Thursday, May 3, 2012

Recent runs - Blue Ridge Marathon relay

This report breaks the mold of previous reports, but I'm behind on reporting on my events, so I want to get some words and stories on here so I can catch up on the most recent events.

BRM - relay
I liked the idea of running this marathon, but it was one week prior to Promise Land 50k and I don't believe I have the endurance to double up, and I didn't know what to expect with Promise Land. I was glad when my wife and a few friends expressed a desire to run it as a team. "James, James and the Rockstar Runners" That name, The Rockstar Runners has become the title of the running group that started as my wife and her mom's club friends, but it has since branched out to include others. What an inspiring group to hang out with. good people.

I eagerly claimed the Roanoke Mountain Loop portion of the relay, as I'd been wanting to run that road because of it's climb for a year or more now. but I'm thinking that the Peakwood section may have been the hardest. who knows, that race is all tough.
America's toughest road marathon - that's what they say...and yep, right here is good 'ol Roanoke!

Early morning. parking was sure to be a disaster. but it wasn't that bad really if you were willing to walk a little. but hey what's a couple extra locks of walking when you are lining up for a marathon?
At the start I get on the bus with Lydia and her sister Ruth. We and all the others on this bus are brought to the first exchange point where the first runner's section ends and they hand off the timing chip anklet thingy to the next person in the relay team.

Funny story about being at the transition area... The story of the triple fail at the port-a-pottie. There are 2 port-a-potties which many were thankful for. Were all waiting in line. Leaving the courtesy gap between who is next in line and the doors to the john. You don't approach an occupied john until they are coming out. it is just the way it is done. So some guy... I'll call him Sum-Dum-Guy positions himself between who is next in line and the johns. Obviously missing the fact that there was a line (fail #1). who was next in line? me. but I was polite to not say anything. Well the person who had entered a john just prior to me didn't lock the door... hey she figured everyone in line knew it was occupied because the last 20 people in and out were being waited on to get out... yet, Sum-Dum-Guy approaches her john, opens the door and sheepishly closes it backing off (fail #2). With his head down he returns to his convenient location at the front of the line, which he still didn't notice all of us waiting. Sure enough he gets his turn and enters the john, quickly he is done and departs... and I get the pleasure of following into the same john to reveal that he peed on the seat!!! (fail #3) DUDE!!! do you still live at home with mom or something? OK I shouldn't judge, but by thins time Sum-Dum-Guy had ROOKIE written all over him. It was even one of the fancier johns with the urinal on the side, which he failed to notice. Had he never used a port-a-pottie? then he's surely not run many races, cause they are at almost every one I enter. I was never angered of course, but it was entertaining how one thing after another went the way it did. I wanted to keep an eye on him to see what other disasters would soon follow.

So Amanda ran the first leg. Once she got to us, I excitedly ran the second leg.. passing others and running the whole hill, it was fun passing others, but I explained to many that commented that I was in the relay not doing the full distance like all those whom I was passing were doing. Back off Roanoke Mountain, I passed the anklet to Lydia, and she ran the third leg. I ran with her, just to share in the fun, and Ruth did as well. Amanda had a time of rest while I ran Roanoke Mountain, so she ran with us as well up to the star and down the "old road" to the greenway. Rockstar Runner friend Beth and some of her relay crew(The Feisty Asburys) were running close to us as well. It was an enjoyable run. I was still pumped and excited to just be participating in this event. once on the greenway Ruth's leg of the race began. but she had just run with Lydia and everyone else on the previous leg. yet that was how we had it all planned. total fun...

Ruth was left to run Peakwood all alone! apparently it was probably the toughest part of the race. I traversed across the park to where Ruth would complete her leg and met James, Amanda's husband. there we chatted and it was tons of fun to be "in" the race, but yet standing there watching so many running friends of mine pass by. Dru came by on her bike, just to share in the excitement. Frank Finch came by after having finished the half-marathon. Phyllis ran down the greenway to hang out with Ruth and be there to cheer us all on.

I was having so much fun the stand out sore muscles were my smile muscles... You know when you laugh or smile so much your face hurts... that was what I was going through - wonderful.

At the finish I soon found Lydia and we got to run across the finish line as if we had run the whole thing. Tom Rickard was announcing the runners and he recognized me, so it was nice to hear my name over the loud speaker.

I look forward to running this one next year. it was a well put together and organized event. post race food included chocolate milk which was pretty cool. We didn't stay long, as... get this. Lydia wanted to get to Lynchburg for packet pick up on a triathlon she was doing the next day!!!
Her first triathlon, pretty cool!

My only reservations about doing this next year would be if I was doing Promise Land again.

I took nothing serious about this race and it was good to do that for a change. All I wanted to do was to run Roanoke Mountain and I was glad that I did. It has been suggested that running it the opposite direction of traffic flow would make an even steeper. Maybe I will someday - I'm just usually on trails finding a climb. Another goal of mine for this race was to run with Lydia which I did. I'm glad we worked out running each other's legs with one another as it added to the fun we all had. I'd do a race like this one over and over. I've not had that much fun at a race in a long time.

We all got medals and T-shirts like as if we ran the whole thing too! lol
In case some reader is wanting the swag but doesn't want to run 26.2 of the toughest road marathon just to earn it... Good luck with that.

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