Saturday, January 12, 2013

Baltimore Relay

Months ago (aka October in all my craziness)  my mom, cousin, aunt, and I decided that we were going to do the Baltimore Relay. For those of you not familiar, the way it works is that you have a team of four and each team member runs a leg of a marathon. You have a single timing chip for your team that you wear on your ankle and trade off at the marked exchange points.

I picked the flattest/most downhill portion because I was slacking and my knee doesn't do hills well thanks to surgery in 8th grade. My cousin lives in Baltimore so my mom and I went down after work to meet up with her and my aunt. We planned to stop to get food on the way down.

However unbeknownst to myself (as I haven't traveled down south in a very long time) and my mom, the rest stop she usually goes to which would have the best pizza to carb load on is currently closed. So we had to settle for the rest stop before, which only had Pizza Hut (a personal ick factor for me). Bread sticks and stale general store sandwiches later, at least we had some semblance of carbs in our system. 

We met up with my cousin and aunt at the hotel to work out our game plan and meeting times for the race. They bus the later legs of the relay to the exchange points and since I was the second leg, I had to be on the bus by 7:30 am. 

The following morning we met up and there were so, so, so many people. I couldn't get over it! There was a line of buses that went down the block and well around the corner shuttle us to our marker point. It was super nifty to see all the buses just driving down the highway with all these runners on board.

I made friends with my seat partner as she needed me to help her pin the 'relay' bib to her back. She had run onto the bus at the last second because she forgot her packet at work, had to drive there get it, come back here, and was 99% positive she was parked in front of a hydrant (yikes, motivation to run faster?) As country music with a high static beat blasted through the bus speakers, she said she was running with her boss and other co-workers (Oh cause running a relay isn't enough pressure, let's run with our boss!)

For there being so many people it was an extremely organized event. As I was at the first exchange we got to watch all the runners coming from the start of the race. It was so exciting to watch and cheer the elite marathoners on as they passed us by.

The exchange was easy and it was very entertaining to see people yelling names and volunteers with bullhorns trying to find their team mates. Our team had agreed to call each other when we were five minutes out. My route was mostly downhill and took me down by the Under Armor Factory which included a gorgeous view of the waterfront. I did mess up my timing though and called my aunt when I was only about a minute out...oops!

Of course there were people everywhere cheering on family and friends. Some signs that I loved along my route were:

Chuck Norris doesn't run marathons

Smile if you're running commando   (seriously, how can you not smile at that sign)

Take it're not going to win

Your ass looks great

And my personal favorite:
You're all really great at exercising!
Myself, Mama, Aunt Suzanne, and Alison

Overall we had a lot of fun and all four of us felt great after our legs of the race.

This year I'm already signed up for the Phillies 5K in March (I'm giving it one more shot after last year, which was just running around a parking lot) and the first annual Yuengling Light Lagger 5K in April. I've got my yearly Special Olympics 5k at the PIA Convention in June. I'm going to see how I feel about the April Fool's Half Marathon, but if I don't feel ready I might wait and see about running a half in Oct/Nov.

Overall I've started my Resolutions this week, am already down 3 pounds, and am looking forward to getting fit in 2013!

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