Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Blood, Sweat & Beers Relay to End the Season

It's official...the last race of 2014 is in the books! I had debated racing the last Ohio Outside trail race again as well as the Run Santa Run 5K in Mentor but decided to have some fun with things and make my last race of the season a relay! Northeast Running Club (NERC) hosts an interclub relay race at the end of the season and I've always wanted to run it so this year I got a team together for the co-ed division consisting of my speedy husband Steve and my speedy friend Jillian.

The race, which is free to run simply requires you to sign up and show up that day ready to run with your team and maybe to help make some chili for the chili cookoff. The race takes place at the West woods park in Russell Township/Newbury. It's a gorgeous park with some challenging and fun terrain.

Me, Steve and Jillian prerace
Steve and I got in a little mile warm up on what I thought was the start of the course, which was a good little climb up a hill. Fortunately the start wasn't uphill! We met up with Jillian for a quick team pic as the hubby had designed some fun shirts for us to run in.

The relay consists of an 8-mile leg, 5 mile leg and 3 mile leg for a team total of 16 miles. The starts are staggered with 3 minutes between each group so the 8-milers go first, followed by the 5 milers followed by the 3s. Steve volunteered to do the 8 mile leg, which I hear is pretty brutal! I did the 5 mile leg and Jillian did the 3 mile leg.

My race didn't go as well as I hoped but it went okay. I woke up battling GI issues and just loaded up on the pepto and tums and made the best of it. According to my Garmin I did 5.11 miles in 42:15 so about an average pace of 8:17. That's not bad for the trails but I was shooting to come in around 8 minutes flat.

Fortunately Steve and Jillian both did better! Steve came in just over 56 minutes in 2nd place for the 8 miler (fortunately for us some of the speedy men got lost!). And Jillian did around a 21:50 for the 3 miles.

post race team pic w/ our award!
Our team goal was to break 2 hours and we sure came close at 2:00:07! This was good for 2nd place in the co-ed and we won a custom award made out of wood. After the race we enjoyed some hot cocoa and chili and hung out among friends.

It was a nice way to end the season and I will definitely plan to do this again either as a co-ed relay or female relay! Thanks to NERC, especially Guy Gadomski and all the volunteers including my good friends Melanie Lynn and Christopher Miller!

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