With a tag line of “Get your ass over the pass,” the Wild West Relay starts Friday morning in Fort Collins, CO, travels up into Wyoming and back down to the C-O, ending in Steamboat Springs……What the hell did I agree to do!? AND pay money for!? I’m a little freaked out. I’m suddenly getting really nervous for this relay race. (Thanks to everyone telling me I’ll do find! Especially kandjcoloradoliving who did the race last year! I appreciate it!)
Ok, I’m being a little dramatic. But, honestly, I am really nervous for this event. I’ve never done a relay before. I chose the third highest amount of total miles to run – 19.1! This does not, by any means, mean that I have the third most difficult sections. Some of the lower milage legs have really big hills to climb! I have three, 6+ mile legs, that don’t have too much elevation change, but I do go up into Wyoming. If I get a picture of the wyoming state sign, do I get to count this as my wyoming race?????!!. I hope I can do this!!
Starting Thursday night, after work, I head “out of town” to meet my team members (not that much out of town – just an hour’s drive up to Fort Collins where I actually lived for five years in college). I’ve never met any of these people before. We’ve all been exchanging emails, and I spoke with the captain on the phone only once. Through the emails, everyone seems really nice. One guy is having us all over for dinner Thursday night, mostly likely to feed out faces with a lot of carbs and to discuss the last details of everything. A few of the others that live in Fort Collins are offering their houses for us out of towners. I know at least one is from New Mexico and one is from Kansas. The rest, I believe, are either here in Denver with me or already up in FoCo.
I’m writing this post as I take a break from packing. Packing for a relay race is hard. You can’t pack too much, because there is limited space in the vans. But you have to pack enough to get you through three runs…including if weather gets crazy on ya. Also, we are staying in Steamboat Springs the night after to relax (and hopefully to swim in the hot springs and drink lots of beers!) so you have to make sure you have clothes for the extra day….. blah!
Things that scare me about a relay race: 1) Running in the dark. Alone. On back roads. Yeah, a little scary…a little “the hills have eyes” feeling going on there! 2) Running 6+ miles, three times, in a day and a half. That’s a lot of running! 3) Being able to eat right. With all these different legs of the race, and being up at weird hours, I think it is going to be had to get adequate nutrition. It’s hard to pack that kind of stuff too. I have a bunch of snacks like granola/protein/energy bars, trail mix, fruit (fresh and dried), but it’s hard to pack substantial food because a lot of that stuff requires either cooking or a cooler. I’m not sure if our van has a cooler and I wonder if we’ll eat at a restaurant at some point. 4) Water. I think I’ve decided I’m going to run with my Camelbak, especially at night, but probably only half full (that’s optimism right there!). Its not that I necessarily need to run with water for a 6 miles run, but I can carry a few things I might need like pepper spray (for the creepy hills have eyes people..or bears, or mountain lions…or tigers…wait a minute, I’m not running to Oz), maybe extra socks, poncho (maybe..), and my phone…just in case and for music. I’ll also be attaching a blinking light for when I run at night and there are reflective strips on my camelbak. As required by the race people, I will have a head lamp for running my night leg. I’ll be sure to take a picture, because I’m sure this will make me look super cool.
Things that don’t scare me but weird me out: 1) No headphones allowed. YIKES! I survive runs on music alone sometimes. I think what I might do is just have my phone on speaker and listen to the music player because this is allowed. I do completely understand this rule; it is MUCH safer to run without headphones on these type of roads and times of day. I still need to create a running playlist on my phone….so much to do. 2) What if it rains? Now, I’m not opposed to running in the rain, but HEAVY rain could be a problem. Wet clothes for 6 miles does not sound fun. I actually don’t own a raincoat. Yeah, pathetic I know, for a Coloradian especially. (Anyone suggest a good, lightweight, semi cheap, rain coat??? for the future of course, I’m running out of time now) I am bringing a poncho, but I’m not sure how easy running in something like that would be! 3) What if I have to pee?? I can normally go for an hour run without having to pee, but with all the nerves and weird eat/drinking/sleeping schedules over the weekend, you never know! The rules clearly say, “no relieving yourself on public property.” Yes, this is written multiple times and I think most of the course is public property since it’s mostly through farm lands.
Things that I look forward to: 1) Meeting all these fun, new people!! I’m so excited to meet more crazy running fanatics! 2) ROAD KILL! No, not like dead animals. I’ll probably cry if I see a dead animal while running, but read this from my participant email: “BIB NUMBERS –
This year, bib numbers were assigned by your starting time. This way, you’ll be able to really track your road kill – if you pass a team with a bib number lower than yours, you know it is true road kill.” I guess this is a normal relay term, but I had never heard it and it cracked me up! I want to get a “road kill” so bad! 3) Another email stated this: “We will be having a contest this year – the WWR finish line staff will be voting on the most original/creative finish.” I think there could be pretty fun to do and watch!!! Anyone have any good ideas?? Please let me know so I can tell my team!!!! 4) We get in discount to the hot springs! As WWR runners, we can get in and use the pool and showers. Uh, super excited about that.
Goals?: Hmm… 1) Get road kill. That is all.
Since I stalled and wasted a lot of time writing this, I better get back to packing and making my “Caution! Runner’s on Road” sign.
I will be trying to live Tweet my team’s progress through the relay! Follow me on Twitter @Racingthestates
Anyone else doing races this weekend!? Good luck to you! And everyone else, have a fantastic weekend!