|After the relay with a rainbow behind|
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
About two weeks before the annual River to River Relay here in southern Illinois, I was asked to be a substitute on two different teams. I'd never done the race before, but was excited about the opportunity. The River to River is an 80 mile relay race that extends from the Mississippi River in Wolf Lake, Illinois to the Ohio River in Golconda, Illinois. There are 24 legs of the relay, so each runner has three legs to complete. Runners from around the country compete.
|Running with the baton|
Yes I took pics and video as I ran
My first run was at about 9:30 a.m. By then the misting rain and cooler temperatures were leaving and it was starting to warm up. I huffed and puffed my way up at least two intense hills. I don't even remember if there were more than that. I don't do a lot of hill training and since I hadn't planned to run the race this year I wasn't as prepared as I could have been. My portion on that first leg was right around 3.6 miles. My time wasn't horrible (for me), with a pace of 8:49 per mile.
|Our captain in action|
Then it was time to relax for a while, as I wouldn't run again until the very end. I sat in the van with other teammates as we joked and laughed and shared stories. With the exception of one of them, I'd never really met my team before Saturday. I had a good time as we would get out and cheer for our team at each exchange.
|My favorite van of the day|
|What the hail?!?|
Taken safely from inside the van
It was up to me to decide if I wanted to finish the race. According to the rules, I could continue the rest of 23 and finish up at Golconda. I'd talked with Ashley Smith, the meteorologist at the TV station where I work. She'd also just completed the race (her team won first in their division). She said the lightning would pass soon, so I decided I'd wait a few minutes and continue. Little did we know race officials had already called the relay. I made my way up a small incline with a lit rain hitting me along the way. For the record, I hate being wet, but my pride took over as I wanted to finish this race.
When I got to the exchange where I was supposed to officially start running, a friend of mine was walking to his van and said they'd closed the course. I continued up the road where a sheriff's deputy was blocking the rest of the course. Disappointed, I got back into the van with our captain who had joined me to confirm the news. We drove into Golconda and got out together and ran the short distance to the finish line to claim our tee shirts and get something to eat. We capped things off with a picture at the Ohio River and a faint rainbow behind us.
|After the rain|