We last left the Green Line catching a (very) few Zzzzzzs in the Laconia hotel room. It was more like Zzs. We slept from about 12-3am (although Aisling was too pumped up to get any real rest, alas). Had I known the Orange Line had been banging around the countryside nearly missing the transition, I probably wouldn't have slept so well, either. We saw this happen a lot to other teams, and it is NOT FUNNY. More than once we witnessed some poor guy sprint it in only to have his teammates tell him "Bob's in the bathroom!" or "We have no idea where Judy went!" or some such, and then he has to sit there panting and waiting, mulling the wasted burst of speed and whether drawing 20-to-life might not be worth what he's contemplating doing to his teammate. Although there is no jury of runners that would convict!
But the upshot was they DID make it and that's all that counts, as I told Matt last year when we did the same to him.
At 4:06, we picked up again from Transition Area 18, the NH Technical College located a mere .6 miles from the hotel. The Orange line then went back for their shift in the hotel rooms. We explained to the front desk clerk what all the smelly, sleepy trooping through the lobby in the middle of the night was about, lest she make the reasonable assumption that we were managing a particularly unsuccessful prostitution ring.
After Chris turned in a cheerful & speedy 4.4 miles, Emily took over for a grueling shift: 9+ miles, still in the dark, with occasional light drizzle. She pulled it off in 1 hour, 9 minutes, for a 7:35 pace worth something like 14 "puppies": Brilliant! But she succumbed to one of the risks of night running when she stumbled a bit on the soft shoulder. Ouch! Fortunately no surgery was required.
Rodrigo took us through the dawn with his 7 mile, 7:11 paced leg. He said it was a hard one but he made it look so easy. We were by this point maintaining a good 30 minutes lead on our projected time. Cathy was next, after a bit of last-minute panic at the transition when we learned, just as Rodrigo was approaching, that she was required to still have safety gear on even though it was well past the 6 am cutoff (heavy fog was keeping things dark-ish). Dressed up with hastily applied reflectors, she lit out down the road. We in the van took a big collective gulp when we drove off after her and saw the hills she was once again facing. But she did beautifully, and by the time I took over the "baton" the sun was shining and all was good. My 6 + mile leg was mostly a gentle downhill and I ran the fastest I ever have, other than that time in the Beartooths when I imagined I heard a bear in the brush. 7:54 pace for the 6 miles, and another 5 "puppies"! We originally were keeping track of roadkill just to humor Matt but it turned out to be pretty motivating.
Last up was Aisling, who had been a little worried about the long, hilly trek in front of her. But her knee held up and so did she, bringing us to the end of our second shift. Well done everyone! By this time last year, the Green Line was mostly taken with holding their stomachs, hoarding their Immodium, and moaning in gastro-intestinal misery, so yes, we are tired and smell bad, but: could be worse.
It was getting hot by this time so we were happy at around 9:30 am to peel off and make for the nearest cute diner for omelets, baked beans, and thick slices of homemade bread. We then boogied down to the last Vehicle Transition Area (VTA) where we would meet the Orange Line at around 2:00.