This is the third of three posts on the Tuna Run 200 relay race. Read race reports on legs 1 and 2 here http://www.therestlesswild.com/blog/tuna-run-200-race-report-leg-1 and here http://www.therestlesswild.com/blog/tuna-run-200-race-report-leg-2
It was starting to smell like goats in the rented sprinter van - Vincent Van Goats! Gear was scattered everywhere, sweaty running clothes were basically stewing petri dishes in sealed ziploc bags. The string lights were tangled on a head rest. And I was done with all three of my relay legs.
I napped decently well in the van after my early morning run, and after the rest of my van finished running their wee hours legs we got some hot showers and brief shut-eye at a hotel along the course.
Finally, well after 24 hours, we were running legs onto the beach area. Travis and his partner covered the bridge onto the island and my partner and I picked up the baton for a three mile run past beach houses and sand dunes.
There's nothing quite like running at the beach - salty breezes, soft sandy ground, brush and shrubs, beautiful houses on stilts, and the sparkling, shimmering ocean.
We handed off the batons and a few hours later, after smelling a little too much of ourselves, we all met at the boardwalk on Atlantic Beach, pulled on our team tshirts, and crossed the finish line together - all 24 of us!
The tuna and BBQ and sweet tea were totally worth the 200 miles of running. Or, you could think about it this way: that was the slowest drive ever to the beach! It was just over 3 hours driving back home the next morning after the soundest I've slept in a long time and some gorgeous sunrises and sunsets over the ocean.
So what's the takeaway?
- Tuna, BBQ, and sweet tea taste best after a race that finishes on the beach.
- Running under the stars and a meteor shower on a dark country road is nothing short of amazing.
- I didn't need to pack as much as I did, though I was pretty happy I wasn't a total clutterbug when I packed.
- I need to plan meals on relays a bit better. Apparently you can't live entirely off nutella. Oops.
- Team organizers are amazing; I didn't even have to think - I just showed up and ran. AWESOME! (And a huge thanks to our team organizers and van captains!)
- Running for others - whether as a mentor or a relay team member - is really great motivation for me to run.
- The best time to sign up for another relay is RIGHT NOW while I'm still all happy about this last one. So...who wants to run a relay with me in the spring?? :D