This week we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary, and to celebrate it how better than spending a weekend with 22 of our Tri-ing friends doing a 200 mile relay run in Kentucky. It’s pretty funny how it works, but out of the 8, 5 have always been traveling somewhere and why not make it a 6th.
It’s been the best 8 years of our lives, add a couple more since we dated for a couple before getting married. The last 2 have probably been the healthiest, since we started doing all these crazy triathlons and runs. So to celebrate and thanks to destiny, we decided to spend it doing a 200 mile run in Kentucky.
A few months ago our team signed up for the Bourbon Chase in Kentucky. We had heard about the relay runs and had known some people that did Ragnar, so we knew what it was but never imagined doing such a thing, so what is it? A relay run is a run between 2 cities. They have them all over the place, the parent of all is the famous Hood to Coast in Oregon for instance. This one is from Louisville to Lexington and it is somewhat along the old Bourbon Trail. The logistics are complicated, you can have as little as 6 people on your team if you are an ultrarunner (topic for another day) but 12 will make it really easy. Our teams both had 11 people. What that meant was that we had 2 vans, one of 6 people and one of 5. Guess what? We were on the van of 5 people, in turn that made 3 of our van runners run one extra leg to cover for the runner we didn’t have. We started in Louisville at the Jim Beam distillery. We arrived to LOU on Thursday afternoon to meet up with the rest of the team. Friday was early breakfast and get to the starting line to get vans decorated, last minute logistics and get on the road. Our teams were starting on the 12:15 wave which gave us enough time to take it easy. After they all started we headed to one of the exchanges and then to the van exchange. At van exchange, van 1 goes to rest and van 2 gets active… By active I mean really active, you are going for the next 5-6 hours. We started at around 5:30 at the Makers Mark Distillery, and then about every 40 minutes to 1:30 (depending on the runs) we had to exchange runners. Did that 6 times. The first run was led by 2 of our fastest guys, they clocked a 0:40 10k, then the next girls started and so on. Felipe started at around 7:40 and he had a long leg, 8 miles or so, he did them with another girl from the other van in a little over 1:05 they were moving pretty good, he turned it over to me for my leg of the run… The wait was killing me and I wanted to get moving. Running at night felt great, it was a little cold getting down to the 50s, which during the run doesn’t bother you as much as when you are simply standing, we were keeping our anticipated pace and we were enjoying the run. When we came in we turned it over to the next girls and we had to get ready for our next 5 mile leg. That was my time to pick the extra leg, it is pretty interesting when you are down for an hour and try to get going how stiff you get, but we got ready, changed into dry clothes, stayed warm and drove off to the next leg. We started at around 11 and finished right before midnight so we could handoff to van 1. We just wanted warm food, a shower a bed and shut our eyes for a little bit. We were in Danville, KY by then and had reservations at a hotel so each van could do all of the above. By 4 am we had to be ready for the next exchange. That meant 2 hours of sleep or closing your eyes for 2 hours (whatever came first). We headed to the exchange and then once again moving. My next leg didn’t come around until almost 7 am, it was another 5 miler, weather was holding up, but it was cloudy/overcast the whole way we were running thought the sunrise with no sun, so it was kind of nice, still headlamps and safety vests with the early morning mist. When I came back from that run, Felipe was not at the exchange, he had to run his double leg a few hours later so he was trying to stay warm, rest and besides he was cramping so he was trying to take in some salts. Anyways we headed off and Felipe closed that shift of our van at Four Roses distillery, right before the downpour happened. We then went off to get some breakfast which ended up being lunch and wait for the next exchange which was the last one, our vans were closing the run in Lexington. We waited for the teams at the Woodford Reserve Distillery and it was tough, we were tired, cold, and getting stiffer by the minute. We waited and around 2 pm they showed up, did our little chat while waiting for their runners and off we went. I was a bit worried because that last leg for me was the longest at 8.4 miles with rolling hills and a couple long ones too. It turned out to be one of the most beautiful runs, as the sky was clearing up and we were running through horse farms. We did what we could at that one keeping a 1 mile run – 1 minute walk interval which I was completely fine with after running 24.1 in less than 24 hours I was ready to be done. We were so close, yet so far, we had 2 more runners after I was done, which I was really happy for.
As a whole, we had a blast, yes we were tired, cold, hungry, sleepy but we got to push our limits as usual, got a lot of quality time together, and got to spend time with great friends. We wouldn’t change that for anything and we are glad we signed up for it with the team. Can’t wait to do it again next time one comes up. Now this week, besides celebrating our anniversary on Tuesday with an awesome couples massage which we needed so much we got to continue our Dallas Marathon training, ran the Friends of the River 6k and will be running the No Limits Half Marathon on Saturday. Feels so good now that the weather has cooled down a bit and we can enjoy nice runs outside without getting cooked while at it.
A little long post, a lot went on for our anniversary weekend, and week… Feeling blessed that I can spend it with the love of my life.