this past weekend, i ran sections of a relay race. It's a 'ragnar relay'. they have them all over the country. this race went from Cumberland, MD to National Harbor in DC. 203 miles total.
the way it's supposed to work is you have a 12-man team and each runner runs approx 3, 10kms, each spaced about 12 hours apart. the runs actually vary from 2.5-11miles of varying difficulty. so as runner #7, i would run legs 7,19,31. our team was sorta thrown together through friends of friends which made it cool to be in such a situation with quasi-strangers! plenty to talk/laugh about.
two of our runners got injured during the week before the race! we were lucky to find one replacement and we just absorbed the legs of the other missing team member.
we had one real ringer, a dude that runs 100-mile races and figured he'd nail these hilly legs at 6:45 pace!! (I predicted i'd do 8:30 - and don't think i even hit that, everyone else was 10-11min/mile pace).
end results, i ran my 3 legs, one for the missing runner and then paced 5-miles of the last runner, Heather, my g/f. total time for our team was ~31 hours (placing #85 out of 226 teams - almost 20 teams didn't finish). i'd gotten 2.5 hour nap on a soccer field - get this - awoken by someone lining the field and a flood of middle school girls warming up for their 8am soccer game!! a game in a field with hundreds of sleeping runners!! most runners still wearing sweaty clothes and lanterns on our heads :)!! seeing the parents just drop their kids off to go run into what looked like a hippie commune was the funniest site!
then pacing the finish was a walk/run. my g/f was the actual runner and she was DUN! we stayed at the gaylord hotel at the harbor. soaked in the pool. every beer and bite to eat was the best i'd ever had :).
i found it's much harder to run a few fast races with breaks than it is to just run 30miles all at once! i think i'll always remember this event though. one cycles through every possible emotion in this situation. part camping trip, party, triage, pity party about who didn't throw away their empty gatorade bottles etc :)