Monday, June 10, 2013

The Sawtooth Relay

Sawtooth Relay

After 62 miles, 12 legs, 6 runners, a team name of "Hit The Ground Runnin'" and 9 hours and 40 minutes later... we did it!

Friday after work, my mom and I drove the 3-hours up to Stanley, Idaho. When we arrived, we drove over to the start line to check it out. The evening sun was glowing on the mountains and it was just beautiful! When we got back to the cabin, we chatted for hours with the rest of our teammates and finally all got to sleep around 11:00 pm. And I tell you what, when my alarm clock went off at 2:15 am, it was not enough sleep. We were all up and moving by 2:30 am, and had ourselves loaded into the van by 3:15 am, heading down to the start line for our 4:15 am start. Teams began at midnight and started every 15-minutes, so we were so fortunate to get the start time we did!

It was a chilly morning, and the only light was from the stars and the little bobbing headlamps of the runners. Since it was so early, our first 3 runners were required to wear headlamps and reflective vests. We assembled at the start line to cheer on our first runner, Tracy, who literally "hit the ground runnin'" right at 4:15 am. I was the second runner (and totally nervous), so I was already getting ready for my run even though I had about an hour to wait. We drove down to the first exchange, and while it was still dark out, Tracy finished up her leg (and she rocked it), and I was off and running just before 5:15 am.

It was about 40 degrees out, and felt really cold. I'm so used to running for about an hour on my usual training runs, so I wasn't concerned about my 5.83-mile leg. However, when I hit about 3-miles, I realized I had started a little too fast, so the rest of the slight uphill caught up to me more than I would have liked. I finished my leg with a strong kick, and passed off to our next runner, Teri. My average pace for my leg was 8:45, so I was pretty pleased with that! Teri killed her leg, passed the bracelet off to Amy, who also did really well, and then my mom was up. She cruised through her leg at the same pace I did, though she had more of an uphill to pass over. My mom handed the bracelet off to Lori, our 6th leg, who had THE uphill. Man, she worked it. Her leg traveled 5.53 miles and gained 1,331 feet of elevation. To say that it's an uphill is an understatement. She was totally our MVP of the day. We pulled our van over every mile or so and turned up the music and danced and cheered her on to keep her motivated. We also cheered the other runners who went by us, including a guy who must have taken 5-minutes off his time because he always sped up, smiled and danced along with us when he passed us. It was definitely the most fun leg of the trip because of all the dancing we did (and there are plenty of Vine videos (not mine, though) to prove it)!

After Lori finished, we had all run our first legs and we were onto the downhill portion of the course. Everyone did really well, though the second half of the run gave us 80-degree temperatures and lots of wind, which wasn't so great for running... but we all made it through just fine! My second 5.09-mile leg averaged 7:45 miles, which was way faster than I felt like I was running... but I guess the stopwatch doesn't lie! Our final runner, Lori, came around the finish just a little before 2:00 pm, and we all raced through the finish line with her. What an accomplishment. We wanted to finish under 10-hours, and we did with an unofficial time of 9 hours and 40 minutes! Everyone did so well, and it was so incredible to be cheered on and then to turn around to support everyone else as they ran. I've never done a relay before and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

And now, here are some of my favorite photos of the trip! There are captions under each photo that tell a little piece of the story.

Sawtooth Relay
Our awesome van! Sawtooth or Bust!! 
Sawtooth Relay
Team van with all our names on the day before the race.
Sawtooth Relay
Checking out the start line the evening before the race. Of course we had to do a jump photo!
Sawtooth Relay
The mountains behind the start line. Just gorgeous! 
Sawtooth Relay
It was early early at the start line. We loved our 4:15 am start time! 
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Tracy finishing her first leg and handing off to me in the orange. 
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1st leg of 5.83 miles finished just as the sun was coming up! I averaged 8:45 miles.
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In the van to our next exchange.
Sawtooth Relay overlook
Mom and me at the overlook during leg 6. I photoshopped us onto a photo just like this on my pre-Sawtooth post!
Sawtooth Relay
Getting ready to run my 2nd leg (leg 8). The weather was warming up!
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And I'm off! Cruising up the road...
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The ladies snapped photos along the way. We had the best time!
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There wasn't anyone in sight when I started, but I ended up catching up and passing 2 people. It's awesome to be just out by yourself on the open road.
Sawtooth Relay
Finishing my leg and handing off to rockstar Teri for her 2nd leg.
man running in a bikini
The Little Mermaid ran by us! He was priceless... his whole team dressed up as Disney princesses. I understand running in matching outfits... but costumes? That's hardcore!
Sawtooth Relay
Mom smoked it on her races! She ran an 8:50 pace for her first leg and 8:00 for her second. She did amazing!
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Crossing the finish with our team (and the one man who was determined to beat us, despite leaving his own teammates in the dust).
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Our team (Lori, Tracy, Teri, Mom, Amy and me) and our amazing volunteer Rosie (in red—she was going to run my legs, but I took her place), and our wonderful driver Suzie (in black). This was the most fun group of ladies!
Sawtooth Relay mom and daughter
Mom & me after the race! Mom, you're the best running buddy!

A big thanks to all the fabulous ladies who helped make this run a blast! Our whole team was so fun. We laughed, danced, made funny jokes, and cheered and cheered and cheered each other on. It was the most amazing feeling to be supported by this wonderful group of women, and it was even more fun to finish my legs and dance along the side of the road while they ran! I would definitely do Sawtooth again. Thanks again, ladies. I am so thankful that you guys asked me to join at the last minute. It was such a fun day!

And just for fun, is this the most hilarious jump photo or what?! SAWTOOTH OR BUST!

Sawtooth Relay


xfallenmoon said...

Wow. Such an awesome adventure. You guys rock. I wish I could run, but I find it so boring. What motivates you when you hit the road? Ahaha, that little mermaid guy is awesome. Hardcore indeed, but quite amusing.

Love, Moon
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Hannah Scott said...

You guys are fantastic! Congrats on a great race :)

Sara Wiles said...

This is so wonderful! And what a gorgeous setting for a race...mountains are so peaceful! Congrats on your race!!!

KarlaMedinaa said...

Reading this entire post made me smile and brought back memories. You girls seem to have had a blast. Congrats on your time. That's awesome! I can't wait to run again. I've been saying it for years. Hope I get my bum in gear so I can enjoy that feeling again. Thanks for sharing! :)

Cynthia Meyers said...

What beautiful scenery to run with! Glad you guys had a blast and you totally killed it! Congrats!

Chelsea Oliver said...

Now this seems like a run I would actually do! It would be more fun to be with a "team" and the scenery around you guys looks unreal! Amazing! I love that Little Mermaid guy too! Good job to you and your running friends!


MacKensie said...

Congrats, lady. Your fitness inspires me. :)

Anna Sinclair said...

How awesome! Looks like some awesome scenery!

Kelly Ann said...

Congratulations, way to go girl!

Sparkles and Shoes

Abby Johnson said...

Wow that is simply amazing. It sounds like the coolest race!

Annelise Rowe said...

Mine? Aren't you training for a marathon, too? You inspire ME!

Annelise Rowe said...

It totally was. Thank you so much, Abby!!

Tina Byland said...

This looks like so much fun! I want to do a big race like this! There's a team marathon in Baltimore where you are on teams of 4 but the weekend is always bad timing for us. This looks like even more fun. And, really, it isn't that long of a run either leg, so it's gotta be super fun! How awesome!

NicolaKirsty said...

I love those jump photos! Mine never look quite so impressive.
What great scenery to run through. Congratulations on the race!

You may have even convinced me that I want to take up running. Which is a hugeee surprise to me!

Sil said...

I love reading your running posts! I just started (since Feb) running and would love to see you do a post on tips for stretches and beginners. You and your mom are inspiring!

Annelise Rowe said...

Tina, that's what I loved about it, too! You can't beat 5-miles... though I have to say, my second leg was way more difficult than I thought it would be... I'm not used to running two-a-days! I think a team marathon sounds SO FUN! What a great race... and then it wouldn't take *too *long, like this one did :)

Annelise Rowe said...

Thank you!! Ha, we put my camera in sport mode, and I was rather surprised that they worked out that well, myself! And if I have convinced you to run, I will give myself a high-five... because running is daunting to people who don't love it... so good for you, girl! Proud of you!

Annelise Rowe said...

Sil, what a great suggestion! Thank you! I actually don't stretch much... unless I'm super sore, but I'd love to give some starters tips! I began running when I was a kid, so it would be good to go back and get a refresher on beginning tips!! Proud of you for taking it up, it's hard work!

Annelise Rowe said...

Thanks Kelly!! I really appreciate it!

Annelise Rowe said...

It was just a little TOO pretty :)

Annelise Rowe said...

Thanks Chelsea! You know, I was apprehensive about this at first because it seemed scary, but it was the best doing it as a team! We all lifted each other up and no matter how we ran, it didn't matter because we just had so much fun together :)

Annelise Rowe said...

Thank you!!! It sure was gorgeous! And you're right... we did kill it! Major proud :)

Annelise Rowe said...

Aw, thank you so much! Just start small and get out there! Do like 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and then 30! I had to build up, too! My first run back after not running for a while is always so difficult!

Annelise Rowe said...

It sure was gorgeous! I had to watch the road the whole time when I ran because of all the cracks and splits, but while we were driving it was so much beauty all at once. I'd totally do it again & recommend something like this to anyone :)

Annelise Rowe said...

Thanks Hannah! It was SO FUN!

Annelise Rowe said...

We thought he was just hilarious! When he wasn't running, he wore a bright red wig!

What motivates me? Just saying "I did it!" I also listen to music and totally jam out when I run. It keeps me going! And, I also figure that you're either a runner or you're not... and if you're not, then, ha! All the better :)