Hello! I greet you from Miami! Tomorrow I am going to attempt to do my first sprint triathlon–so help me god. But I’m not here to talk about that today, I wanted to recap the rest of my RTB experience a few weeks ago.
While the first leg is all fun and games, things get tough in legs 2 and 3. We had to run in the dark in the middle of the night and then we had to run again on tired legs with little sleep or food. But the running is manageable, we are “runners” after all. The hard part is being in the van, I kind of think society breaks down a little bit after 30 hours in a van. This is why the race is actually intended to be finished in 24 hours but how anyone is fast enough to accomplish this is beyond me!
On a side note, Reach the Beach reminded me a little bit of one of my favorite MTV shows from back in the day–Road Rules! Does anyone else remember that show? Honestly mad respect for all the time they spent in the winnie.
In any event, we had a fair bit of time before our night legs which was spent organizing the van, napping and just hanging out.
Then it was time to send Jess off once again!
The night legs started off with a beautiful sunset. Temperatures had really dropped, so we were all bundled up in the van. While I really had fun driving during the day, I was not able to drive at night because I am just not a good enough driver to feel comfortable driving in the dark on small side roads. But we managed. My night leg started at 11:30PM. The first half was great, it was through a cute little town well lit by street lights. The second half was basically a 2 mile climb uphill. The uphills were tough, but the night leg might have been my favorite after all. I knew my team wanted to sleep, so I tried to run hard when it wasn’t straight uphill and not completely die when it was.
After my leg, we all attempted to sleep at the next transition area. Unfortunately, I was freezing and still damp from my run, so I wasn’t able to sleep. Instead, I quietly willed my stomach issues to settle down. We were all thrilled when it was morning because it meant we’d be able to start our third leg soon.
It was the first time we were able to meet up with van 2 for any significant length of time. Marissa and Allie seemed pumped and ready to go. It was actually really inspiring since I think Van 2 has harder times of day to run.
The 5th and 6th van legs were shorter than the first four for most, totally around 50 miles total. Jess was off and had a brutally hilly last leg, but being the unwaveringly strong runner she is, she finished strongly and even wanted to go further due to a strange wild card transitions.
Side note: a wildcard in Reach the Beach is when you can decide where you want to transition between two legs. So if leg 1 is 8 miles and leg 2 is 3 miles, you can transition any point after mile 4.5 of the first leg, to more evenly distribute the miles if needed.
Everyone powered through the last of the never-ending hills until it was my turn once again. I felt super lucky I only had 3.1 easy miles for my last leg.
My legs were sore and I felt like I was really hobbling along and being passed by every runner on the course. But when I saw the finish line ahead I was able to really power it out. I almost ran smack into Allie!
Thanks to Theodora for taking pictures of my finish!
After finishing we drove to a cute little town called Exeter. Theodora, Christine and I grabbed lunch at a little diner. I was famished by this point and greasy diner food was kind of appealing. I ordered an omelette platter and 1 chocolate chip pancake. I wish I had taken a picture of the feast. I hadn’t had much more than a clif bar and a handful of animal crackers since lunch the day before, so I enjoyed the omelette and a few bites of the pancake sans guilt.
After stopping into the local shops it was time to meet Van 2 for a glorious finish!. We soon met up with the rest of our team at the finish area and our amazing NB liaison Mary. We found a prime spot on the beach to watch the teams come into the finish. Lorraine came in with all kinds of swagger. My hat’s off to her for finishing a large portion of the run on sand—so tough on tired legs.
We all finished and were super excited to proudly hold up our medals for the cameras.
Unfortunately, the celebration was cut short by a huge rain shower. We all piled in our vans and took off for Boston. I had originally had a really late train that would get me in to NYC at 2:30AM, but we were able to change it to 6:30PM. We made it to South Station with just minutes to spare thanks to Mary’s amazing van driving skills.
I slept most of the way home. I was pretty sleepy when I was exiting Penn station will tons of bags hoping to find a cab quickly, but suddenly I heard my name being called. It was Frank. Sometimes he is just the best. I couldn’t have been happier to see him waiting for me—and I quickly gave him my bags to carry.
Overall, it was RTB #2 was a really great experience. The New Hampshire course is longer (207.8 miles!) and more challenging, but also more scenic. Check out a great quick video recap here:
I’m proud that I finished my 17.5 miles, I was not really sure I was ready and I have to thank my team for the amazing support and New Balance for being so amazing in sponsoring my travel, registration, gear and food. I can’t thank you enough.
I’ll be sharing my favorite pieces of apparel and footwear, as well as soon tips for packing and organization soon.
Happy Monday folks, I hope the week is off to a great start.