A bit of a detour from marathons, but a few of my TNT teammates were trying to get a 12-runner relay team together for a 194 relay event on April 30th/May 1st. So, naturally Jason & I signed up! Best thing we ever did. I would much rather say we spent our 2 year anniversary finishing our first long distance relay from Calistoga (Nappa Valley) to Davenport (Santa Cruz) than say we went out for yet another expensive dinner….
Benefits Organs ‘r’ Us
194 miles (including going over the Golden Gate Bridge at night)
Our team, “If You Build It, We Will Run”:
1 Christie- Captain and leader and organizer
2 Chris- Coach and one of the best runners overall
3 Javier- Boston marathoner and one of the best
4 Jessica- Dietician, supply/transport provider
5 Christian- Relay veteran and DD
6 Dierk- a gifted running recruit and TNT alum
7 Larry- our Lakers fan and entertainer
8 Dustin- another gifted recruit and TNT alum
9 Randy- last min. add and photographer
10 Jason- hubby who joins in these adventures
11 Myself (Hutch)
How does this work?
With a team of 12, each runner would do 3 legs of the race. We had less than that so some had to do more than 3 legs. These legs varied in distance from 4 to 8 miles, on average. There was one leg cut down to 2 miles due to construction. There were easy, moderate, hard, and very hard legs. I would add that Chris and Javier had to face inconceivable legs climbing up a mountain!
How did we do?
In spite of a few missed exchanges where the runner finished before the next runner arrived, we still managed to pull it off in 28.5 hrs, placing 104 out of 226 runners. Not too bad, eh?!
My part of the relay:
Leg 1: Yes, I got to start the whole thing off! Our group started at 10:30 am. It was a 4.8 mile Easy run. It was hot and windy but I got to run through the vineyards in Calistoga and hand off to Jessica.
Leg 11: 6.9 Hard miles into Sonoma County up a beast of a hill (approx. 170’ elev. increase). The sun was low in the sky and some bugs were coming out to great me.
Leg 22: 4.2 Easy miles in Millbrae, CA (San Mateo County) w/ gradual incline most of the way. It was about 4:00 am, pretty cold and I was sleep deprived.
I figure the 17 miles I put in is part of my marathon training. However, I may switch to relay events like this after I achieve my marathon goals.
It was a blast to see my friends running as they’re quite good and I never get to see this on a marathon course because I’m light years behind them. It was also a blast to drive by runners in the van and heckle through a bullhorn. Quite possible the most fun and unique experience I’ve had this year and not sure anything else will top it. And we get a medal!
Here’s a video I put together of the event: