Monday, October 5, 2009
Peak Performance Maine Marathon Relay Race Report
Maine Marathon weekend!!!! This is my favorite road racing weekend ever! Cool fall temps, everyone comes out to join in for the full marathon, the half marathon, or the relay. And if you aren't running you are volunteering. All the athletes show up on this day ... it's such a great day! Looking back, I've participated in the following:
2001 - Half Marathon (my first)
2002 - Half Marathon (ran with my dad)
2003 - Marathon (my first marathon)
2004 - Marathon (my second marathon and first Boston qualifying time)
2005 - Marathon Relay (set the course record for the female relay, which still stands today)
2006 - Injured ... ugh!
2007 - Half Marathon (turned myself inside out for an 11th place finish and PR of 1:31)
2008 - A volunteer
And that leads me to 2009. I debated for awhile on this. I originally was going to run the half, but after a long season I didn't feel the need to tackle the distance so decided to put together a relay instead. Besides, relays are so much fun. I sent out an email to my Nor'Easter teammates and instantly had a team put together. Erin - leg one - 6 miles, Nicole - leg 2 - 8.8 miles, Kiely - leg 3 6.2 miles, and Me - leg 4 - 5.2 miles. We're a go ... the Nor'Easter Girls!
Weather forecast predicted rain. It poured the night before, including wind, thunder, and lightning; however, I woke up on race morning to a calm, overcast, dry day. Perfect! I made it to the start early and slowly rounded up my teammates. We reviewed logistics of getting everyone to and from the relay exchange points. Erin was out lead leg so Kiely, Nicole, and I watched her start then headed out. We all piled in my car and headed to exchange point one. We dropped Nicole off and wished her luck. Kiely and I headed to Yarmouth to drop her at exchange point two. I then headed back to Falmouth to park and get ready at exchange point three. Off with my warm-up clothes, on with a throw away shirt, a quick change into my running flats and I was off. I arrived at my exchange point with an hour to go.
Okay, time to warm-up. After a good warm-up and stretch, I started to look around at the competition. Now, we all said we were doing this for fun, but c'mon ... we're triathetes!!!! I sized everyone one up and decided I only saw one other lady who might be my competition so I approached and asked ... sure enough, I was right. More warm-up, waiting, waiting... the other women's team took off and I started clocking the time between hand offs. 10 minutes later Kiely came over the hill and tagged me ... I'm off. First mile was fast but it's hard when you take off all psyched up and it's all downhill. I settled in and was feeling really good. I tried to keep relaxed and in rhythm. I could here my best friend echoing in my head about over striding and keeping my arms relaxed. I kept checking my form. The miles were clicking off fast. I heard a lot of cheers for the Nor'Easter team. As I turned onto Baxter Blvd I had just under 2 miles to go. I knew my teammates were waiting for me near the finish and couldn't wait to see them. As I approached about a half mile to go they joined me and we all ran in together. That was such a boost to me! Crossing the finish all four of us side by side was great. There is a great dynamic to a team effort!
I took a minute out of the other team and we finished in second place. I was very happy with my run and felt that I had nothing left. That is the way you're suppose to feel... tired, hurting, out of breathe, and happy knowing you left it all on the course.
Another great day on Maine Marathon weekend!!