In many ways this race was similar to going on a big trip. There is the unknown with lots of preparation and the experience is difficult to describe.
I’ve been asked to run this relay in the past and declined. This year, a good friend from my past asked if my husband and I were up for being on a team with her and her husband. My husband and I decided it would be a great way to reconnect and have fun!
I was a little concerned about my lack of training. Since the boys have gone back to school I have been meeting up with my friends to run. Before the race, we were covering 5 miles a few times a week, but there was still some walking. I was also walking 5-7 miles twice a week while our oldest was at football practice.
The miles were there, but I hadn’t run 6 miles all the way through since June. Add in the idea of hills and I was a little nervous. I knew I had the strength and ability, but there was a little voice of doubt in my head.
I’ve mentioned the hills and training, but I was also uncertain about running by myself. Part of the fun of races is the collective experience. Being out there with others working hard on the same path.
Holding up my end of the bargain was another concern. I had the longest and considered by many the hardest stretch. When we picked up our packets, a runner heard I had the 4th leg and joked that I should switch immediately – not helping the nerves 😉
This was my first time being involved in a marathon (aside from cheering on the Boston marathon when I was younger). The energy was amazing! This is where it gets hard to describe. There were runners everywhere. Some running the full marathon and others on relay teams. Each transition point was filled with energy! Some passing through and others switching up and bringing new exuberance to the course.
I ran from mile 15 to mile 21. There were rolling hills (not as scary as I had imagined) and the marathoners were digging hard. They were surrounded by support. There were entire families cheering and working water stations, signs all along the way, and of course support from fellow runners.
It ALMOST made me want to try one (if you are one of my running friends – step away from the registration button, I said almost ;)). I love running local races with my husband and friends, but this had a different feel. I was both a participant and spectator.
We cheered through all of the transition points and at the finish. There were familiar faces along the way. My leg came and I set out with a group of runners.
Dare I say, the run felt good! I had some leg issues for the first few miles, but it gave way and I felt great. The pace was slower than I hoped for and I slowed through miles two and three, but then the magic happened. I felt stronger, my legs were moving without me thinking and my pace was getting better.
I came up what was a long hill. The road winds and it just kept climbing (luckily, it wasn’t steep) and then it was literally down hill from there. I had no idea where I was in terms of the exchange point. I was looking for my husband and enjoying the run.
Then I saw my friend! She had ridden her bike to the exchange point and rode along side me for my finish. It was awesome!!
Overall, it was a great day and I can’t wait to do it again next year! As I ran past all of the supporters, I was reminded of how meaningful it is to see people along the way. If you ever have the opportunity to support a race, please do! I promise, you won’t be disappointed
A huge thank you to Mashpee Madness!! My friend signed up up through her running group. We were team 17 out of 19. That’s right 95 runners wearing bright yellow and cheering along the way! It took relay team to a whole new level
Have you ever been involved in a relay? What is your favorite distance to walk or run? Have you supported anyone at a race?