Sunday, October 17, 2010

Race Report: MDI Marathon Relay

Disclaimer:  This is another ultra happy race report with an overall yay-for-running, yay-for-my-friends, yay-life motif.  I mean, just look at this sparkling October day.    The fall color is at its absolute peak, and we got to spend the whole day out there in the fresh air and autumnal splendor.   Let's just say it was very clear today why the MDI Marathon was voted the MOST SCENIC in the UNITED STATES by Runners World Magazine.  If Runners World also voted for the most fun, most enthusiastic group of running moms, we'd win hands down.

As I think I said earlier, we ran this marathon as a relay in two teams of three. 
 Team "Eat. Pray. Run."
Susan, Emilie, Suzanne.

 And Team "Sporty Moms."
Christine, Amy, Jen.

Amy and I ran the first 8.5 mile leg.  Here we are ready to go:

This is apparently what I look like when I'm at a marathon starting line with all the joy and none of the nerves.  Feeling pretty calm.

Amy and I ran at a very comfy pace and didn't really race it at all.  We stuck together, chatted and laughed, and oohed at the scenery. I felt so good, so relaxed, so happy, like I could act the way I want to act in a full marathon, waving at the crowds, thanking the volunteers, smiling!

The section that Amy and I ran had quite a lot of uphills and a few lovely down hills.  I can't overstate how beautiful this island is right now.  It's beautiful year round, but this is probably the single-most magically golden day of the year there because of the peak color and the bright skies.  We ran on a main road for the first 4 miles and then turned to run through a neighborhood of million dollar homes.  The road was narrow, with stone walls running along both sides, thick with trees exploding with color, and after a few miles, an ocean view through the woods.  I was seriously getting high off of the view.  I was giddy.

Susan and Christine, getting ready for Leg #2.

And here we come!

And guess what?  I really didn't want to stop.
Now it was time to get in the car, bundle up in the hunter's orange windbreaker that we all got (with the MDI logo embroidered on it... it's equal parts ugly and adorable) because we quickly got really cold, and chase our running girls.  Here are Susan and Christine ripping it up while I simultaneously cheer for them and video tape them.  And drive.

We made our way to the next hand-off point where Suzanne and Jen were gearing up to bring us home.

And here they come!  Suzanne is doing some sort of cheer or tribal dance.
A little bit of loving and then... they go for the final 7.6 miles.

Phew!  Happy to have 10.1 miles done!

 We made our way to the finish line area where we waited at the Mile 26 marker for Jen and Suzanne.

We cheered for all the marathoners as they passed us, and tried to find the ones who looked like we want to look at the end of a marathon.  I saw lots of tough women looking strong, in control, and smiling.  We decided today that we are going to keep running marathons until we look like that at mile 26.

A few minutes later I saw a woman with that bleary-eyed-vacant stare, mouth agape, sweaty, pale, barely moving forward.  I said hello to my marathon self and gave her some extra love, to which she didn't respond.  Yep.  Been there.

Soon enough, our girls showed up (huge props to Jen who ran with a hurt foot) and all six of us ran the last .2 together and crossed the finish line hand-in-hand.

We felt a little bit like imposters, not running the whole distance, and didn't quite feel like we deserved the medals.  But more importantly, we had a total blast.

Thank you Matt Smith for the finish line shots!

All in all, I loved the relay experience, especially as a way to make a really hilly course more manageable.  But I think (right girls?) that we came to a consensus to do this as a full next year, but to just take it easy, stay together, and enjoy the ride like we did today.  If you are a marathoner (or thinking about becoming a marathoner), consider an October trip to Maine next year for this seriously stunning course.
 We still have one more big event (York Half Marathon) to look forward to before our "season" ends.
I am so thankful to Sam for being so supportive about all these races.  It works out well for us that he has a lot of swim events and meets in the winter and spring (did I just say that?) so we both know how the other one feels.  I do feel like everyone is ready for Mommy to have some consecutive weekends of just being at home,  but they are all being very cool about letting me do my thing. 

I have some really fun video from today that I'll put together in the next few days to show you.  Good luck getting back to work tomorrow... I know I'll need it.  Good night!


ajh said...

Looks like you had a great time! Congrats! I tried and failed to get into this which is just as well since I can't run now. Last year I did the York Half and loved it. You are certainly racing in some beautiful places.

Carver Fam said...

A marathon that was fun, fun, fun... hmmmm, perhaps we figured out a secret.

My favorite 2 quotes from the day both came from Amy:

When she, of the matching 3 blue shirts of "Sporty Moms" looked at the three of us in our matching Burlington shirts and said, "Oh, look! You match!"

And at the finish: "I've decided I like having other people run some of my marathon for me."

I am in for next year!

I, too, would like to finish without the bleary eyed, mouth agape feeling. We WILL work it out of system, one marathon at a time.

Michelle said...

Well... OK... if you are inviting then maybe I WILL seriously think about making this trip up north again.

Meredith and I are doing our 20 mile training run this weekend (so nervous!) and then it's all downhill till the marathon (yippee my first!!) on the 13th in Richmond VA.

Then we have a break through the holidays till we start training for Big Sur on May 1st. So I do need a goal for next fall...

You all look beautiful and amazing and strong!!
Great job to all!!

chris mcpeake said...

great stuff. Love the report.