Friday, September 28, 2007

The Orange Line: Running at Dawn

It seemed like the Green Line was cursed. During the Orange Line's night leg the rains held off. When we handed the wrist strap over down it came. Then we got the strap back, and what do you know it stopped raining! So while Rodger started in the early dawn it was at least a dry start.

We met Rodger at about the 3 mile mark and he told us to just meet him at the end. Since his leg was 9.2 miles we decided to partially ignore him. Instead we would drive to the finish drop Sue and I think Paul and Amy off. Then Sally and I would double back to meet Rodger at the 6 mile mark to make sure he did not need anything. Well the first part of the plan worked! Up until this point in the race the Orange Line ran like a well oiled van. We stayed on course and we always hit our meeting points. Getting fancy put a temporary end to that. We missed Rodger as he had already passed the 6 mile mark by the time the van got there. Before we could figure out what happened Sue had already taken off. In the end this did not matter too much. The van headed back to the transition area picked up the crew and headed out to meet her. Still it was our first, and fortunately last, missed meeting.

Due to construction Sue's final leg was rerouted. This turned what was supposed to be an easy 4 miles into a brutal 8 replete with hills. As always though she turned in a remarkable performance!

About those sports bottles with water we purchased the night before -- they came with foil seals that you first had to peel off. Needless to say we kept forgetting to do so. So it is likely that Sue in this picture is trying to get water from a sealed bottle. Sorry about that!

I was up next. Like the rest of the Orange Line I was pumped for my last leg. It would be the one and only time during the race I would actually beat my forecasted pace.

No doubt one reason I finally beat my pace forecast was that I was being chased! After the first van pass Rodger yelled out to me that a bone was close behind! That meant to move it or I would get passed. A few miles into the run I realized my rival was faster on the uphills but that I was faster going down. The course was 8.6 miles long. Mile 7 to 8 was up a hill and from there to the end it was all downhill. I knew that if I could hold him off until mile 8 I would get to the transition area first. I did, and I did! Heck, I even had enough to surge the final quarter mile or so. I was so proud! Why? Beats me? Earlier I was passed by a guy who I later found out ran the leg at a 5:30/mile pace. The way he blew by me you would have thought I was standing still. Next up was Paul.


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