"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places." Roald Dahl

Thursday, February 25, 2016

2015 Blue Ridge Relay Recap (Part 3)

Back to the Blue Ridge Relay.  Last time we were just finishing leg 2 and heading into the dark of night...

Everyone in our van wrapped up our second legs around 10pm and we headed to get some sleep.  Sleep, during the BRR comes whenever and wherever you can get it.  Needless to say, some of us slept and some of us didn't.  I have never been a good sleeper and this was no different.  I tossed and turned for a bit, but that was it. 

We started to rise (without much shine) around 2:30am and headed towards our next check-point to meet up with the rest of the team.  

Seeing as our third legs started in the wee hours of the morning, we were running in darkness and luck would have it, rain.  Lots and lots of rain.  Lucky for us, we didn't care.  When you're smelly, sweaty, and overall disgusting, a little rain is by far the least of your worries.  

Cold brew coffee, on the other hand, can make you smile for hours!   Coffee is not easy to come by in a van driving through the mountains. 

I will say that by this time, my stomach was in rough shape and I was not exactly looking forward to this third, eight-mile long leg.  Eating out of a cooler in a van for over 24 hours while running intermittently is not a fun thing to do.  It is something you should train for on its own (and next year, I will).  I was starting to feel a bit dizzy and I couldn't tell if it was from lack of sleep, dehydration, or overall exhaustion.  Either way, I knew I had to finish.  I was not about to give up!  

I started leg 3 really slow and really tired.  I had 8.5 miles to go of fairly flat terrain.  There were a few rolling hills, but that seemed like nothing compared to what I had already seen.  The rain was coming down hard, and I welcomed the noise.  I started my leg at 4:15 way before the sun was coming up.  The noise made me think less about each rustle of the trees that could be a bear hurtling towards me.  Isn't my imagination fun?!  

Once I settled in, the run actually wasn't that bad.   I finished just as the sun was about to come up and felt nothing short of elated.  I was ready to eat all the food, drink all the water and sleep all day long!  Weirdly though, I was so excited I couldn't do any of those things. 

So I took pictures :) 

And we found our sleeping teammates.  They were much more creative in their sleeping quarters than we were.  I actually slept...

And the runs continued!! Right about 9am there was a huge pancake breakfast.  I have never been so happy to eat real food before in my life! And the runs continued... 

And they took us right onto the Blue Ridge Parkway (the actual road!).  We stopped to cheer and take ridiculously cheesy pictures at an overlook.  We were pretty giddy by this point and having way too much fun taking selfies. 

From there, the finish came pretty quickly.  Or maybe it just seems like that because I had been awake for far too long. More to come on the finish soon! 

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