This is a very belated race recap for the Go! Saint Louis Marathon Relay I ran on April 7th with JMR, my cousin and his girlfriend, H. I had started to write the post and then it just kept getting neglected! Now that I have some training/racing updates, I need to get this recap posted! Pre-race background, because my cousin and H were training for an up coming half marathon, JMR and I were going to run the shorter 6 mile legs which were the first and last relay spots, and they would run the 7 and 7.5 mile legs, the two middle relay spots.
Short version, we had a blast, ran a speedy race, and afterwards met up with our friends and family for food and drinks to celebrate!
Long version…oh where to start. We had so many funny things happen. I never realized how much logistics come into play when running a relay race, or perhaps it’s because there were just so many (600) relay teams. We were up around 5:30a, drove down to the race, had no issues parking and then headed to the start. Probably the easiest part of the day 🙂 JMR was the first to run, so he headed to his corral (of course a few minutes before the horn when off, he had to pee… but no time to go, poor guy), while I ran off to a porta-potty (ha), and then headed to the first hand-off spot.
When I arrived I was able to quickly find my cousin and H, who were away from the crowds stretching. Ten to fifteen minutes before we thought JMR would arrive, H (who was running the second leg) went to get in porta-potty line and I went up to the hand-off area in case JMR ran by. Still plenty of time… or so we thought. My cousin was right behind me at first, but a few minutes later he had disappeared. Uh-oh, I was hoping they were somewhere also looking for JMR. Although, my cousin had only met JMR once and H had never met him… and we were all wearing grey team shirts… not the best way to stand out. Soon I saw JMR run by, and then run past all of the people waiting to hand off in the relay area. I went to go grab him, and we wandered around for a while trying to find my cousin and H. JMR finally went back out to the area where they were calling out relay race numbers with a megaphone and then we finally found them. Then H was off for her leg!
My cousin had really paid attention to the race route and we were able to see H twice on the course before we headed to the second hand-off, my cousin’s leg. However, we had one more thing to take care of. His shoes. He had showed up in the different pair of shoes and thought that he had packed his running shoes in his bag with…. his pre-run drink, sunscreen, a few other things…but sadly, no shoes were in there when he checked. Luckily his brother was able to meet up with us at the next hand-off to give him his shoes!
We found H at the second hand-off with no issues and my cousin was off! Next we headed to the third and final hand-off, and waited for him to arrive. It was getting hot!! Finally he arrived running a speedy leg, and then I was off to run the last leg of the race. The run was pretty uneventful, some hills at the end that slowed down my pace, but overall felt good. Soon I was getting close to the 100 yard or so point where the other three members of the relay team meet up with the fourth, and everyone runs in to finish together. Except my team was nowhere to be found. I kept running until the end of the relay meet up area and still couldn’t find anyone! Finally I stopped, started walking around and calling out my cousin’s name and then suddenly I saw three people running across a nearby green space/park – it was the rest of my team! After waiting to meet up with them, we finally all finished together in exactly 4 hours! What a long day, but we finished!! 🙂
Overall, I had a great time, I think our team shirts I ‘made’ turned out fabulous, (our team name was ‘The Bandits’, so they had a little bandit logo….and by fabulous, I mean the logos were starting to come off before the race even started, bummer!) and of course we got our post-race free beers afterwards! So in my opinion, it was a great day!