Monday, August 18, 2008

My Flavor of Insanity

More has been done, of course, and more will be done. There have been greater and more amazing feats by people all over the world. But for this 28-year-old running gal, this is the most and the biggest and the longest event in my repertoire of great feats.

I, along with 3 other crazy heads, (who have engaged in various levels of insanity themselves) am running the Blue Ridge Relay, September 5 – 6, 2008. What this entails is the four of us sharing a 208 mile journey through the Blue Ridge Mountains. We will start at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning in the Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia and run through South Carolina to Asheville where we will hopefully finish before the cut off time at 5:30 p.m. Saturday evening.

I am the first runner in our race, beginning with a 4 mile leg, followed by Jason then Kristi then Kandi. We have to stay in this order until the last leg has been run, and so it is really luck of the draw as far as mileage and elevation difficulty. I will, Lord willing, run a total of 50.8 miles. Jason will get the most mileage with a total of 58.8. Kristi hits midway, with some HARD elevation at 52 miles, and Kandi will be running 44.9, also with some steep elevation losses and gains.

Our drivers are Betsy and Kalon, Kristi and Kandi’s mom and brother. They will drive us in their van, dropping off runners to start a leg as another runner finishes. We will do this until we finish.

Our team is The Tortoises and the Hare. Jason is of course our hare and we are glad to have him. However, we have a strong group of tortoises as well, and I feel confident of a good race.

I have never been a part of a team before and so this adds a new dimension to my running outlook. I no longer train with only myself and my goals in mind, but for a group of others who are counting on me to do my part. This is a great motivator when I’m feeling too tired or too sore, or debating sleeping in instead of running. I remember my teammates and this grand race for which we must prepare, and it helps me push a little harder, run a little farther, and get out of bed when I’d rather not.

We have a website, and if you’d like to follow us as we get ready for this event, and then as we run the event, our experiences and pictures will be posted here.

And as always, prayers and thoughts are greatly appreciated, as we hope to have a fun and safe race.

-- Jane Tortoise

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