I was going to write a race report for this, but my fast and fabulous teammate just sent hers out to the BCTC and it so perfectly summarizes the day that I've decided to post that here as a recap of yesterday's marathon relay. So without further ado...
"We're Just Here for Fun... And to Win." BCTC Women vs. Some High School Tramps in Puffy Paint Shirts
Yesterday Kara B., Bex, Sarah Swiss and I took on the Valentine's Massacre Marathon Relay in Greensboro. As Kara so eloquently put it, we were there to have fun... and to win. My personal goal was to average around 6:30 per mile for each of my legs, the first of which was 2.2 miles. The other 3 were 1.6 miles. Leg 1: I was the first runner up for our team. I started in the very front which I think might have been a mistake, but I relished the feeling of being the lead women for a fleeting moment. Then 1 girl caught up to me and we settled in to a reasonable-feeling 6:30 pace and chugged along together for a bit. Presently, the course headed up pretty big-ass hill, and at about that same time 2 other girls came out of nowhere and passed us. The girl I was with charged off after them, and I considered doing the same, but upon glancing down at my watch and noting my sub-6 pace I decided to let them go since I was already feeling as though I was pushing the limits of my capabilities, and oh yeah, I still had to do this 3 more times. I was maybe 10 seconds behind the lead pack of women when I handed off to Kara. Leg 2: By the time my 2nd leg rolled around it had become evident that the battle for the #1 all women's team was between us and some high school kids wearing cotton t-shirts decorated with puffy paint. We were dressed head-to-toe in fancy pink Brooks apparel courtesy of Sarah Swiss, so there was no way we were letting some Busch League high school kids beat us... Team Puffy Paint was ever so slightly ahead of us when Bex handed off to me, but I (barely) managed to catch their runner on my leg and hold her off through my hand off, although I didn't put much space in between us. Leg 3: The battle between Team Puffy Paint and the BCTC women is now in extra-high gear. Mad trash talk is happening on the sidelines... Once again they had pulled slightly ahead of us since my last leg, but I managed to catch their runner very early on. At this point I was feeling a little tired, so I made my goal for leg 3 to do only the amount of work it took to hold her off and nothing more. Mission accomplished as I handed off to Kara, although I instantly regretted not pushing harder as Puffy Paint pulled into the exchange zone only seconds behind me. Leg 4: Despite the most badass kick I've ever seen in my life from Bex as she hauled in to hand off to me, Puffy Paint had finally gained some significant ground on The Mad Women of BCTC. Sigh. I knew catching them was highly unlikely at this point, but as I took the baton from Bex, I vowed to leave it all out there trying. And that is exactly what I did. Although Little Miss Puffy Paint continued to increase her lead on me in our final leg, I shaved a good 10 secs off my previous splits for the first mile and 8 secs off my total lap time vs my previous lap.
In the end Team Puffy Paint took the win, but I doubt they had as much fun as the fabulous Mad Women of BCTC, and they most certainly were not as well dressed. Had there been a post-race photo-shoot-off, we would have schooled their perky high school asses in that as well. All things considered, I had an absolutely awesome time with Kara, Sarah, and Bex, and I couldn't have been more proud of our performance, unless of course, we had actually caught the puffy paint girls. ;) Our final total time was 2:51:03, which comes out to 6:32 pace, and is surely the fastest marathon time my humble name will ever be associated with. My personal splits are as follows: Leg 1 (2.2 miles): 13:52 min, 6:18 pace. Leg 2 (1.6 miles): 10:13 min, 6:23 pace. Leg 3 (1.6 miles) 10:18 min, 6:26 pace. Leg 4 (1.6 miles): 10:04 min., 6:18 pace.
Cheers to a fantastically fun day of racing with a truly fast and fabulous group of ladies!