Friday morning, I set out to run 336 miles across the state, sharing the miles with 11 other people. One person a running friend, one a friend from college days that I haven't seen in over 10 years, and her husband that I worked with a few months in college, and 8 people I had never met before.
From the Relay Iowa website:
"No matter what, you'll need each other for this one."
The Longest Relay Run in the U.S.!
336 miles ♦ 3 days/2 nights ♦ June 7-9, 2013
Come join us for the 4th annual Relay Iowa, the ultimate adventure relay run! You and your team of up to twelve people will run for three days and two nights, covering 336 miles across some of the most beautiful and challenging landscape Iowa has to offer. The route takes you from Sioux City on Friday morning all the way to Dubuque by Sunday afternoon.
This relay is unique in many ways. First of all it is not a race. It is a run and the final goal is for your team to make it across Iowa in sixty hours or less. It's the nation's only two-night overnight relay, and we only have twelve checkpoints. Each team is its own running unit with its own unique plan for success: running order and individual distances are up to you. We're here to offer advice and support, but in the end it's your call...if you want to try it with a 4 person team, feel free; 8 person, no problem; just no more than 12 people per team.
Thursday evening, Van 1 departed Johnston and drove to Sioux City to stay the night in a Days Inn. We had an uneventful trip, until we got to Sioux City where we spent some time cursing the Garmin while driving in a questionable part of town, and running stop signs (ok, maybe it was just one). We found our hotel, grabbed Subway and settled in for the night. I was asleep by 11, woke up briefly around 4 am, fortunately fell back asleep and was up for real at 5:45. Adventure time!!
We met at 6:30 am to drive over to the start line. Once again, the Garmin was working against us and we took the long way to the check in. We did eventually find it, but Van 2 also had problems getting there and we didn't get all checked in until 7:15. Our start time was 7:30 am, and I did NOT want to start a minute late! Based on our predicted paces that each team member submitted, we were scheduled to cross the finish line at 2:21. Our only goal was to get there, uninjured, by 2:20. Ok, maybe I'm the only one that had a time goal, but I am a little competitive.
After some quick instructions and a team picture, I was ready to tackle the first, hilly leg.
|Team Smokin' Smiths|
|Running in to the hand off, promise, I was actually running|
|"Please don't let me be off pace my first leg"|
|I have no idea what is going on here. I just ran a mile of steady incline. Forgive that face.|