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Monday, April 24, 2006

River To River report

So I went down to Marion on Friday to run in the River To River Relay with the Buffalo Warriors

Dinner on Friday night at 17th Street Bar and Grill (Pork shoulder, macaroni and cheese, red beans and rice, and beer. Lots of beer. Followed by more beer at Teddy's).

Woke up the next morning at 0600, and rode down to the race start. River To River uses wave starts, with the first group starting at 0615, and the last group of teams starting at 0845. We ended up in the last group of teams, which unfortunately meant that I didn't start my first leg of the race until a bit past 1100, on a day in which the temperature was well about 80F. The race starts near the Missisippi, and finishes 80 miles later in Golconda, which is on the Ohio River. We'd let a racer off near the exchange point, park the van in a nearly endless line of vans

Cheer on the incoming runner as they made the baton handoff

And then drive to the next exchange point.

Leg 7 was not as bad as I'd been expecting, given the hill, although the heat/humidity were opressive.

Leg 15 allowed me to pass a few other teams, and was in the worst of the day's heat. The team van stopped midway through the leg to see if I needed water, etc. and I ended up running part of the rest of the way with a handful of ice down my running shorts to keep cool (you can relax knowing that I don't have any pictures of that to share).
In the mid-late, the rain started. Nothing too heavy on the rain, and it helped keep the heat from being too bad (and it resulted in some spectacular rainbows).
Leg 23 gave me the opportunity to pass a couple of other teams, and the rain had pretty much stoppped at that point. The large downhill section of Leg 23 is rough, especially on slick pavement. I ended up doing most of the downhill on the gravel shoulder for traction, not so much running as plummeting. At this point, I was completely fried by the day's activities. With about a third of a mile left of Leg 23, the rain started up again, and I ended up almost blind from the sweat and sunscreen that the rain had washed into my eyes. I passed one additional runner just before the exchange point, got in the van, and drove to Golconda. Between the rain, the road grime, and the plentiful amounts of sunscreen that I'd been putting on all day, I looked like I'd been dipped in milk...We met the #8 runner just before the finish line, and crossed together at approximately 1933 (official finish time of 10:48:28 (average 8:06.35/mile pace), which placed our team 106 out of 228 teams that finished)

got our finishers' t-shirts and took our pictures down by the river

At that point, we grabbed yummy grilled meat from the vendors in Golconda, hung out for a little while, and then drove back to Marion and then back home.

The following day, I (since I wasn't tired enough from the previous day's activities) woke up early and barbecued beef, lamb, and chicken for a 30+ person party that one of Kathleen's colleagues was throwing. Today, I'm resting. My legs feel pretty fresh, but the rest of me feels like I was hit by a bus...

Lessons learned:
  • Keep doing speedwork (my speed is definitely improving, and while I've got no interest in being a sprinter, I like passing people)
  • Return to the strategic vegetarianism (I did pretty well at River To River eating meat, but I can tell a definite difference in performance when I do eat meat)
  • While beer before a race may not be a fantastic idea, nor is it the end of the world.
All in all, I'm very happy with my performance. I'm planning on doing River To River again next year, and hoping to shave some time of my performance. See below for my splits:
Leg 7 (3.00 miles): 26:30 (08:50 pace)
Leg 15 (2.95 miles): 23:40 (08:01.35 pace)
Leg 23 (3.35 miles): 27:00 (08:03.5 pace)


Full Metal Lunchbox said...

Wow!  Terrific post, terrific race performance!!

Your all-weather, all-terrain endurance is inspiring me to get my hunged-over self outside and run through the mud!

10:27 AM  
Wild Tanuki said...

Shea: I love your brazilian-mowhawk

1:56 PM  
karnerblue said...

Congrats on completing the relay! (My brother ran the same race with a bunch of the other pediatric residents at Glennon.)

4:35 PM  
Full Metal Lunchbox said...

BTW, I love the food photo.

We should make it a tradition to post food photos after every event.

5:09 AM  

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