Sunday, September 13, 2009

Team Hayduke/Seldom Seen @ Lake of the Sky

Mark this as my second race report of the week (why were they both relays?) Saturday I ran the first half of the Lake of the Sky Marathon Relay and my brother finished up the second half. I'm not exactly sure how many teams there were for this distance but I get the feeling it wasn't many. Our goal was to just stay ahead of everybody. Coming into the race I was a solid 0/3 on this course, every training run I did here was just plain bad. I was hoping that a race day mentality would bring an end to the cycle of suffering. The turnout was larger than expected, and I got parked just in time to throw my shoes on and toe the line. I took off right out the gate and was alone for the next three or so miles. Shortly before the first aid station a runner pulled up next to me and we cruised along alternately trailing each other by 20ish yard gaps for the next 5 miles or so. I would casually look behind us on some of the switchbacks and saw no one close behind. Soon I started feeling pretty nauseous and hungry, so I forced down a GU hoping to get some solution to one or the other annoyances. At this time I let the other runner pull out of sight (he was running a different distance).

The last several miles I again spent alone but unfortunately fell off pace a bit, and on a climb near the end I was very perturbed to see two runners gaining on me. I pushed up to the top and was greeted with a sign indicating my race would be done in a quarter mile. I rushed into that aid station pretty frustrated that I had let some folks close the gap that I had intended to be much larger for Tyler. He was ready to go and took right off. I had confidence in his fresh legs and his general downhill running ability, but I didn't know if a sub four hour team finish was possible after my half marathon took just under 2:05. Only a few minutes later another marathon relay team came in, followed by the leader of the overall marathon. I stretched out for a bit and soaked in Watson Lake, feeling generally uneasy being in a position to do nothing (and perhaps not doing enough when I had the chance). The drive back to the start/finish was quick and upon arrival I sipped on a pepsi which finally settled my stomach. It didn't take much waiting before I saw Tyler blazing down the road. He crossed in 3:57 and some change (a 1:52 split)! It was a really exciting moment for me because not only did the Curley brother's get to team up for the win, but also because he completely dominated the second half of the run. After hanging out for over ten minutes we took off, (he had to get to work) but the next finisher was still nowhere to be seen.

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