So where does one start after being on a team that ran 211.3 miles over the course of 31 hours and 47 minutes? Yes - that was our finishing time, right at a 9:02 minute/mile pace. First thoughts on the race...
That was fun! Surrounded by so many good people, some serious and not so serious runners, but all out doing what we (mostly) enjoy. I was Completely impressed with our team (Alex, Kerrie, Joel, Christina, Todd, Kathrin, Chris, Jeff, Mike, Dave and Terry). They were a great group to hang out with, had fun during it all, and worked hard on the toughest of runs. Driving the course while our runners were out there and seeing what we were going to have to contend with, then coming thru and beating our projected time is just amazing. Before the race - looking at the elevation charts and how each leg was rated - we knew we were in for some mountainous terrain, but the legs were SO MUCH HARDER than they appeared to be. If you are familiar with our Paris Mountain, that is just a blip compared to what we covered.
ok - Getting to the start.
Met up at Chris', packed the vans (SUV's; our suburban was great, roomy and carried everything!), picked up our last 2 runners and headed up to Boone, NC to our hotel. We moved around some people from the van they would be riding in during the race so we could bond with other members, and that worked out well. We all shared running histories (5k's to 39 marathons!?), personal stories (digit-master), and just basically got to know each other. The drive went by very quickly, even with the slow twisty roads we were taking. Arrived around 9pm and proceeded to watch some college football (Clemson vs GT; 5 of us were Clemson grads) and the Steeler - Tennessee game. Heartbreak for Clemson, and OT for Pittsburgh and it was after 12 midnight when many of us went to sleep. The carbo-loading (beer) helped get past the nerves of the upcoming event. 4:30am wake up call was too early! Van #2 held runners 7-12 (Mike, Todd, Kathrin, Kerrie, Guz, and Terry, in that order) and we had decided to go to the start and support our teammates. Not the smartest thing to do as sleep would be our dear friend that we couldn't get enough of for the next 30+ hours. But we made the 90 minute drive up to Grayson Highland State Park, VA, got our bibs and shirts (Very nice long sleeve!) and milled about waiting for Runner #1 (Joel) to start at 7:40am. Sun was slowly coming up, the fog was all around us, overheard someone say a mountain lion was seen in the park...we were all excited.
7:40am, we lined up against the other teams in this wave start, including Fred Flinstone. 6-10 teams started off in waves from 6:30am - 1pm starting times, based on their projected pace.
Haven't even gotten to the start, but I'll continue soon!