    That’s insane! One of my sorority sister’s participated in something similar in September and went to our mutual friend’s wedding the following day. I thought she was insane ESPECIALLY when I saw her at the wedding with high heeled sandals on :)

    Pictures look amazing! Can’t wait to see Part 2

    Reply

    Elizabeth@The Sweet Life May 9, 2011 at 9:43 am

    This looks like so much fun! I’m glad you seized the opportunity to do something so different and unusual–congrats!

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    Angela May 9, 2011 at 9:46 am

    WOW! I wondered when I saw your tweets what the heck you were doing because you hadn’t mentioned this at all last week, but now I know! What an experience! Congrats on finishing and I can’t wait for the next part. :)

    Reply

    Holly @ The Runny Egg May 9, 2011 at 9:46 am

    That all sounds crazy — but super fun. I really hope to do one of those relays one day.

    Reply

    Anastasia May 9, 2011 at 9:51 am

    That sounds like pure craziness in a good way! :] I’ve never heard of anything like this, but I bet it’s super fun.

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    Miranda @ Working Mom WOrks Out May 9, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Ha! That looks like fun!

    Reply

    Leanne May 9, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Haha, Kenyan JV Team, I love it!! You guys were really rockin’ it! I can’t wait to read post #2!

    Reply

    Heather May 9, 2011 at 9:58 am

    That looks like so much fun! I’m glad you were able to help the team out!

    Can’t wait to read the rest of the recaps.

    Reply

    Gina @ runningtothekitchen.com May 9, 2011 at 9:59 am

    This looks like it was so crazy and so much fun at the same time! Can’t wait to read the other recaps.

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    FNF2 May 9, 2011 at 10:02 am

    cannot wait to read part 2!!

    Reply

    Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life May 9, 2011 at 10:03 am

    That sounds like such a blast! Look at you, you speed demons. ;) Looking forward to part 2!

    Reply

    Hannah (Culture Connoisseur) May 9, 2011 at 10:07 am

    This actually sounds like a blast! I’m not a runner, but the story kind of makes me wish I was one. You may have sparked something here. :)

    Reply

    Lauren May 9, 2011 at 10:07 am

    HAHA!! Oh geez….that beautiful picture of me before my first leg made me laugh out loud.

    I loved this (part one) recap and I love all the pictures! I’m so glad you were crazy enough to jump on the team and that you had a great experience. The relay may not have been the best organized thing I’ve ever done, but it was still amazing. And the crazy experience will be something I’ll never forget. Can’t wait to read the rest of your recap (because let’s face it – reliving the relay is way more exciting than sitting here in my awful cubicle at work!)!

    Reply

    Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Awesome! I would totally love to do something like this!

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    Shanna, Like Banana May 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

    This race looks so badass and FUN, which is why it is so appealing to me. I don’t run races, but I feel like this would be a blast!

    Reply

    chacha May 9, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I guess your initial 10K estimates were too conservative? I think that’s why they (race officials) rather you not underestimate and end up taking off too early. Maybe they are not as organized as Ragnar, also. The paces you guys are running, sound like you should have started more like 11 or 12!

    Can’t wait for part 2!

    Reply

    VeggieGirl May 9, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Great recaps! Looking forward to the rest :)

    Reply

    Holley @ Lunges and Lashes May 9, 2011 at 10:24 am

    It is all the more fun that it was on the fly with short notice! I love it! Looks like you guys had a great time! Way to go!

    Reply

    Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food May 9, 2011 at 10:24 am

    ahhh what an awesome race! I want to do something like that!

    Too funny that you guys were running too fast! :) Can’t wait to read part 2 :)

    Reply

    Khushboo May 9, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I admire your spontaneity! The race sounds so exhilirating!

    Reply

    Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) May 9, 2011 at 10:29 am

    This was fun to read! I’m doing a ~200 mile relay with 7 other girls in July and am really pumped. Glad you made stopping for iced coffees a priority :)

    Reply

    Halley (Blunder Construction) May 9, 2011 at 10:32 am

    This was an awesome event!!! You guys lucked out with the weather and avoided the rain!

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    Britt May 9, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Um… my team still has one open spot for the Spring Reach the Beach Relay May 20th & 21st if you or anyone else is interested! Wachusett to Westport, MA http://www.rtbrelay.com

    Love relays they are always so much fun!

    Reply

    Ashley Janiak May 9, 2011 at 10:33 am

    OMG…This looks amazing!

    Reply

    Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet May 9, 2011 at 10:34 am

    SO CRAZY! I wanna do it so badly!! I can’t wait to read part 2 :D

    Reply

    Heather @ Side of Sneakers May 9, 2011 at 10:42 am

    This is so freaking awesome! How cool you got to participate!!!

    Reply

    Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me May 9, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Looks like it was pretty fun. You guys were speed demons!

    Reply

    Jamie aka "Sometimes Healthy" Girl May 9, 2011 at 11:02 am

    WOW…this sounds like such a cool race! I still can’t believe you agreed to do it less than 24 hours before the race. I guess us runners are crazy right? ;-)

    Reply

    Mellissa May 9, 2011 at 11:07 am

    That sounds so intense, I am sure you feel a great sense of accomplishment for completing this.

    Reply

    Taryn - www.thefitflosser.blogspot.com May 9, 2011 at 11:08 am

    You go girl! I can’t say that I would personally agree to run so far a distance with such short notice! However, like you said, you’re crazy like that. I love how you instantly jumped on board, without hesitation.

    Reply

    Alaina May 9, 2011 at 11:09 am

    That looks like SO much fun!! I might have to think about that race for next year. :-)

    Reply

    Lizzy May 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Looks like a blast! Glad you guys had fun. But thats so frustrating that they weren’t ready for you! Ugh. Can’t wait for more : )

    Reply

    Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 9, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I would love to do something like that! It’s so funny that you were running too fast :)

    Reply

    Christina May 9, 2011 at 11:50 am

    This looks like so much fun! The weather looked perfect. I can’t believe you did it on such short notice — very impressive. Looking forward to the rest of the recap!

    Reply

    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 9, 2011 at 11:52 am

    That’s awesome that you guys were so speedy that you got ahead of schedule! Way to go! :D

    Reply

    laine May 9, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I love that it started with a Tweet! I ended up on top of Mt. Lafayette in New Hampshire in February due to a Friday night tweet!

    Reply

    Yoonmee@MoveLaughAloha May 9, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I’ve never heard of these types of relays (then again, I’m not a runner haha), but it looks like fun! Glad you had a blast!

    Reply

    Lisa May 9, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Looks veeeerrrrrrryyyyy familiar!! I ran the Hood to Coast Relay Race last summer! It was totally epic. What a crazy thing!

    Reply

    Mary @ Bites and Bliss May 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    That sounds like so much fun!! It’s cool you guys were actually beating the race itself by running so quickly. And 7 hours in the van?! Wow..I guess it could be fun but I’d definitely develop some cabin fever.

    Reply

    Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    WHOA cool!!

    Reply

    Megan@Dirty Dishes Daily May 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    That looks like such a blast.

    Reply

    Katherine: Unemployed May 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    this is so interesting! I’ve never done a relay so the ins and outs are fascinating

    Reply

    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    This is so cool – I love it!

    Reply

    Elena @ GagaForGrapefruit May 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    that’s insane! congrats on completing it girl!

    Reply

    Hilary May 9, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    I have never heard of a relay like that….sounds like fun!

    Reply

    Abby May 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    This sounds like a blast! Kenyan JV team-lmao-love it! I noticed in one of the other posts there was a headband that said “Wanna Be Kenyan” I think. Do you know where that came from? I love it! lol :)

    Reply

    Emma (Namaste Everyday) May 9, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    you are so brave! that sounds like so much fun!

    Reply

    Nancy May 11, 2011 at 10:37 am

    So awesome of you to add so much detail. I’m doing the Ragnar Relay from Madison, WI to Chicago in June, and I’m also runner 5. It’s nice to see everything that you went through so that we can be prepared. Good Job!

    Reply

    Cara January 25, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Hello there! My friend Justine Purbaugh, who I work with, sent me your blog link pertaining to the relay run. I’ve been talking about doing one for a while and am really excited to find a team to join for this year. Would you know if there are any teams looking for another runner by chance?

    A little about me: I’m 27 and ran my first 1/2 and full marathons last year as well as did a Tough Mudder in VT. I love to run and would like to join a relay team this year as it’s on my bucket list!

    Look forward to hearing from you!
    Cara
    cara.gandy@gmail.com

    Reply

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