Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Cursed Race

When I was offered the chance to run the Wasatch Back (a 178 mile relay race from Logan to Park City with a team of 12 people) at no cost, I thought, “What could be the downside to that?”

That was before I realized that this particular race was cursed.

The opportunity came through work, and as the captain, I originally had my co-workers signed up and ready to go. The curse began as, one by one, they dropped out for various and sundry reasons (which were mostly medical and all valid) and their replacements continued to drop out up until two days before the race.

Add to this major issues with providing volunteers, online registration breakdowns, transportation miscommunications (we almost didn’t have cars to run this race) and the whole experience was topped off by me locking myself out of my condo the night before. Ohhhh, I positively hated this race! Usually when so many things go wrong, I figure it’s just not meant to be (especially when it’s supposed to be for fun) and let it go, but to my surprise and chagrin, this experience somehow kept saving itself.

But once we got safely off the starting line, the whole thing became a fabulous adventure. We all ran 3 legs of 5-8 miles ranging from easy to extremely difficult—riding along in the car and giving water breaks and cheering each other on when it wasn’t our turn.

Our van had me, my one co-worker, my sister, and my nephew and two of his cross-country friends. Our cross-country kids were incredibly inspiring—we could barely keep up with them in the car for their water breaks (we had to throw out their water to them from the car at times) and watching them sprint up and down mammoth canyons was amazing. We had people along the route spraying us with water, throwing candy into our car, and my sister crossed one exchange point with a popsicle in her hand! :)

My nephew got really sick (heat exhaustion) and started throwing up, but was able to pull it out and finish his legs. My co-worker found out later she ran her last leg on a hairline fracture—and did it in really good time!

We ran into the night with headlamps and reflective vests and had to call out to identify each other. It was so odd being at these remote locations in the middle of the night with hundreds of other people. At 12:00 a.m. we went to one of the break areas where they’d laid down wrestling mats on a school gym floor for us to sleep on. As I walked in and saw the huddled masses beneath their blankets, I suddenly felt like a Katrina victim!

In the end, our team crossed our finish line almost 24 hours later, all in one piece and feeling very happy. And no, I’m not planning on doing it again next year!


heidi&dave said...

My brother and sister-in-law did it on the same team and loved it. Of course, they had twelve people! I think I'll leaving the running adventures up to the rest of you!

Aim said...

Good job what an accomplishment! I heard of somebody else doing that race but I can't think who it was. You are so amazing I wish I was in as good of shape as you to run a race like that.

drb42 said...

Congratulations! You did it! How many people total were on your team? You guys had to run a lot! I think I would have died. If I would have seen a Wendy's on the long run, you probably wouldn't see me for the rest of the run! Hee hee!

TmeggenT said...

My little brother David did that race too. At one point, I was going to be on his team, but had one of those valid excuses come up. It ended up working out better for me that I wasn't doing the race, but I will admit, I felt a little sad about missing it. I, unlike you, am considering doing it next year. Maybe we'll break you down by then and we can run together! Happy running!

Blondie said...

You did that crazy race?! You are my new hero. I'm just happy I can run a 5K without passing out! :)

Naoma SW said...

I am still sad that I wasn't able to do this race with you guys... though I probably would have died if I had tried! =) But still it looks like you had a ton of fun!