City of Oaks Marathon Relay Race Report
I have officially completed a full marathon event! Well, with a little help from my teammates. I met up with my NC Oiselle Volee teammates on Sunday morning for the City of Oaks marathon relay in Raleigh, with 26.2 miles split across four runners. We had five teams running so it was quite a crowd, with plenty of snacks and selfies.
Another @oaksmarathon is in the books. #oiselleteamNC had runners in all of the races and five teams for the marathon relay! As per usual, the exchange points were full of awkward fun and dance parties. The best part was meeting so many new teammates who traveled from all over NC (and beyond!) To make this their first team meetup. Thanks for a great morning, friends! @oiselle #oisellevolee
I had no idea what to expect with a marathon relay. I loved doing the Tuna Run relays the past two years, but I had never done a marathon relay and I couldn't find much information on one either. Would I be cold at the exchange point and should I bring a jacket, or could I leave my warm clothes somewhere? How would I get transported around? What would the exchange be like? So many questions!
It was a really smooth operation though. My Oiselle teammates were total pros at the marathon relay after doing City of Oaks for a few years now. We picked up our race packets from our team organizer, posed for a team photo, wished our first leg runners all the best as they moved to the start line, and we headed off to our exchange points. There were buses available for rides to the exchange points, but we drove as a group, kept our gear available, and hung out at the McDonald's at the exchange point with coffee in hand. The relay points were well-indicated, and the relay "baton" was a sweaty foam band that wrapped around the runner's ankle with velcro.
A truly #runderful day with my #oisellevolée teammates at #raleighcityofoaks marathon! 🏃🏻♀️ I loved making new friends and the icing on the cake was watching @shalaneflanagan win the #NYCmarathon live! (Sorry I couldn't tag everyone, can't remember all the names!! Drop me a comment and I'll add you!) . #oiselleteamnc #headupwingsout #flystyle #giveemhelloiselle #runnerd #runnersofinstagram #motherrunner #runningmom #runhappy #teamdarcie
I ran leg 3 which was by far the easiest leg. I picked up the anklet around mile 15 and ran down the Crabtree Creek trail for a 5 mile out and back jaunt. It was a scenic run along a paved greenway. The leaves were beautifully golden and the creek made for some interesting views. I only had one annoying hill I had to push through at the turnaround point, which for Raleigh I really can't complain. I know plenty of people have had issues with City of Oaks in the past (just as I did with Rock'n'Roll Raleigh) because of the hills, but for me it was just a fun scenic run.
The race support was great as well with an aid station manned by several Fleet Feet folks (heck yeah!) as well as plenty of cheering from spectators and fellow runners cheering each other. The easy leg and occasional course support made it relatively easy to maintain a 10:00 pace, and I handed off the relay anklet with some extra speed at the end of my leg.
The teammate experience was the best part of course. I met new teammates, new-to-me teammates, and even a teammate who came in all the way from New Mexico for the race (hi, Coren!). There's just something about running for a team that spurs me on and makes me eager to run. I don't want to disappoint my teammates, and so I want to run my best. It's a feeling I hope to never lose because it pushes me to be a better runner, which is never a bad thing.
(Edit: You can read more about the race from my teammates' perspectives on their blogs!)
Vanessa Vila of Eat Run Travel: http://vanessavila.com/raleigh-city-of-oaks-marathon-relay/
Jacky on Oiselle's blog: http://www.oiselle.com/blog/running-as-an-amputee
The race gear was pretty decent too. The medal is a ton of fun with an acorn that spins in the medal. There was also a technical race tshirt and a buff, which is always useful for embarrassing Ryder.
Overall the City of Oaks marathon relay was a really fun race, but then when you've got an awesome and supportive team any race is a really fun race. It was a great event with my Oiselle teammates and I came home with lots of smiles and asked, "So when can we do that again?"