Once again, Team Turtle Herders headed out to support JDRF and run Relay Rutherford. After running this race in last year’s monsoon season, I was excited when I saw the weather was forcasting sunny and a high in the low 70s!
Being the slow turtles that we are we were awarded a 6:00 am start time so we picked up our last team member and headed to Eagleville at 5:00 am. Last year there were biscuits at the start line so I didn’t eat much before we left (partially because I was not awake yet and wouldn’t be running until leg 7 anyway). When we got there, my team was super excited to see bagels and peanut butter…whomp, whomp, whomp (stupid peanut allergy). I grabbed a dry bagel and quickly moved away from my team and the putrid smell of peanut butter. Luckily, the ever prepared girlscout, I had snacks packed in the van!
After our safety breifing, we got M ready to head out and cheered on the first few teams. Unlike last year, we did not miss the first check point and only had to make a few u-turns along the race.
Last year we swapped runners at every leg and knew we would never make that mistake again. I assigned each runner two back to back legs and then a third leg to run later in the day.
As each runner handed off the slap bracelet, we would drive a mile or so ahead to we would pull over to cheer on our runners and offer water, sports drink, food, etc. It didn’t stop there either. We cheered on every team that came our way, ringing our cowbells as loud as we could. I am surprised I had a voice left by the end of the day!
I even took time to photobomb the Boro Diva’s yoga pose picture!
And the exchanges even had cute puppies!
It was finally my turn to run. Runner number 3 hit me with the slap bracelet and I was off! The first of my two back to back legs was an unassisted leg on the greenway. I made sure to give myself this leg because I am very familiar with the greenway and last year there was a lack of sineage…mostly because the storm blew them away. It was hot but I at least had some shade. Due to some unexpected construction, the leg had been altered the day before the race so I was ready for that change, but to my chagrin, a train was blocking the greenway. For those of you familiar with the Murfreesboro greenway, you know the spot…the train stops, blocking the greenway and street for hours on end. I know there is a secret path to go under the train, but I have never taken the time to look for it and with the new construction I had no idea if it would be blocked or not, so I did what I had to…I climbed over the train – that makes this an obstacle run…right?
My team met me at the next exchange with water and I kept on trucking. The second of my back to back legs runs down Main street for what seems like forever. About a mile in, I heard lots of cowbell…my team!…wait, NO, one of the other teams we had cowbelled for earlier were now cheering me on! (And yes, I just made cowbell a verb) There are no sidewalks toward the end of Main Street, and the day of the race, the cars were not playing nice so I hopped in and out of ditches trying to avoid the cars who seemed to be edging close to me on purpose. This leg also offered no shade and it was getting hot. I found myself really wanting those “One mile to go” signs that Ragnar puts out. As I was nearing the exchange I was really starting to struggle when I heard someone yelling my name. I looked up and some of my friends on another team were pulled over cheering me on. I pushed through and finally saw the checkpoint…but where was my runner? At the last minute, she jumped out of the crowd and I handed off the slap bracelet.
I have decided that being rungry is similar to having pregnancy cravings. After my first run, I hopped in the van and started to eat the lunch my team had put into the cooler. They had picked me up a pickle to go with my sandwich and let me just tell you, it was the BEST THING EVER, and washing it down with chocolate milk made perfect since. It sounds gross now, but it was awesome at the time!
Last year, I gave myself the leg that had four miles of rolling hills along a major highway and I was determined not to run it again. So I gave it to runner number 3…so I thought…nope, I gave it to myself again (insert facepalm here). It wasn’t too bad this time around, the cars on the highway were playing nice and lots of team cars were on the side of the road cheering everyone on. It was nearing 80 degrees at this point, there was absolutely no shade, and running on the highway made it feel like 100 – but at least four different teams offered me water along the way – gotta love runners!
The great part was that my leg ended at this little place called Karen’s Kustard so we all got shakes. A chocolate malt is basically frozen chocolate milk so that makes it a recovery drink right?
I am proud to announce that Team Turtle Herders came in with a time of 10 hours and 44 minutes finishing dead last…totally awesome!