Since I finally got everything written around our pre-race dinner, I figured I might be able to get into the actual "running" part of the weekend. Yahoo!
Van one had a 10 am start time at Utah State University (the race actually kicked off from the track at the school before heading out into the open). We had to be there a bit early (they recommended an hour in advance to allow you to do all of the prerace things, bib pick up, the safety video, gear check (checking for reflective vests, headlamps, etc) and have time to get lined up at the start. So we planned on following that procedure, and we knew that we needed about 40 minutes to get to the university from our hotel. As a result, we decided to get up relatively early to enjoy a breakfast at the hotel. Our hotel (a Fairfield Inn) had free breakfast, so I had some scrambled eggs, a big cup of coffee, some melon, and a yogurt.
When the 6 of us got on the road with Leana driving, our first priority was a stop for Coffee (yep, capital letter is necessary). We had previously mapped out a Starbucks from the hotel on the way to the start, and stopped there. The line was long, but we HAD to wait.
After our arrival at the University, we collected our bibs, pins, flags and rations (shot bloks and monster. necessary) and watched the safety video. Jes and I both elected to purchase a handheld water bottle (the best money I spent that weekend). We snagged a team photo at the start line,
Leana wanted to use the restroom before we started, everyone else agreed. After that break, the rest of the team went to decorate our van (and tag Team Nuun's van in the process), while Leana mentally readied herself for the race. We made it back in time to see her start and then headed back to the car again to drive to the exchange point. It was not long before Leana was done, and Jes was off. At that point my stomach started getting nervous and I just wanted to be running. We got to the next exchange which was at a high school and I immediately left the group to use the restroom and kind of mentally prepare myself for this hot run. I was REALLY starting to become a bundle of nerves which is kind of strange since this race obviously had no pressure around it.
Soon, Jes was arriving at the exchange point and I was ready to go!
It was hot. I was at 4800 feet (I have never run at that elevation. Ever.) And I had WAY overestimated how I was going to be able to run at such heights. I put in a rather conservative 10K pace, but it was definitely faster than I was able after considering the heat and the elevation (I apparently did not).
By mile 4 I had to run/walk. I have NEVER run/walk before, even in my earliest races. It was a little bit defeating to me, but at the same time, I had to do what was necessary to survive the run, right? The run climbed at the end to about 5K feet (per the elevation I have on strava). I ran 6.7 miles in 1:03:56 (FYI - on 7/6 I ran 7.54 miles in less time). But thank goodness I gave myself permission eventually. I am not sure that I would have really been successful otherwise.
We continued on through Emma's leg, Wendy's and Luisa's. We snagged a group photo at an exchange point (what they called "choose your own exchange")