Wednesday, June 06, 2012

My Reno-Tahoe Odyssey Adventure - Part II

Surprisingly I slept pretty well on the bed of gravel in the parking lot of Wal-Mart, however short lived my rest was. It was 3:30 a.m. and I heard our team captain announce that our team in the other van was about 30 minutes out from the exchange point where we slept. From within the cocoon of my sleeping bag, I opened one eye and then the other. A weather storm was rolling in. Like a zombie, I rose out of my bed and remembered why I was there. Adrenaline surged through my vein in anticipation of the events to come. Soon we would be hopping in and out of the van, supporting our team member with cheers and water (can you hear the ringing of cowbells?), and then running our own LAST leg of the 178-mile course before heading to the finish line!!

From that point on things were pretty much a blur. No doubt my faint memory was due to sleep deprivation.  I remember the spirit of the race, parade of people in costumes and decorated vans all around me.

I remember shouts of encouragement spilling out the window of team vans as they passed me.  And my ever present teammates checking in to see if my fueling needs were met and to make sure I was doing okay.  The last leg was the most difficult for me because it was heading uphill to the steep section where I would pass the baton to Joan. One of my teammates got out of the van to give me water, ran along with me for the last mile of my leg and didn't let me give up. Light headed and exhausted, I finished my part and relief came over me. I gave it my best for the 3.5 miles at 10:20 min/mi pace when I normally run this pace on a flat road. It's because of all my teammates that I pushed myself to my limits. Because of them, I ran faster than I would have if I were to run for myself.
Cheering Joan on Leg 30 to Virginia City
When the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey official results came in, our team crossed the finish line in 25 hours, 44 minutes, and 40 seconds at an average pace of 8:41 min/mi. We placed 59th out of 247 teams, 16th out of 116th in our category (open mix).  On one of the toughest legs, if not the toughest 8-mile uphill part of the course, our teammate placed 3rd out of the 247 people who ran that stretch.

My teammates: The Slackers
When the last runner on our team crossed the finish line, we gathered around Idlewild Park to celebrate and eat some real food. I am so proud of my teammates, and proud to have been a part of a group of really great, supportive people. We were strangers when we met and we parted that day, a team. The Reno-Tahoe Odyssey relay run was definitely an adventure and the proceeds also help to benefit the Northern Nevada Children's Cancer Foundation. It was a journey I'm SO glad I was crazy enough to embark on.

I hope you enjoy the photos from early Saturday morning (June 2, 2012) until the race finish!

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