Leg #1: 6.9 miles through beautiful Napa Valley. Time: 1:07:58 Pace: 9:46/mi
My cheerleaders were rolling vineyards and cows so close to the road, I reached out and brushed their noses. It was hotter than I anticipated and I ran out of water with a few miles left to go and the Acadia #2 support vehicle was already at the transition point. Another team’s support van offered me water as I passed by and I gratefully took a big swig from a strangers water bottle which seemed totally normal at the time, but looking back, it was kind of weird.
Leg #2: 7 miles through the Presidio of San Francisco, past the California Palace of the Legion of Honor and finishing down the long Great Highway along Ocean Beach…at 3am. Time: 1:08:11 Pace: 9:31/mi
After a two hour nap with the Acadia #2 team at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, we met Acadia #1 at the transition area for the “baton” handoff. I was extremely worried about my energy level during this “middle of the night” run but I started it off with a crazy high-five for my teammate Linsey and I ended it feeling amazing. And the middle? So serene–just me, my reflector vest, headlamp and Team Sparkle Running skirt twinkling in the moonlight.
I couldn’t have wished for a better “last leg”. With over 1300ft of descent in 6 miles, I just let my legs go, stayed loose and let gravity pull me down the mountain. It felt like I was flying.
The team ran the last 100 feet to the finish line, together, where there was much rejoicing (I’m actually surprised I was able to jump that high after running 25 miles–I guess the adrenaline was still pumping).
Final time: 36:04:54
The Relay was such a fun experience. I’d do again in a heartbeat. But next time, more hill training.