Monday, April 23, 2018

River to River Relay 2018

Last fall my good friend, Tony asked me to join his team and run the River to River Relay.  I quickly said yes, but my mind was going in a million different directions--- "Kelly what are you thinking you have never done a relay before, this run is 80 freaking miles, you are not fast, what if..."

In the end I just went for it.  I have always wanted to do a relay and here was my chance.  I was assigned Runner 2.  I was thankful to be runner 2 since it seemed to be the easiest as far as hills go.  Believe me this 80 mile relay was full of hills!

This past Friday we all met up and loaded down our 15 passenger van and headed up to Anna, Illinois to get with our 8th and final member John David.

Tony and Kristin were the only 2 that had done this run before so there was lots of excitement and nerves in the van.

Runner 1's first leg was nixed due to road construction so the race started with Runner 2's first leg and that was ME!  Pulling up to the start was pretty scary when I saw the huge line of vans and people everywhere.  I was ready to get started so the I could get my nerves settled and start having some fun.

Me and Kristin

Got the baton and ready to get this race started!  3.60 miles here I come!

Almost there....

passing the baton Maggie (Runner 3)!  

Thanks Kristin for this amazing shot of me! :)

Kristin (Runner 4) is getting ready to start her leg!

Here comes Maggie!

and the baton exchange....

and Kristin is off...

We all hustle back to the van and off to the next exchange.  

This is about the time that I am really getting into everything.  It is truly organized chaos.  You have 250 teams starting in groups of 30-40 every 30 minutes until all 250 teams have taken off.  That is 8-10 people per team (counting the driver and alternate runners).  24 exchanges along the 80 mile route.  The roads are not closed so you also have to deal with cars traveling along the route.  Its just WOW!

Here comes Kristin.
and she makes the exchange with Tony (Runner 5)

and Tony is off...

Here comes Tony...

  and he makes the exchange with Shannon (Runner 6)

Shannon making his way to the exchange...

and Runner 7 (Tony) is off.

There is always fun to be had on a run!

We owe a lot to this guy!  David was excellent behind the wheel of that van.  Couldn't ask for a better driver or person!

Just a little bit of the organized chaos I was talking about!!  Vans and runners and volunteers everywhere!

Kristin, Tony, David, me and Shannon

Here comes Tony...
and he makes the exchange with David (Runner 8) 

and David is off up that hill...

and we are in the van headed to the next exchange.


and here comes David...

and he makes the exchange with John David (Runner 1) and yes we have lots of David's and Tony's.

Everyone has run one of the 3 legs!  Each runner does 3 legs ranging from 2.5 to 4 miles.  In the end you run anywhere from 9-12 miles total.  It is really a great experience!  Here are some highlights from our 2nd and 3rd legs of the race!

He popped up on me and I wasn't ready! haha!

Maggie take the baton now!  I'm done! Haha!

Maggie was a rock star!!!

Yes we had hills like that all damn day!  They killed them, too!

Kristin killed those hills!!!

She's a badass!

A little fun with Brookie at one of the exchanges.

Not long after this I was hit by a migraine and went downhill from there.  Ended up in the ER with the scare of my life.  The ER doctor said my calcium levels were extremely low and this could cause dehydration, muscle cramps and so on.  Sadly I didn't get to run my last leg or cross the finish line with my team.  I would like to thank Maggie for running my last leg and kicking that hills butt.  To my teammates and the runners who stopped to help and take me of me until the ambulance arrived I am very thankful for your help and calming words because I was scared.  Never been through something like that and don't ever want to again.

A big thank you to Kristin for staying with me the whole time!  Love you girl!

Here is the team running to the finish together!  We placed 26th in the mixed group with a finish time of 11 hrs and 21 minutes.

Tony, David, Maggie, John David, Tony, David, Shannon

I can't say thank you enough to Kristin's parents!!! Richard and Mary Ann yall are 2 of the nicest and most amazing people.  Not only did you let 7 people invade your home for the weekend, but you made wonderful meals for us, took care of us and cheered us on.  Thank you so much!  I always thought Kristin was incredible and now I see where she gets it!

Mary Ann, Richard and Brookie

Jude the Dude

Rocket City Propulsion Team
2018 River to River Relay

After the scare I had I am more determined than ever to figure out what is going on with my calcium levels and get my migraines under control so I can come back and conquer this run next year.  I give up and miss out on a lot of things because of migraines and I am done with that!

Again thank you Tony for asking me to be a part of this team, for the team welcoming me in and putting up with me and for the amazing weekend!