Melanie sang the national anthem and then the runners were off. The temperature at the start was probably low 40s so a bit cool, but supposed to warm up to the 60s by the time I would start running. Hugh planned to run to Easley which was the first 5 legs of the relay 22.5 miles and I would run the last 4 legs 16.8 miles. We were allowed to split up any way that we desired. Dan and Jenny were a 2 person team and had a bike and ran every 5 miles while the other biked. I really didn't have a plan until I met Hugh at Easley so to kill some time I went to Hartsburg where one of the aid stations was set up at 13.6 miles. I watched some relay teams come through and waited for Hugh. I rode my bike out a bit about when I thought he would arrive. He tried to talk me into taking over for awhile at Hartsburg, but I told him he only had 9 miles to go and to slow down if he couldn't keep up his pace.
I headed towards Columbia and decided to go to the store to get some Powerade and then headed to Easley to meet Hugh. I expected he would arrive around 10:21 so got there a few minutes early and he was there at 10:22 so took him 3 hrs 22 min 16 seconds (9:00 pace) for his 22.5 mile portion. I took off and planned to just see what kind of pace I could hold. I had not run a fast pace in awhile and coming off the 100 miler was not sure what I could do. My first mile was 6:35 pace and I shortly passed Dan and Jenny. The trail is entirely flat so pretty easy to hold a steady pace, but I wasn't sure how long I would be able to keep up this pace.
I didn't see many people the rest of the way, but did pass a couple girls running the relay and the first place male solo runner. I skipped the first aid station I passed since wasn't thirsty yet, but by the time I hit the second one I think I was a bit behind on hydration. I had a gel just before I got there and then a small cup of water to wash down. The next aid station did not come until Scott Blvd. (11.5 miles for me) and by the time I got there I very thirsty. I had manged to keep the pace in the 6:30s to 6:40s up to this point. I drank an entire bottle of water and then felt a little sick and needed to use the restroom. My next mile was 8:49 with the short break. I almost got back on pace with the next mile at 6:51, but slowed down after. Katy cheered me on at Forum Blvd.
I was very much looking forward to being done and glad I was not running the entire distance. Mile 15 - 7:16, Mile 16 - 7:33, and the last 0.8 - 7:30 pace. I finished my 16.8 miles in 1:57:45, 7:00 pace. Our overall time for 39.3 miles was 5:20:01 so our combined pace was 8:09/mi. We ended up winning the first place Masters relay team since the other teams that beat us all had at least 1 person under age 40.
This was a fun and well organized event and looking forward to being a part of it next year when it will reverse the course and run from Courthouse to Capitol. The results are posted here.
|Hugh coming into Hartsburg|
|After finish picture in front of Boone County Courthouse|
|First place Masters Team finishing award with spike and tie from the railroad. Our course was run on an old railroad that has been converted to trail.|