May 22, 2016
Once again, fun participation in the Snail’s Pace Ekiden Relay.
Refresher on how it works: blind drawing for teams and for distances (i.e. if there are 5 teams, the first 5 names drawn run 1 mile, the next 5 run 2 miles, etc.).
I have never been drawn on one mile, and only once on two miles (though I asked to switch one year when I had to be somewhere). I always seem to get 3 or 4 miles (which is fine), and your teammates expect you to “deliver.”
So, I ended up getting picked for 4 miles (of course). My team had a FAST miler, and then a guy who professed to be “not that fast,” and was also my age (but I thought looked much older, who knows?), then my buddy Dulce Barton (fellow AREC runner) and myself.
The 2-mile guy seemed pretty gung ho about our chances, but I felt like we were really in it just to have fun (especially because Dulce is no speed demon and I gave myself low expectations given my arm issues (still only 6 weeks ago)).
Runners 1 and 2 put us into a good position, and then Dulce gave most of it up (this isn’t a criticism of Dulce’s running; this is reality that a 25 year-old man usually runs faster than a 6o year-old female), and then my team looks to me to regain our places.
Ha ha, right. When I get to the section with the steep uphill on the street, I maneuver around the telephone pole, so I am somewhat hidden and can power-walk up the hill. Runner 2 is shouting at me (sort of encouragingly, sort of in despair), but once I turn the corner, then I can go at whatever pace is comfortable.
To me, it is abundantly clear that I am not going to overtake any of the runners ahead of me, and probably, I will be passed by some teams that started pretty close to me (faster or younger runners). We ended up being the 4th fastest team of 10 and I ran my four miles in 37:12, which is pretty good, considering.
Anyway, this was more about camaraderie and the giveaways, and I ended up with a Team-in-Training t-shirt, two women’s unmentionables-washing bags, and a DVD of an old movie.