We did it! 200 miles from Huntington Beach to Coronado, and we ran every step of the way. The journey started Wed night as Susan and I flew to LA. We were running just a touch late, and when we got to security, I realized I didn’t have my boarding pass! So, I sprinted back to the ticket counter, got a new one, and sprinted back to security. I think I set a PR for airport running 😉
Susan’s aunt was kind enough to act as our chauffer for the day, and she whisked us off to Downtown Disney, where we ate dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. FUN.
The next afternoon we headed down to Newport where we met up with the rest of our team. We had a few hours to kill before our dinner reservation, so we took our 15 passenger van on the ferry to Balboa Island. The picture doesn’t do it justice.
Next up was dinner at the Spaghetti Factory. 24 hungry women (We had another team from our ward also running the race—the lovely ladies of the Mile High Runner’s Club) and 1 server. Dinner took FOREVER. But at least it was delicious! We ended the evening with team awards. Everyone came decked out in their apron—I made everyone cutsie flip flops to match their aprons, and we all got a pair of cat-eye sunglasses. I then presented them all with a funny award
The race began bright and early the next morning at 7:15. Van 1 was off and running while we Van 2 gals had a leisurely breakfast. We then drove to Anaheim to the first major exchange where Natalie kicked off our runners with a strong start. We were so stoked for our first runs, but there were two things we didn’t expect. #1—HEAT. It was so so so much hotter than we were used to! I think the temperature was around 90 degrees for most of our runs. #2—HILLS. We thought after doing Wasatch Back last year that there wasn’t a hill in the world we couldn’t conquer. Since we were racing at sea level, we didn’t pay much attention to the hills in our training. We sincerely regret that. California hills, you have earned our respect.
I ran in the #12 spot for the first leg, which was 8 miles of steady incline. I was the luckiest one in my van, because by the time it was my turn to run, the temperature had cooled off significantly. I had a great first run, and was excited to see my whole team again at the next major exchange.
(Our van, the Jolly Green Giant)
We were all totally wiped out from the heat. I have never consumed so much water in my life! We had two runners puke, and most of the rest of us wished we had! We hightailed it to BJ’s to refuel with some yummy food. The rest of the evening is a blur—we weren’t sure how we were going to run again, but as soon as we started our night runs, we got a second wind. It was cool outside, and there is something totally exhilarating about running in the middle of the night. We started around midnight and finished about 5:30 am. (I think). My night run was 6 miles, and I was completely decked out in glow sticks. (you can’t see the ones on the backs of my legs.) This run was almost completely downhill, so it was a speedy one.
Then, the delirium of sleep deprivation set in. We went and parked by the beach and tried to get a little sleep, only to find out that when we are that tired, we all SNORE. Every single one of us. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep great. But, some yummy breakfast and a “shower” in the Ihop bathroom did wonders to improve our spirits. We were ready to ROCK our last runs! It was so amazing to see everyone finish this race strong. Despite some people not feeling very well, extreme lack of sleep, and total muscle exhaustion, everyone finished the race with a smile on their face. That’s why I love this relay—it is so inspiring to watch my friends do amazing things. I am so grateful for their friendship, and I always walk away from these races a better person. My last run was down a fun little trail, and I gave it everything I had. After watching my teammates succeed, I didn’t want to let myself down. 5.2 miles of running all out. I was so happy to hand off the slap bracelet to Susan for the final leg of the race.
We all put our aprons on and waited to cross the finish line with Susan. She came barreling down the path, and we all had to sprint to keep up with her! We crossed the finish line together at Silver Strand State Beach on Coronado (one of the first times we’d seen the sand along the course). What an amazing moment—12 friends—1 goal—We did it!!
And because you know I love pics, here are a few more of our “after party” hanging out in Coronado on Sunday. We were all excited to lay out on the beach, but it was FREEZING. Why couldn’t Saturday have been freezing while we ran, and Sunday hot so we could lay on the beach? The hot tub is as close to water as we got.