Why was Chris grinning so wildly in that last handoff picture posted below? Because a slow-ish person from another team had just taken off in front of him, and he smelled a Puppy! So to speak. Over the upcoming 2.5 miles, he would take over a total of 5, including this last-minute sprint past this guy:
Way to go Chris! ARF ARF ARF ARF ARF!
From there it was pretty uneventful as we attacked the course like the machines we had been throughout the event. Emily took up the baton from Chris and coolly executed, at her fastest pace of the race, her 6.8 mile final leg. The rest of us all had about 4-mile "easy" legs. That sounds like a breeze from the comfort of your living room, but 4 miles after a previous 10 or so, and no sleep, and no substantial nutrition to speak of, feels like many, many more. I had forgotten this fact. After Rodrigo and Cathy made it look easy I was looking forward to my final 3.2 "walk in the park", but for the reasons stated above it turned out to be the hardest one for me. Not least because nearing what I thought must be the end, I made the mistake of asking a traffic control officer how much farther. Total amateur mistake. Of course he has no calibration nor personal stake in the matter and so waved me on airily with "Oh, only another 1/4 mile!" I sprinted said 1/4 (+) mile and reached a TURN, which then became ANOTHER turn, and another, until I had poured it out over a total of about 1.3 miles. Totally irritated and quite out of breath, I passed the baton to Aisling for the FINAL final leg.
Celebratory, we piled in the van to catch up to her... and waited in traffic. As Matt reported below, we finally abandoned Chris and the van in the queue and raced to the finish to run it in with Aisling. The final stretch was on sand, which made it extremely difficult for the 12th runner. But we all, minus one, were there to triumphantly cross the line together.
Then we were all about dips in the water and dinner, before embarking on the long ride home, this year conveniently in the same vans we rode in on.
In the end, we ran a combined 209.8 miles in 28 hours, 23 minutes, and 31 seconds, for an overall average pace of 8:08. We were 34th out of the 167 teams in our "mixed open" category (i.e., men and women of all ages) and 103rd out of all 356 teams. And all, may I say for the record, unaided by public transportation.
You can see complete results, including many humorous team names, here.
So, that's it for RTB 2008! We're already looking ahead to 2009. Don't lose out: book your place on the team early!