Thursday, October 16, 2008

Belated Green Line Update

OK, I know there are fans out there who have been waiting for the end of the Green Line... sorry! But hasn't the suspense made it all the more exciting? Here you go:

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.

here she comes!!

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!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Orange Line Beach Party!

After the handoff the Green Line headed down to the beach one run at a time. Meanwhile . . . the rules state that when a vehicle is done racing it has to head straight to the beach. Now, rules are rules so off we drove!

We had several hours down at the beach to kill. What to do, what to do? I know! EAT! For over a day we had survived mostly on granola bars, sports drinks plus the occasional gel pack. No more. At the beach there was the finish line food fest. Mostly relatively high fat items like potato salad swimming in oil, fairly greasy chicken, New England clam chowder, and an array of vegetables that were likely cooked in quite a bit of butter. But, boy was it good! By the time we left I managed to ingest three meals worth of the stuff. No, I am not the least bit sorry. I, and all my teammates, were starving for something we could really sink our teeth into. This was it!

Once we were done eating the group split up. Some of us, I forget who exactly, decided a swim in the freezing cold New Hampshire water was the ticket to happiness. Sue and I decided the showers were. She headed in well before I did and upon her return to the lunch table, yes I was still eating, she let me know that the showers were really cold! Now they tell you in the race packet that there are cold showers at the finish. I should have realized just how cold when I noticed that the faucet had two settings: cubed and crushed! :) The water was freezing! I had no idea it could be that cold and remain liquid. Taking a shower was a major challenge. I soaked myself, turned off the water, soaped up, rinsed off and turn the water right back off! It was probably the fastest shower I have ever had. Still it felt pretty good to be cleaned up.

Next the Orange line rendezvoused for some final pictures. Here we are all fed, showered, oceaned, or just changed into street clothes per our personal preferences.
Of course, what would picture taking be without the van's troop and our poster sized Road Kill Counter!

The poster itself!

Then 28 hours, 23 minutes, and 31 seconds after our 1pm start the previous day the Green Line arrived at the finish and the team ran in together.
Well, all but Chris. Alas, traffic was horrible! He basically got stuck in it and by the time he arrived the team was in. Next year we need to hire a chauffeur for the final leg!

With our Green Line partners now happily at the beach and done with their dinner (which is when I went for meal number three) it was time to get pictures of the new reunited team.
Just like last year the race was great! Everybody had a great time and while tired were happy to have been part of our team's effort. Alas, it will be a long year until we get to do it again.

So how did the team do? I will leave it to Captain Erica to report all of the final race details. My next blog post will be the monthly race update. See you all then.