In all the relays I've done, this is the first one I've ever seen that served fried chicken at an exchange. I would have had some if I'd been in van 1 and just finishing my run, but since we were getting ready to take off, it didn't sound that good. Still it was the usual party atmosphere of a relay exchange. If you've ever done one of these things, you know how it is.
I was runner 11 of 12, so I didn't actually run until early evening. Around 5 or 6 I think. My first leg was awesome. 5.3 miles on this gorgeous wooded bike path along the Truckee River right to the top of Lake Tahoe. Honestly it was so beautiful it was a little distracting.
I didn't get many photos of people at all. In fact this one of Angie running is the only action shot I got during the whole race. That's Brent bringing her some water. I guess I was too distracted by the scenery around me to care about getting photos of the people.
After we finished running and handed off to the other van, we got to drive around Lake Tahoe at sunset, which was really gorgeous! We found a super cute Italian place for dinner that had excellent food. Then we drove on toward State Line and the next exchange. It was actually quite warm, so we tried to get a few hours sleep in the parking lot and the van. But of course, races like this are not really conducive to a decent night's rest. We took over running again a little after midnight which meant I was running my second leg at 3am. I didn't mind. The weather was comfortably mild with a cool breeze and there were millions of stars since we were out in the middle of the dessert.
We handed back off to the other team a little before 5am in Carson City. They had managed to book a couple of hotel rooms where they could shower and get some sleep, so we handed them the race & they gave us a couple of room keys. I've never rented a hotel in the middle of one of these relays before, but then I realized that unlike the others I've done, this one didn't really have any place to shower or sleep. Most of the others I've done have a school or gym or someplace willing to open their doors to runners and let you get a quick shower and some rest. It was nice to have the quiet privacy of a hotel room, but I will say it made me hate having to get up a couple of hours later and get ready to go run.
The final van exchange was in Virginia City. I took a lot of photos there because it was just a really cool place and it made an awesome background for the race. I was really wishing we weren't in the middle of the race so we'd have time to walk around and explore a little. But that's okay, I think I'd like to take my kids back there someday. I think they'd enjoy it.
The whole time in Virginia City I just kept hearing the "Bonanza" TV theme run through my head.
As we dropped out of the mountains back down into Reno, things really started to heat up. The temperature was climbing of course, but things also got interesting when we managed to lock our keys in our car. We had just sent a runner off for 6 miles in the blazing sun, I was on deck, so I headed back to the van to get my shoes on and start preparing myself when I discovered that the doors were locked and the keys were sitting in plain sight right on the dash. There were of course, several issues to deal with here, first a runner out there with no water, secondly no way to get me ready and to the next exchange. We were blessed though because a friend of a couple of our runners had been following along with us on his motorcycle the entire race. He turned out to be a God Send when we were able to bum a bottle of water off some other runners and send him ahead with it to catch up with our guy. Then Brent (who had already run his final leg) offered to catch a ride with another team up to the exchange to be there to start running my leg, in the event we couldn't get the car unlocked and get me there in time. As it turns out though, Triple A came through and got a locksmith there in less than 30 minutes. Of course it took him all of 2 minutes to jimmy the door open and we were on our way. While we sped toward the exchange I stuffed my feet into my running shoes & filled my handheld bottle. We managed to pull into the parking lot as our runner was coming around the corner. I made it to the exchange just as he was coming up the road. We literally couldn't have cut it any closer.
My last leg was definitely the most challenging. The distance wasn't bad, just 6.2 miles, but the sweltering dry heat & running through the middle of Reno wasn't a great combination. I did okay the first two miles, but then the headach started and it wasn't long after that the nausea began. I alternated walking and running for the last four miles, dumped ice down the front of my bra and bathed my neck and back in cold water as often as I could. It was pretty brutal. All the while I could feel the sun just frying my poor unprotected skin since I hadn't had a chance to slather on any form of sunscreen before running. When I finally finished what I'm pretty sure was the slowest 10K of my life, I just collapsed on the ground under a tree and didn't want to move. Unfortunately we had a runner out, so we had to get up and go pretty quickly. For the next two hours I was just sick and dizzy and ill. I laid in the van with my eyes closed and then when we got to the finish line, laid under the shade of a tree barely sipping some water, trying to get my stomach and head to calm down. Finally I started to feel better. By the time Angie's mother-in-law snapped this picture, I was already starting to feel a lot perkier.