Sunday, October 16, 2011

Snow to Sun

Matt's work signed up to have a team compete in the race, the very race Matt and I have wanted to do ever since it started just a few years before. The race takes you from the lovely lushness of the mountaintops at Brian Head, then down into the redrock country and through St. George, and ending at the ever beautiful Zion.
 Here we are at the start!! Well, we are part of van 2 (the "sun" van) and van 1 (the "snow" van) has already started!! At this moment we are feeling pretty good. It didn't take long to realize that van 2 had 99% of all of the hard runs. They go downhill, we go uphill.
rendezvousing with the other half of our team at our first exchange
Matt had the first leg in our van. Those mighty clouds came rushing in and out, with him.
He ran uphill, sucking in wind at the high elevation (9000 feet), pummeled by balls of hail, and still was smiling. Matt was out-of-this-world amazing. He totally thrived and had the hardest runs by FAR. He is insane.
Little ol me came right after Matt. Enjoying the freshly cleansed earth.
ever so happy to remove the slap bracelet relay "baton", and slap it on Crystal
and true to the name - there was snow!!
 Jared found the perfect remedy for his sore feet - Ashdown Creek
Lillian, she is special, and just never could get that slap bracelet to SLAP!! Mike was our last runner, who also brought our theme music, which carried us to the very end, and whether we liked it or not, it was ours, it was us, guiding and leading, never leaving like a true friend:
Cause baby you're a FIREWORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
and that was the only part of the song we knew. And we sang it to each other NON-STOP!!
After our first runs we were supposed to get some shuteye in the tiny town of Newcastle. But it was only 8:00 pm, and you know that you have to get up at midnight to start running, plus you are trying to sleep in the middle of a race. The whole time you just hear people yelling and clapping, screaming and singing. The sleep wasn't happening, well, at least for a few of us.
Mike helping Matt gear up for the first night run.
Here I am pretty darn stoked to start my second run. This was my easy run - no uphill, just short and flat which meant I could get it done fast. The name of this leg was called Cap'n Kirk (Enterprise was the nearby town), hence my tricky hand pose.
YES!! I'm done. Feeling like a million bucks. Amazed I only have one run left. It was all seeming a little too easy....
Bed #2 for the early morning rest at the awesome Washington rec center. I was so happy, and finally feeling at ease and it was quiet and I was tired enough to think I was going to get some sleep before my last run. And I did, all blessed 30 minutes of it. I'm just going to let it all out here, because I sure did there. I was DEAD asleep until that pang in my gut tells me to hurry to the restroom. I'll feel better, I thought. Back to bed, which now seems really hard, and oh, there's that pang again, and again, and again and again. That was it. I was feeling like a goner, but for some reason felt like I was going to still do well on my last leg knowing it was my last leg.
 Me and the ladies of van 2. Most teams are very creative, silly, and competitive. But one of the really great things of being in van 2 was being with all the other van 2s. A lot of them had really funny things written on their van about how being in van 2 totally sucks, or you must have lost a bet, to just being real hardcore. We all felt the bond between the van 2s.
trying to muster up the inner peace, and really enjoy my last run
Matt blasted through once again in the heat and like always, all uphill, he is a machine. The things I'm still learning about this guy. It just blows my mind!!
Dead, slowly coming back to life. I had a picture of my face right after that last run but I really did look dead in it. So I'm doing you a fav and posting this one instead. I started off at what seemed like a good steady pace. But by mile two I knew, I just knew, I was going to faint soon. I was praying and hoping my van was waiting for me right around the corner or at the top of the hill ...... and so on. I needed water, I had nothing to sweat out and I needed some substance. I, like a fool, had not had one thing to eat or drink that morning because I was afraid my belly was not going to hold it. And I had heard the horror stories of people going in their pants while running. I made a promise to myself that that was not in my future, at least not today, on my last victory run. And then, what seemed out of nowhere - another car parked on the side of the road waiting to help their runner offered ME!! an ice cold water bottle. I couldn't believe it. I think tears would have come to my eyes but since I had no water in me they just sweetly stung. And right after that my van came and sprayed me down with pure lovely mist and had a sports drink for me. It all saved my life and my run.
Another one done!! Victory!!
our cozy home
This is what we look like after no sleep and lots of running - it was joy!!
After the miracle of the spray bottle and cold drinks bringing me back to life, I swore I would not let another runner suffer. And I became the mister and Mike my partner was always ready to hand you a new cold one. Here's Mike and I waiting to bless Jared with our life-saving gifts.
we will chase you down
Almost everyone's longest run was today. So we would drive a little up the road and wait. How would you wait after sitting in a car for hours on end?
Proof of the mister is all caught on the pictures baby - before ...
... and after!! You're looking at a new man!
Works wonder on women too. She likes to act like she didn't like it but she loved it!!
Mike running towards the finish line after miles and miles. The whole team was supposed to run in with him.
But we later found out that van 1 went home!! Those twerps!! Oh well, we were the "hardcore" ones.
Proudly showing off our hard-earned stripes. It was always the best feeling to finish your leg and earn a stripe. We really made sure to make them nice, "thick and sturdy," which is our one of our many inside jokes - sorry, I couldn't help myself. The other leg has each of our "kills," which is a notch for every person you passed during your runs. We found great pleasure in every kill.

In the end we wanted some good food, but settled just for food, and sleep. But before we got either of those, we knew we would do it all again.


Carol said...

Amy!! YOU are THE WOMAN! Wow! You did it! I love the photos and the story! What an amazing event for you and the rest of the team! Congrats for finishing!!

moonshinejunkyard said...

wow...i got goosebumps. i am practically in tears and i have to admit i have never, NEVER EVER had any interest in doing anything like this. but you tell the story so well, and each little bonding detail like the mister and the non-sleep and the inside jokes that i just feel the energy and sweet devotion and true hard work of it. i like the "kills"...that is my kinda killing! just a bit o friendly competition. what a beautiful experience. and i still don't even "get" it but maybe someday you guys can draw me a diagram. all i know for now is it seems like a whirlwind and a truly amazing, mind-blowing experience and i am proud, SO proud that you are my family. LOVE!!!! bursting!!!

Lisa said...

I'm not gonna lie- that sounds awful! Especially the big "D!" Oh man I don't envy you. But like childbirth, I bet it was grueling and beautiful all at the same time. Way to go Amy.

Nadia said...

Amy you are awesome!