What happens when you take 6 women (2 of whom are in their 40s, and 3 of whom are in their 50s) who love to run, put them in a van together with less than 2 hours of sleep at 12:45 AM, gather 2 reflective vests, 2 headlamps, a clipboard, string, a pencil, 2 Garmins, a cooler full of food and Vitamin water, and head out to Stanley from Sun Valley with the intention of running back the way you just came in 9 hours and 13 minutes???
Not crazy. Wrong answer.
And WE DID IT!!! We definitely rocked that race and are proud of it!
You see, it works like this. Gather 6 friends who don't care about each other's post run smells. Ride to Sun Valley Friday afternoon (while still smelling nice and fresh) and enjoy each other's company carbo loading at Smokey Mountain Pizza. Go to the local grocery store and pick up lots of replenishing foods for our post run snacks. Oranges, Triscuits, cheese, chocolate, bananas, Power Bars, Luna Bars, Clif Bars, and more chocolate. Determine that it's time to go back to the condo and try to get some sleep before we awaken at 12:45 AM to load into Kris' van and drive to the start in Stanley. First, however, coffee is needed for Kelli, Claudia, and Joni. Drive to 6 locations at 7:30 at night and find nothing open to satisfy the need of caffeine.
***Hmmm... note to self: A good business opportunity for someone in Sun Valley - Some COFFEE place that stays open past 5:00 PM!!! Duh.
Find coffee and drive to condo to get ready for bed. Arrange 3 different changes of running clothes in bags and slip into comfy sleeping bag only to remain awake for the entire "sleeping" time until 20 minutes before the alarm goes off. Wake up - hey wait, I'm already up. Physically get up and put dry contacts in. Pray that they don't get too foggy so I can drive for an hour and a half to Stanley. Arrive at the start line. Put vest on, head lamp on, number on, gloves on, head warmer on, and leave at 3:00 AM after having said a prayer that no mountain lions or bears are up like me and ready for a snack! I leave to start my run and I am grateful that the moon is almost full and the sky is mostly clear. I am surprisingly calm and feel that my prayers are being answered! Yay! The river is to my left and the forest is to my right. There are very few cars on the road: only the ones who are stopping to offer water to their runner. My girls stop at mile 2 and I gratefully accept water from them knowing that I need some human communication! Then they drive off to mile 4 while I continue to run and listen to my breathing and for the wildlife around me. Nothing but the smell of a skunk and 55 minutes after 3:00 I am finished with leg number one and I am handing off the bracelet to runner 2 - Keziah. I receive hugs, praise, and a warm van to retreat into the back seat. Awww... I love endorphins!!!
This cycle continues with each runner and it is like a huge cheering contest as we encourage each other on and show our support for this cool event we've gotten ourselves into.
The rain started around the time I was ready for my second leg. The backside - yes, downhill - of Galena Summit. It was a little more difficult to run after I'd been sitting in a car for 5 hours, and we had a lot of elevation up on that thar mountain! I dug deep and kept trying to visualize the backside of Robie Creek, which is harder by far according to me!!! I tried to listen to Lindsay's ipod but Kelly Clarkson and the Spice Girls just didn't do it for me so I took out the earbuds and enjoyed listening to my own breathing...heehee... Handing off to our next runner was AWESOME! I was finished and could now enjoy cheering and eating and encouraging and laughing with my team.