Now that I’ve confessed my fears from the weekend, this post should be fairly easy!
Warning: this is going to be a long and picture heavy post!!
Our alarms when off bright and early at 3:55am. Since Jay and I had laid our stuff out the night before, getting ready was easy peasy. We were dressed, ready, and downstairs waiting for our team by 4:20am!
The hotel provided boxed breakfasts for the runners, so we received a bagel, peanut butter, banana, nutrigrain bar, peanuts, and yogurt. A lot of food, but it really provided variety for the participants since not everyone eats the same pre-race breakfast (obvi).
The race for our early starters began at 6:30, so the bus taking them to the start of the race was leaving at 5:10. We rushed to take some quick team photos before they headed off.
Shortly after it was our time to head to the buses!
(see me in the background? )
About 45 minutes later we were there! It was time – no backing out now!
The start line is that yellow banner in the background.
Since this was a relatively small race (2,200 runners – 650 of which were Team Challenge participants!), there were no assigned corals. There were signs with estimated finish times so you kind of knew where to line up but that was it.
We wasted time by doing team chants and taking pictures, of course!
There was a little delay to the start, but we were finally off at 7:30!
I love this picture because you can see all the runners making the turn a little ways up the road:
The weather couldn’t have been any more perfect. It was about 70 degrees with a nice breeze when we started. And the scenery was beautiful.
The road is empty because J took these when he was with the early starters.
Here are some action shots from during the race:
And my most favorite picture from the weekend:
I wish I had a different angle because you can’t really tell how steep the hill in the background is from where I was standing when I took this picture. But I love how Becky played it up!!
J and I really lucked out with the early start. He got a good lead on us so that when we started I ran about 5 miles or so with Angela and then let him know she was coming. I turned around and ran back to pick up the next participant, ran about 3 miles with her, and then let J know she was coming next. We did this the entire race until we were both left with the very last participant on our team.
It’s great because there are Team Challenge “cheer stations” set up on the course so when J and I couldn’t be with a participant, he or she was being cheered on by other Team Challenge staff. It was perfect!
Seventeen miles later (for J and I!) we saw the finish line!
Despite my fears, everything went according to plan. Amazingly, I had absolutely NO problems with my IT band during the race and I felt great! Even though my legs felt heavy towards the end (but whose wouldn’t after 15 miles??), the adrenaline “racing” through my body kept me going.
It was a good day.
Later on that day I felt so silly for doubting myself all those days leading up to the race. Coaching is so much more than being able to run fast – it’s encouraging and motivating and leading these people towards their goal. Something that I can say I’m REALLY good at.
I can’t even put into words how proud I felt after this race. The members on our team exceeded my expectations and really brought it home. They were amazing. I’m honored to have had this opportunity – it was absolutely life changing.
Has their been someone or something that has made such a big impact on and changed your life?