Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Reach the Beach Ultra relay (start and first leg)

Reach the Beach Relay Ultra Start 
I've been putting off writing these recaps in hopes I could get my hands on my other teammate's photos, but no such luck thus far. I'll have to have a separate post of just the really good photos 

The start was held at the ski lodge near the base of Wachusetts Moutain--- translation Hills, Hills, and you guessed it... MORE hills.  

We made it!                                                                      

Despite the challenge, it was a gorgeous starting area- the lodge, the greenery, the weather... 
that is actually a ski lift that takes you up the hill.

They allowed any spectators that wanted to ride the ski lift to top of moutain so you could cheer on the runners as they passed, how neat is that??

Check in was a little lengthy- you had to check your team in, prove you had certain number of vests / headlamps/ front & back flashers,  as well as have a print out rule book and maps. We had the maps, but not the rule book-- $5 charge if you didn't print ahead of time. 

After that ordeal you had to go to a different part of the lodge for safety check, wait around till the next time frame, then get escourted into a room to watch a power point. It was actually pretty informative and I learned that there was NO HEADPHONES allowed on the course. A little part of me died... I just spent the better part of the week updating my ipod to keep me energized and entertained. Good news is I could listen to music, just not having the head phones IN my ears, hmm let the ideas roll...

After our safety meeting we got our team photo (which we get for FREE once they post on facebook) and went back to decorate the van / help Jodi get ready for the start. We weren't really sure how to decorate the van, so we just used a bunch of painters tape and animal print fabric and this is what we got

Scott, Katy and myself walked Jodi to start line while the other boys finished up with the van. Our start time was at 12:30 and we started with about 8 other teams. Although the weather was GREAT, 70s, for standing around, it definitely would have been too hot for my liking actually running. 

Standing around the starting line 
Jodi's game face 

Start line chute

Jodi's first leg was spent on the actual ski trail, so it was the only run (with the exception of Katy finishing along beach) that the van couldn't follow. During her leg I was all about using the T-Rex to cheer with, he's easy to spot and super fun...

However he took up WAY too much space in the van, so we resorted to tying him up on the top of the van and he remained there  for about 12 hours before we finally deflated him- RIP Trex. 

For the first several legs we were constantly by the same vans--- my favorite was the "Ultra Scumbags" due to their van

So if you have difficulty reading it says "Free mustache ride" and "Candy and Puppies Inside"
They were doing the ultra as well, hence their name, however they decided to go a different route and have everyone only run 1 run at a time, thus each runner having to go 6x--- NO THANK YOU. We eventually got ahead of them for good :)

Everyone did AMAZING leading up to me. We got so many comments on our outfits, robot head, wig etc. I absolutely LOVE running with Scott and their friends because they get really into the part

So through all the ridiculousness energy and spirits were HIGH going into my first run....

1st Run- 10 Miles- my "european men LOVE me" run

  • First run started around 6ish, so the weather was PERFECT, the only annoying aspect was I had to wear my safety vest since the rule was after 6:30-- for the record it was still light out when I finished. 
  • I tell you what, our shorts are GOLD mines for conversation. For all those who have asked thus far, we bought them from bskinz. As I was waiting around for Scott to hand off, there was a group of European men standing around asking Katy and myself a bunch of questions and wishing us luck. Everyone at this race is so freaking friendly.
  • Scott comes through and hands me the bracelet- I ask him for my ipod (I let him borrow it for his run) and he says he'll give it to me when they stop next (translation, in 2 miles)- I tell him that I want it now and after he finally gets it off it takes me a bit to get situated before I'm off. I found a genius way to wrap the headphones around my headband and land right behind my ear- its not as loud as in my ears, obviously, but its enough.
  • During the whole ipod maneuver process the european man got ahead of me, but I was feeling great so I figured I'd be able to catch him. First part of my leg was 6.38 miles with the first mile being a slight incline. 'Inclines' I do really well at, so I was actually gaining ground on the man.
  • As soon as I start running I'm about 20 ft behind my european guy, EG for short, and I turn the ipod on. Song that was a continuation of what Scott was listening to was a Girl Talk mix and it was at the part "I love having sexing but I'd rather get some head"-- crude I know. I was so embarrassed that EG might hear me that I stopped to change the song. 
  • It took me a solid few minutes before I was able to pass EG- as I was approaching I apologized if my music bothered him while I was behind him. He told me and I quote "you run ahead of me, I could stare at your spandex and legs all day long" hehe. For whatever reason, that was enough boost to kick it into gear and my first 3 miles were faster than anticipated- granted I didn't really know what I was going to pace, but was just hoping to keep it steady.
  • Somewhere in the 4th or 5th mile I felt like I hit a wall, I massively (or so I thought) slowed down, I had quite a few long uphills, and I had to stop several times to adjust my headphones bc the buds were bouncing against my head which was super annoying. Add to that the fact that I could hear someone's heavy breathing behind me, and mentally I just wasn't feeling so tough anymore. 
  • My EG came up eventually behind me telling me how much he enjoyed watching me from behind  and how it motivated him to run fast-- I couldn't help but chuckle bc he was older so it was cute vs. creepy.
  • Shortly after that another European guy (didn't meet him before the run) came up behind me and said I was keeping a good pace and we should run together. He tried speeding up saying we only had 1 mile left- I finally told him I was doing the ultra and he gave me a high five then started to take off----- his high five distracted me from looking at the ground and I accidently stepped on a snake. oh my freaking heart attack it was NOT dead and it moved. I screamed like a bloody school girl and the guy came back asking what was wrong and I pointed to the snake which he then moved out of the road. He told me to be safe and he'd see me when I was done. Nice fella. 
  • As we're approaching the first exchange that I unfortunately have to run through I get HAWKED by 2 different people. I wish we could have written ULTRA on the back of our shirts so people know they don't need to 'race' us... also so it goes without saying that "ya, you passed me, congrats on running 1/2 the distance- good job!" bahaha 
  • I do have to say that passing an exchange is AMAZING bc the volunteers are shouting your number and then you yell "i'm ultra" (bibs didn't differentiate) and all the other teams shout and congratulate. This particular exchange EG was waiting for me and when I kept running through he yelled "where are you going, are you running away from me" hehe. I shouted back I would see him at the next exchange. 
  • Shortly after passing the exchange, I finally got my second wind. After about a mile I saw a guy that appeared to be slowing down since we had a LONG SLOW uphill, which although I'm not great at, I'm better than those who don't have hill training- thus i could slowly see myself getting closer to him. 
  • Eventually I caught up to the man and realized it was EG's teammate who I spoke with before my run. I wished him well as I passed him and decided to just see how long I could hold on till the exchange... which I was able to hold my own
  • 10 miles done in roughly 1hr 20 min (1:19 and change)- 7:59 pace. 
  • Best part of this run was AFTERWARD- due to my BRIGHT spandex shorts + purple top + purple compression socks I was easily recognizable and so many people came up to me asking if I just ran an ultra (guess its cooler when girls do it??)
  •  I went to my van and EG came running over to me telling me he thoroughly enjoyed running behind me and he was upset that I ran through first exchange and couldn't talk to him. He said that the teammate I passed is thoroughly embarrassed, but at least he got passed by a good looking girl. I thanked him, said goodbye, and then the teammate I passed came up to me thanking me for helping to push him at the end and that he really liked my spandex etc etc. 
  • Needless to say I got massively made fun of by my teammates for having some weird effect on foreign men... its what I do I guess?!?!
  • First leg complete and I was shocked that my pace was sub 8 (barely) I wasn't sore at all, I thank compression socks for that. The hills I was not anticipating, but managed to get through them at a decent pace. 
  • My 2nd run will be slightly under 10 miles, so hoping for a repeat performance... 


  1. You're a total BA. This sounds So fun though!

  2. EL Cool L. Okay, sounded better in my head. Europeans love cool Lisa.

  3. Awesome!!! You totally rocked it!!

  4. i love compression socks!!! and will def be sporting them at NWP. i love reading about your race and also the before! makes me beyond excited for our relay!!

  5. omg. awkward. but funny :) at least you kept EG entertained. and great speed for that run!!

  6. too many things to comment on, but EG thing hilarious!! Scumbag van hilarious! and ugh I have to have music!

  7. Free mustache rides hahahaha...

    I can't blame the EG for liking you@

    The shorts are awesome!!!