Friday - The start
After leaving our cabin, and noticing the road down was almost scarier in the daylight, we made it to Grayson State park in no time. Heading up the main road, we saw a couple runners coming down, and that was encouraging. Stopping at the gate, we asked the lady if we only have 20 minutes in the park, what can’t we miss? She was confused until I pointed out that was how long it would take for our guy to finish the leg, so we didn’t have time. She suggested the visitor center, where there was a movie and museum.
Unfortunately, it was kind of scary. It showed us what we would be facing:
I think we’ll be able to handle this guy:
Because we were plenty early, we hung out and watched the 9:30 starters. This include the Christian Runners from Atlanta. One of their members runs with us sometimes, but came down with an injury and couldn’t do this. Oh well, we chatted a bit, and traded picture taking skills, giving us our first official race photo:
As it turns out, we’ll be seeing team CR quite a bit later. Waiting around a bit, I gave one of the greatest motivational speeches of all time. Well, maybe not that good, but since I only had 20 minutes of warning, I thought I did okay. We checked out the other teams we were starting with, and came up with a strategy. (All the teams starting with us were also in the Ultra category, including The Joy of Six, the 6 woman team, and Tier 1 Group, who we called “The Marines” the whole time. The other two teams that started with us we didn’t really see the rest of the race.)
Joe started us off, and a half hour in, we saw he was following the strategy of who we were running with. However, 20 minutes later, he comes cruising in (wearing racing flats) at a blazing 5 minute and some change pace. The other teams were in awe! It was sweet!
Ryan took over from there, and had the first uphill of the race. Ouch. He handed off to Dustin, who handed off to Richard.
The rest of us hung out.
Oh yeah…good times…