Monday, 1 April 2013

The Best Running Adventure of all Time, Part 2!

I'm sure there is some kind of writing convention that builds suspense. What that looks like in my head is not writing part 2 of a post until 2+ weeks later. Were you guys dying from the suspense? I figured as much. Blame it on the NCAA tournament, Around the Bay, and my need to prolong the memory of the Great Muskoka Relay as long as possible.

When I left you guys in PART 1 Matt had just left on the first leg of the race. It was at this point we decided our general plan while someone was running. It would look something like this: 1. Send the runner off with some cheering 2) Drive ahead of the runner (with much screaming and joy as we passed them) and stop to get out to cheer them and high five them and offer them treats. 3) repeat step 2 several times (sometimes offering a pacer for the runner in between stops) 4) Get to the next transition area with enough time for the next runner to get ready for the high five and go. 5) After the next runner left we would give the runner that just finished time to change, get some food, stretch, etc.

Leg 1 - Matt - 10.8km

We repeated that process in the middle of almost every leg, starting with leg 1. Here is us cheering Matt as well as some random guy with swim trunks that Matt left in his dust at some point. Matt and Swim Trunks were all excited because they saw a baby bear. I assume they did, given how fast Matt ran his leg. Unfortunately, none of the rest of us had the opportunity to see a bear during the run. We did see some very handsome cows though.

Swim Trunks!

Another thing we did during Matt's leg was decorate our van. We were hoping there was some sort of award for most awesome van so we took a lot of time decorating our van with some window markers Lexie had brought along. I still have them in my school backpack as a souvenir. Here are a few pictures of our handy work.

Get it? 

Our team name: 'One Relay Awesome Team' so funny!
The rear. Superman!
Leg 2 - Jonelle - 6.8km

The next leg was the hilliest of the bunch, run by none other than Jonelle. This leg had 2-3 massive hills including a hill that was much larger than the "killer hill" on the Around the Bay course. Jonelle rocked it. This was the first leg we used a 'Pacer' when Lexie got out to help pace Jonelle. This leg finished in the beautiful town of Rosseau (it had real bathrooms!)
Jonelle rocking on of the gross hills

Jonelle finishing a tough leg
Leg 3 - Laura - 11.7km

Laura untangling her headphones and running at the same time
 Laura had the 3rd leg which was the longest of all the legs and it was on what was one of the busiest roads we had to run on. It was during this leg that it warmed up a bit (this didn't last very long). We took advantage of the sun to take a picture with some of Muskoka's finest cattle.

The Boys with Bovine!
We stopped a few times to cheer Laura on. She did great and left a lot of people in the dust. Including some ladies that were trash talking her. Okay, I made the last part up.

Great Form!

After cheering on Laura and visiting some cows we headed to the next exchange point so Lexie could get ready for her leg.

Ready to Run
Leg 4 - Lexie - 10km

Lexie had leg four. During this leg she 1) invited the rain 2) Chicked 2 dudes and 3) put us in a position to realized we actually had a chance to win this thing! Lexie's leg was also on a busy roadway so we stopped a few times to cheer her on veeeeeery carefully. Laura got out at one point to pace her a bit. It was also during this leg that I started to get scared for my leg. Everyone had done so well and we were now had a chance to win, so it got real at this point. Here is an action shot of what a transition looked like.

Go Go Go
Leg 5 - Leigh - 10km

There has been some question in our house as to how legs were assigned. But I certainly didn't do myself any favours with this leg. We found out the morning of the relay that there would be a outdoor type challenge at the halfway point of this leg. Had I known this when I assigned the legs, I probably would have given this leg to Lexie. The choices were set up a tent, eat 5 pieces of bacon, or swim out to buoy in the water. Swimming was out because Matt, Victor and I were all swam out. So we discussed it as a team we decided to try to set up the tent, mostly because the team that did it the fastest would get a gift certificate. However, as I left on my leg and realized we were either in 3rd or 4th place I decided on the bacon. It would be the fastest (and the warmest) and who doesn't love bacon? My leg start off great. A nice downhill that allowed me to run a nice pace. That didn't last long as the route took a left off the nice wide paved shoulder onto a rolling dirt road. Up, down, up, down repeat x1000. The team finally caught up to me near the halfway point where I informed them I would be doing the bacon challenge. I arrived at the halfway point, yelled "bacon! bacon! bacon!" until someone directed me to the bacon guy. He handed me 5 pieces of cold bacon, I shoved them all in my mouth and started running again. This was apparently not anticipated by the organizers because they were losing it. Matt ran with me for a few steps to give me some water to wash down the bacon treat and I was back on my way. Someone (probably Lexie) suggested I just spit the bacon out when I was out of site of the race organizers. I didn't feel right about that and I was hungry, so I didn't. It turns out it was a good move as the bacon really paid off for me (more on that later). At some point I also got some pacing from Victor, which was nice. I couldn't really talk, but it was nice to have another human near me. My leg was an out and back so I saw lots of other teams on my way back. It was then I realized were we one of the leading teams. Yikes! The race had us all really jacked up, so I ran this 10k in one of my fastest times ever. Maybe I should eat more bacon on my runs!

Bacon isn't ALWAYS good. 
The end of this leg marked the halfway point of the race. We realized we were in 2nd place not long after this. This made the van ride for the rest of the race much more exciting. We cheered louder, were more excited, and we all ran faster. I guess that's what happens when you put a bunch of Phys. Ed. teachers into a race.

This has gone on for longer than I thought it would, so let's go for three parts. Part 3 will be the last 5 legs, and after race banquet, and the day after the race.

Check back soon for part 3!



  1. I anxiously await part 3 ;) Amanda

  2. This is one of my top ten things I have ever done. We need to another one again sometime soon. Thanks for posting some pics, post more!

  3. 10 top ten! for a guy who has lived in Mexico we are going to take that as a compliment. I will post all extra pictures at the end of the third instalment (coming this week!)