The Gait Keepers
My racing team from last summer got together to run the Utah Marathon Relay again this year. The Utah Marathon Relay takes place in South Jordan every September and, as the name suggests, it’s the length of a marathon, 26.2 miles. Fortunately, the course is split into 5 loops so each team member only has to run 5.2 miles, which makes the race completely doable even for the non-nutsy. Although our team hit some unexpected snags this year, we still managed to beat our previous time. Yeah us!
Jason, Fran, and I were all very prepared for this race since we had run a half marathon just a month before. Nothing makes five miles look like a walk in the park like running thirteen. Jason’s brother Jeremy seemed reasonably ready for the event as well, though he didn’t train as much for it as last year. I think running five miles didn’t scare him this year since he knew he could do it so the fear of being the humiliated downfall of our team didn’t inspire him as it had previously. My brother Drew, after he barely survived last year’s race, intended on thoroughly training for his run this year but somehow those good intentions never resulted in actual exercise. The race got closer yet his plans to prepare remained in the indefinite future so he only got in a few pathetic runs before the relay.
But, ready or not, our race day came and that’s when things got a little messy. The day before the relay I was showing signs of catching a cold: headache, sore throat, stuffiness…the usual. Although a cold wouldn’t stop me from racing I was concerned that it would hinder me from doing my best. Then Jeremy came down with something in the wee hours of the morning on the day of the race that, unlike my cold, was a showstopper. He got a bout of food poisoning and warmed up for the relay by running to the toilet over and over again during the night. While he still showed up bright and early at the starting point ready to run there was no telling if the large quantities of Pepto-Bismol he had downed would be enough to keep all his fluids in their proper places inside of him. We had him do a little trial run across the parking lot to see how his stomach held up and that didn’t go over well so Jason and I collectively decided that he needed to abort. Running and the runs may sound like things that go together but they really aren’t. With Jeremy off to be buddies with his bathroom we had to hurry and find another runner. Luckily, we know an abnormal number of active people so Fran was able to find a friend willing to be a last minute addition to our team.
So after all that how did we do? Being a little under the weather had no ill-effects on my performance; in fact the opposite surprisingly seemed to be true. I shaved about a minute and half off my time from last year and crossed the finish line in just over 50 minutes. This trend continued for my teammates who all bettered their runs from last year, even Drew was about a minute faster than the year before. (I’m sure not getting lost helped.) Jason’s time was the most impressive though. He was almost five minutes quicker this year than the preceding at 41:38. Way to go Jas!
All our slightly quicker paces paid off. We finished at 4 hours and 2 minutes, which was 11 minutes faster than our previous time of 4 hours and 13 minutes. This put us in 82nd place out of 124 teams. Not too shabby considering Andrew was in our group. LOL. Just kidding Drew…mostly.
Good job everyone! May we rock even more awesome next year!