Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Crazy Horse marathon relay

On Sunday October 4, 2015, I ran my first competitive race since I was in the 8th grade - the Crazy Horse Marathon Relay. I participated with four friends from church (my team is the first five on the left) and another team of friends ran too; Martha, Amy, Suzie, Jackie, Amanda (who didn't come until later), and Denise, who drove them around.

And here we are - me, Amanda, Kate, Sherre and Faith. I'm the only one who's all bundled up since I was first up to run. We were all very tired since none of us had slept well - nerves.

Terry also ran on a team from church. In fact, two of our church staff were missing that Sunday since Russ, the worship pastor, was also racing. Left to right is David, Russ, Chris, Terry and silly Danny.

All smiles. 

At some point in August, Terry and a few others drove up to Crazy Horse to get a feel for their leg of the race and run it. I couldn't go. After they returned my teammate, Sherre, suggested I start training for hills since that's was what my leg of the race entailed. I had heard the first leg was hilly but, since I didn't go along with them and actually wouldn't have been allowed to practice my leg since it was in the park, I had no idea exactly how hilly it was. I found this elevation chart on the website and realized that it was indeed very hilly. It was at this point that I stepped up my training. 
My leg was the first 4.9 miles.

I had bought my first smartphone the week before the race and this was the first screenshot I took. I was so proud of all my training miles. But I think the only reason I wasn't further down the leader-board was because nearly everyone was injured or had been sick! During training I ran the farthest I ever had; six miles.

THE day dawned foggy, wet and cold. Actually, we didn't see any dawn, but a drear cloudy unknown landscape. We arrived at the monument at 715am, took pictures and stood around (I froze - it was so cold out!). Finally David and I got in line, beginning in the front of the line with the 7 minute mile runners so we wouldn't have to pass people. This was more for David's benefit since I run more like a 10 minute mile or a little less. Therefore, a lot of people ended up passing me. I began to think I was the very last person. While we were waiting to start at 8am, I turned around and  snapped a quick picture just before it was time to start.

 I hadn't been to Crazy Horse since the 6th grade but I didn't see it that day. Here is what it should have looked like. And if it hadn't been foggy, our team pictures would have had the monument behind us. The race began at the parking lot (at the top of the photo in the trees) and then we ran down that hill and back up again. At the top where this shot is taken we took a right (to the left in the photo) and ran back towards the parking lot. Once we crossed the parking lot we ran up a long hill, past the monument - the horse. I could at least see the outline of the horse, even if I couldn't see the face. Once at the top of that hill (when I thought I was going to die, surrounded by a huge stomping, huffing, puffing crowd) we turned around (and I was glad to see I was no where near last - in fact I was towards the front of the pack!) and ran back down, back across the parking lot and down and up this pictured hill. Once again at the top we turned left (right in the picture) and ran down the Mickelson Trail another mile before our partners took over.

There were photographers all over the place for the first and last legs. Every time I saw one I quit grimacing and tried to smile. They took a lot of pictures of me! 

Heading across the parking lot a second time. After a mile I was so hot! I took off my gloves, neck warmer and hat. Guess I didn't need all of that stuff.

I think this is at the top of the hill where I was headed towards the Mick. Four miles done made me smile.

David was pulling ahead of me from the beginning. When we began going up the first hill I patted him on the back and said Goodbye. Ha ha. So of course, he finished way before me. Well, not that far ahead, but probably five minutes or so. Here he is tagging Russ.

And here I am, about to finish! As I was running along the Mick, I was feeling tired, but not exhausted, and was marveling how I was almost done but most people had eight or 21 miles still to go! I was feeling like there was no way I could run another eight miles. Finally I came around a corner to see this mass of people watching the relay runners. 

I couldn't see any of my team. I sped up so I could finish strong and even though I still couldn't see Faith anywhere, I figured she must be waiting at the end of the line of people. I was sprinting and was halfway past all the people when Faith jumped out of the mass, yelled "Eva!" and I grabbed her. I was so startled! And abruptly, I was finished with my leg. 4.86 miles in 45:57 minutes averaging a 9:26 pace. Not bad! During training the lowest I had ran was 9:51 so this was great. 

Next we loaded up in two vehicles and drove a few miles downhill to Custer where the next hand off was to be. We didn't have to wait long for Russ. Next Chris has to run uphill. I didn't take any pictures so I have no more of my team but this is where Faith handed off to Sherre. 

 Chris and Sherre had to run a complete uphill leg and they did fantastic. At the top of the hill, where I had stopped, Terry took over after Chris and Amanda went after Sherre. My team was far enough behind the speedy guys that I didn't see any part of his race except when he started off sprinting. He did very very well with a 7:04 minute per mile pace! And lastly, he handed off to Danny who finished the last six miles under 7 minutes per mile - something like 6:30!

The men did very well, coming in second out of 33. Terry likes to say that since there was only two all men teams they came in last. :) 

Silly Terry!

Amanda passed off to Kate who finished for our team.

Once she came into Hill City we all ran the last bit with her. We came in 25th out of 33.

Getting our medals. 

It felt good to be done. But more than that, I was just looking forward to taking a hot bath. I was beyond freezing. 

And here is the other ladies Parkview team!

Since I had a smartphone, I decided to take a celebratory selfie with Terry, even though I don't like them. I won't make a habit of it :P

He insisted we take a silly one.

And one more before we head home. Go us!

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