Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cache - Teton Epic relay 2011 - IT WAS EPIC!

I know right?  Fitting name for a VERY cool relay.

After our team's experience last year in the Red Rock Relay, it was decided that we were gonna boycott them.  No medal - no run!

Instead, found this one

Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole Wyoming.  My only problem was I needed an easy leg since I had a marathon on the agenda the very next weekend.

We met at 2am - yes, you read that right - TWO -FREAKIN-AM in the morning Friday and made the drive to Logan.  Van 1 consisted of me, Lisa, Ana, Aimee, Jenn and Pam.  What a bunch of F.U.N. women!!

Lisa was runner 1 so she started us off at 5am.

 I was runner 2 so I was already prepping and getting ready.  Of course, my ipod was dead and I forgot my running water bottle, but luckily Ana and I have the same taste in music and the same version of the podder so her's fit in my arm band and off I went. 

Perfect running weather!  Just at dawn, running through Lewiston, Ut and loving every minute of it.  My first leg was my longest at 6.01 miles.  It was wonderful!!

Jenn took off next and for the next several hours, each gal tackled and killed her first leg. 

Aimee on her run

Ana passing off to Aimee

Pam killing it in the heat and hills

We called Van 2, passed off the baton and headed for some food and rest which came in Grace, ID.

What the crap does anyone do in Grace, ID??  There was one little burger joint that we hit, and then went to the exchange we thought we were supposed to be at.  After unloading blankets, sleeping bags and pillows, it was a quick doze.

We realized we were at the wrong exchange when no one else was showing up.  We backtracked to the last one and realized that was the hand off point.  Good thing we didn't try and sleep there!  It was packed and noisy and nowhere to really spread out.  We were pretty proud of ourselves for accidentally doing something smart!
no event is complete without me getting my whole head in someone else's bra cup.  Pure awesomeness.

The boys passed off to us and then it was back to being our turn!  Of course, Lisa killed her leg.  And what you need to know is that cute Lisa crashed on her bike the week before and had two broken hands.  BOTH OF THEM!  And yet, she went and ran her legs with not a single complaint!  My hero.

I was next.  It was late afternoon/evening and hot.  There was a wind and although my leg was only 4.98 miles, it was a false flat, so basically enough of an incline to make me work hard!  I was dying.  Needing water every mile or so and then next thing you know, some young punk passed me!  GRRRR  I got counted as his road kill.  Then the little turd ran ahead for a space and then stopped and walked.  He would turn around and watch and just when I would get close to catching him, he would take off again.  Turkery herder did this for 3 of almost 5 miles!  His only redeeming factor is he was young and ran without his shirt.  A tan back full of muscles was at least pretty to look at when I wasn't busy swearing at him.

Jenn had a brutal leg next.  It was an 8 mile stretch.  After mile 4 she was ready for someone to jump in at mile 6 and finish.  Since I had the least mileage of everyone, I took them.  It was late evening, just starting to get dusky, and I ran through Soda Springs, ID.  Gorgeous!  I was really glad I took those two - they were the perfect running time of day and the people of the town were so kind and encouraging!

After the rest of our van finished up and we passed off to the boys, we went to the next major handoff and really tried to sleep.  Jenn and Ana took their sleeping bags and went to the grass.  I was too cold and stayed in the 'burb as did Lisa, Pam and Aimee.  Nothing like trying to stretch out your legs and get some decent sleep!  But ahh.... the fun of a relay!

Too soon, we were told it was turn again.  Our third and final legs!   It was still dark when Lisa started, but by the time, it was my turn, the sun was just beginning to rise.  Again - a beautiful scene!  Perfect temps, sunrise and by now we were in Wyoming and it was gorgeous!  It was a short 3.14 miles but they were hard just for the sheer fact of how tired I was.  No sleep and fueling on junk just does't cut it.
Once it got to be Ana and Pam's turns we were now along side the Snake river, and it was just so amazing!!  Lot's of photo op's and enjoying the scenery.

steam rising off a lake

Look close and you will see a rare bald eagle.  So cool!

Pam and me

Pam and Lisa

Me and Lisa

Our van finished up STRONG, passed off to the boys and headed to Teton Village for a shower and food.

We were able to get a shower at the Basin rec center just outside the village.  Loved it because it wasn't crowded, but didn't love the fact that there was no hot water.  But really, at this point, you just don't care - you want to be clean!  It felt heavenly.

We got into the village, parked and found a great place to eat at the Mangy Moose.  I don't think a burger ever tasted so good! 

We found the finish line, garnered some swag and then laid down to rest until van 2 finished up.

We finally got the call they were here, we all crossed the finish line together and celebrated that we had just done 206 miles over the course of 34 hours.  AWESOME!!!

Some more milling about and then it was hitting the road for the long 5 hour ride home.  I worried about Lisa and being sleepy, but with the gaggle of women in the car, punch drunk on a couple of hours of sleep over the past two days and it was nothing but long hard laughs!

We did have a little 'experience' on the I-80 though.  Coming out of Coalville, we were attempting to pass a blue Trailblazer when he suddenly veered into our lane.  We backed off and then watched as he swerved and veered and ran the rumble strips and then swerved around some more.  Clearly he was distracted or impaired  and a couple of times, I was sure he was going to crash or hit someone.  So, being the responsible citizens that we are, I placed a 911 call.  The bad thing about that is they want you to pull over with the highway patrol to file the report.  Add another 20 minutes of laughing, getting nervous, Ana flirting with the UHP and guessing as to what the driver had been doing to our drive home.
Seems that the 3 UHP troopers couldn't find anything and the guy fessed up that he had been eating.  Trooper said his wife was furious with him.  WTH?  He's eating and his wife is a passenger and she doesn't do something while he flies all over the road?  Doubtful, but hey, at least he got the crap scared out of him, and I'm pretty sure they got off the next  exit.

We did have a beautiful sunset

Finally home.  After unloading the 'burb - giving hugs and thanks it was back to mi casa for my much desired bed!

I tell you, the relays are so dang hard on the body, but the fun that we have more than makes up for it.  The time spent talking, laughing, eating, running, bonding......there is nothing like it!

Thanks to my girls in Van 1, thanks to the Epic organizers for doing such a fantastic job - and thanks Legally Dead for yet another phenomenal event!

Final stats:
Total time -  34:2:and some change
M-Cat's stats:
Total mileage - 15.36 miles
Calorie burn - 2326
Kills - 5
Time spent with besties and new friends - priceless


Teachinfourth said...

Sorry you were passed...glad you had eye-candy.

It sounds like you had a great time (and judging from the photos). Lisa, running with broken hands? Wow, talk about being a hero...I'd say she is.

Suz said...

Awesome. I hate running but I like the concept of running-as-a-team-sport. Beautiful scenery, it makes my heart ache - it's been way too many years since I was in that area. Nice to know it's still breathtaking!

just call me jo said...

You ladies are high on endorphins. I've never, ever had any endorphins. I wish I could use up that many calories. Some how sitting on the couch doesn't use many calories. I'm bowing in awe and respect. I'm not worthy! Grace, ID?? I don't know, but it's Idaho so you gotta love it. Right? You all are my heroes. Glad you're home safe.

tammy said...

So pretty there!

My friend's husband got pulled over for swerving while trying to dig his cell phone out of his pocket. His wife was up ahead and calling to let him know he was coming up on a cop and to slow down.

Connie said...

Whenever I read about your races, your posts are filled with excitement and fun! I'm filled with awe at all you do!
Way to go! Good luck on your marathon!!

DesertHen said...

Wow! Amazing! Epic indeed! I know nothing about relays and was totally impressed while reading this account! Reading this made me want to put on some running shoes and take off...but I wouldn't get far and someone would have to call 911 cause I'm pretty sure I'd fall to the ground before I reached the end of mile one! Ha! Maybe I'll just take a brisk walk instead...=)

Congrats to you and all the others on the team! You Rock!

Cherie said...

What a beautiful place to run. I think the whole relay thing is just really awesome - to be able to go with friends and each contribute! Definately Epic!!

Pedaling said...

you almost make a girl want to run with your description!
So beautiful and such a great thing to do with girlfriends...i can't think of better bonding methods!

Pedaling said...

you almost make a girl want to run with your description!
So beautiful and such a great thing to do with girlfriends...i can't think of better bonding methods!

gigi said...

Awesome! You are my hero!!

CountessLaurie said...

Okay, two things:

1) what was the swag?

2) you are never getting that close to my bra :P