Monday, March 15, 2010
COME AND TAKE IT
Texas is The. Best. State. Ever. But if you're reading this, you likely know my feelings about Texas already. I'm not saying that I would NEVER move away, but let's be honest - you'd have to promise me a bed made of a gold, a closet full of designer shoes and you'd have to relocate my family and friends to make it happen.
I just heart Texas.
To celebrate the birth of the great nation of Texas, The Texas Independence Relay was born. It's a 203.2 mile relay that starts in Gonzales, Texas (where the first battle for Texas' independence was fought - the Come and Take it Cannon was located there) and follows the trail of battles that Texas soldiers fought for independence. It ends just east of Houston at the San Jacinto Monument - the place where Santa Anna was finally defeated and Texas' independence was won!
I tear up as I write this. I kid you not.
The basics of the race at you assemble a team to run 40 legs of the relay. Most teams have 8-12 people. You start running in Gonzales, TX and you finish at the monument the next day. You run all night and all day until the smell of yourself makes you violently ill. Our team was 9 people, all running 4 legs each, except for Adam (who is/was/always will be superior to all of us and ran 5)...we each ran about 22 miles over the course of 25 hours.
Ultimately, we finished the race in a super speedy 25 hours and 36 minutes to place 14th overall (we were seeded to finish 17th - so we kicked butt!), 7th in our division and had an average pace of 7:26. Dude, we totally rocked. In addition to our swift running, we also recieved 3rd place for Most Team Spirit. It was totally the costumes. Everybody loves a guy in pink spandex.
I think it was the outfits.
Highlights of the trip:
Blizzards from Dairy Queen
Makeshift hangers in the van to dry our outfits between legs
All you saw was the "pee" not the "nis"
Buc-ees, glorious, wonderful, Buc-ees
Kyle running home from his last leg to take a crap but since he didn't have a car there, he had to call a cab to bring him to our next stop(hence Rookie of the Year award)
Not being able to "go"
Staying awake for 30 hours
Howard's - The greatest gas station in the world
Really bad music on the Ipod
Delicious hambugers in Weimer (that weren't actually good, but dear lord, they satisfied!)
Hot pink spandex
15 passenger vans
Hating the Tornados
The first legs went great for everyone (except for Kyle who got the 9 mile leg and since he hadn't really been running, this was not pretty for him). The second legs were fun, but in the pitch black darkness of midnight, the entertainment value went waaaay down. Things were starting to get quite painful by the 3rd legs and the van was starting to smell. By the 4th leg, we were all rejuvinated, exhausted, stinky and in a great deal of pain...and then Adam had to run again. Poor guy.
And the awards go to (since we all slept through the Oscars)...
Adam: Team Granddad (aged due to James taking his spot as Team Dad)
Christy: Most Improved
Kyle: Rookie of the Year
Tommy: Best Looking in the Uniform (maybe I'm biased, but probably not)
Melissa: Best TIR Captain EVER
James: Team Dad
Andres: Best First Timer at Buc-ees
Laura: Best at Sleeping. Anywhere.
Jenn: Most Consistent
All in all, it was very fun and very not fun all at the same time. I really enjoyed myself during the day, but once the sun went down, it was hard for me to maintain the level of happy I was previously at. But then I got to run along the bayou at sunrise and all was right with the world again!
The problem with only having one van is that you are very tired and it's hard to sleep...the benefit is that you actually get to enjoy your friends, it all goes by faster and its a lot cheaper. However, I think we were way too fast to have had any downtime anyway! I REALLY liked having a smaller team too - definitely more fun than the 12 person teams.
I always say I'm not gonna do this race again (this was my third relay and 2nd TIR), but I hate missing out on the fun...so I'm relatively certain that if all my friends race again, I'll be there.
Go Team Pace Booty! We rocked!