Race Recap: 2011 Quad City Marathon Relay

by Stephanie on September 26, 2011 · 0 comments

in Races & Recaps

On Sunday I did the Quad City Marathon as part of a 5 person relay.  It’s my first relay experience and though nothing like the Hood to Coast craziness awesomeness I’ve been reading so much about, I thought it was a blast!

My morning started out with gathering as many warm clothes as I could find.  It was about 54 degrees when I woke up and I was going to be standing for over an hour waiting for my leg to start and another 2.5 hours waiting for my team to finish.  Solution?  2 bags.  One to put the warm clothes I wore to the race in and hand off to the team member that hands off to me and one to give the person I hand off to so it is waiting for me when I’m done.  I refuse to be cold for one second if I don’t have to (which is odd given my geographic location) but the plan worked perfectly.

(our awesome team!)

The relay leg distances were consecutively 6.6, 5.6, 6.5, 3.3, and 4.2.  I ran the second leg of 5.6 miles.  I had plenty of time to stretch and get ready.  The (very) short warm up distances I ran felt really good.  No little aches or pains.  My goal was to use this as a race pace run for my half marathon next weekend.  That meant holding a pace of about 11:30.  Since most (read: all but one) of my training runs this time around have been over that, it seemed ambitious.

When I got the hand off (our baton was a slap bracelet… sweet!) I headed off.  My route was nice… 3 miles along the Mississippi on the Iowa side, up and over a bridge leading to Illinois, and finishing with a big square around downtown (2 state marathons are fun!).  My plan was simple… find someone going at a good pace and stick with them for as long as possible.  In the first 2 miles I found several people, then quickly decided I was feeling good and passed them.  At 2 miles I was averaging 10:45.  Woot!

I didn’t think I could keep up that pace forever so I eased up in the next 1.5 miles.  At mile 4 I had slowed to an 11:12 average pace, still well below my goal pace.  I found a couple of people on the bridge and tried to stay with them.  They kept me going for about a mile when I passed them because they stopped to walk through a water stop.  I tried my best to really push through the last .6 and I was really sucking air by the time I slapped the bracelet on my third leg teammate.

End result?  5.6 miles in 1:02:08… 11:05 average pace!  This was way below my goal.  It boosted my confidence and I was giddy the rest of the day.  Which was largely spent huddling under overhangs or just standing right out in the rain eating a hot dog and drinking a beer.  Props to my friends that ran the 3rd, 4th, and 5th legs of the relay as they ran large portions of it in the rain.  It was still fun and we did cross the finish line together as a team with a time of 4:53!

Our team was sponsored by Happy Joe’s Pizza because one of the runner’s family owns a few of the restaurants.  The back of our shirt of course said:

And I did get my pizza!  It was Happy Joe’s of course, because its the best (and I promise you, they don’t have to ask me to say that!) :)


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