River to River to Beer

dsc02000Friday after work, we met at Billy O’s house to drive to Marion, IL for the 21st River to River relay run.  This was my first race running with the 180 team.  They had 3 teams running this year.  The men’s, a mixed team, and the women’s.  I was on the women’s team with Emily K., Joy G., Lisa, Jen, Pam, Patty, and Alisa.

We arrived Friday night, checked in to the hotel, and went for a pizza dinner with some other 180 team members.  We had a team meeting in back in our hotel room, and then it was off to sleep.

I think Emily was up 0300 in the morning.  I got up at 0330.  Way too early.  Our team started at 0615 and we still had a 45 min drive to the start.  After a quick breakfast, we loaded up the car and headed to the start.  Emily was our first runner, and we dropped her off and drove to the next exchange.  There are all kinds of people you get to meet and talk to, who are out waiting for their next runner.  Alisa was our 2nd runner.  She took off after Emily passed the baton.  We would wait until our runner would run by us. Then Everyone would pile back in the SUV and we would drive to the next exchange.  We would usually pass the runner who was running, so we would cheer, and honk, and even got a few action shots!  We would usually arrive to the next exchange with a few minutes to get out and stretch, or use the porta potty if needed. 

dsc02011I was runner number 7.  I was starting to get nervous when my leg approached.  My legs were tight from sitting in the car, and it had only been a week from the marathon.  Thank God for Bio Freeze.  I rubbed some on my legs, and went to the exchange to wait for Joy, who was our 6th runner.  I go the Baton and I was off.

I had a huge hill the first part of my run.  I was so happy to be out of the car I didn’t care.  After I climbed the hill, I started feeling good.  I was running a sub 7 min mile my first leg.  I passed one female on the way.  I met Lisa at the exchanged and she was off.  Once Lisa did he leg, it was time to start all over.  We each ran 3 legs. 

sect7My 2nd leg was pretty easy.  It was mostly flat.  The 3rd leg was the hardest.  I was starting to get sleepy riding in the car and waiting foe my last run. I wasn’t sure I could do it.  I had a large down hill to start my last leg , but after that it was all camel backs.  I kept pushing and tried to keep a fast pace.  I was relieved to see lisa and pass of the baton.  My last leg done!  My legs were tired, and I was ready for a rest.  We drove to the finish and grabbed some of the  beer that 180 gave us, then went to the finish line and ran in with Lisa!  I think our time was around 10 hours and 15min to run the 80 miles. Everyone had a great race.  I was so lucky to run with such a talented group of women.

At the finish we all got massages and had some much needed “real” food.  During the race I think every thing I ate was in bar, or gel form.   A beer or two later Emily made us follow tradition and  go throw our rocks in the Ohio river.  The river was low and my rock didn’t make it.  It wasn’t because I throw like a girl. 


Our team placed 3rd.  We got our plauques and posed for some photos before heading back to springfield.  It was a long day and I was exhausted.  I had a blast running the river to river and hope to be back next year.