Where do I even start with this? It was such an amazing experience!
Back in January, a friend sent me a link for the Capitol to Coast Relay. I was intrigued by it, so I put it out there (on Facebook, of course) asking if any of my crazy running friends were interested. In no time, there was enough interest to start pursuing a team.
Fast forward and by August we had out 12 runners (and some alternates!) and Team Texas Toast was born. Thanks to the talent of Wonder Bread's daughter, we had our own logo.
And it won the award for the most creative team logo!
Plans continued to roll forward. Runners started making plans to get to Austin. And finally, it was time for us to leave!
The kids were so excited to go on vacation. Little did they realize just how much time they would be spending in the van...
We arrived at our destination and got to work on decorating the vans.
Ahh, a reunion... I ran with Laura in high school, and Dave is my dad =)
And then a wonderful meal provided by Aunt Honey Bunz...
Since I was runner 9 and in Van 2, I didn't (okay, wasn't allowed) need to be at the start line. We met Van 1 at the first van exchange.
Here we have: Kim, Doug, Banana Bread, Cheezy Bread, Wonder Bread and me, aka Berger Bunz.
The first day was hot and humid. For fun the Texas countryside decided to throw in some hills. Oh, and we can't forget the headwind. Why, it's the four H's of the Apocalypse!
My first leg was just over 7 miles...
I survived... Just barely.
I had roughly 11 hours before I was due to run again, so I kicked back to relax and spend some time laughing with the other members in the van.
At the next van exchange, I met up with Sarge and the kids. We grabbed something to eat and then headed to the next van exchange with the silly idea that I might be able to get a couple hours of sleep before I had to run again. That was such a silly idea =)
The van exchange took place around oh dark early... er, I mean 0030. I had a couple hours before my turn to run, but still no sleep. Finally, about 0230, I was able to get on the road.
Running in the dark with a headlamp is such a surreal experience. All you really see is the small circle that the light illuminates, but you hear absolutely everything. I'm pretty sure there were chupacabra following me in the ditches...
This leg was about 5 miles long, and it rocked! I felt so relaxed and speedy. Course, the almost 30 degree drop in temperature might have had something to do with it =)
About 0400... Who needs sleep?
Around 5:30, I was finally able to doze off. Only to wake up to yells of "Fire Ants!!" "Ow!" "$(@^$$"
Seems our fearless driver had parked the van right by a fire ant hill on the last exchange. Wonder Bread stepped in the nest and then proceeded to drop his water belt in it. Cheezy Bread, thinking he was being helpful, proceeded to pick up the water belt and toss it into the van right next to Banana Bread.
Ah, Mayhem had invaded the van, just like the Allstate commercials.
Once we were finished with our legs, we drove around the middle of nowhere Texas looking for someplace to grab something to eat. We finally ended up at a Whataburger.
We went inside to order- almost everyone ordered the taquitos. Banana Bread made a comment about there being no cheese on hers. The rest of us checked, yup, we all had cheese. So, she went back inside to ask about it and was told that cheese was extra. The cashier started to ring it up for her...
Back in the van, we headed to the last van exchange. And sat and waited. Sarge was still following along at this point, so I headed over to our van to stretch out and try to get sleep with 4 kids climbing on top of me. I think I managed another hour.
Waiting around for Honey Bunz with Cheezy Bread, Dark Rye and Burnt Toast.
It was still hot and humid, oh, and windy, but thankfully we didn't have the hills we had the first day.
This leg ended up being just over 6 miles. It was a lot slower, but we were taking it slow to make sure everyone would be able to finish with no issues. Plenty of water, a wet towel around the neck and a couple miles with White Bread running with me and I finished my last leg.
Kicking back and enjoying the ride to the beach.
The last runner waiting...
And the last exchange!
All that was left to do was drive into Corpus Christi and wait for Wonder Bread so we could cross the finish line with him.
The USS Lexington
Finally! We finished! Our official time was 35 hours and 48 minutes with an average pace of 9:38. We were 14th out of 24 teams. And seventh in the open division.
What do you do after running a relay with some pretty amazing people?
You go out to dinner wearing your medals and celebrate =)
Since we ended up on the beach, we decided to take an extra day and enjoy the sand before we headed back.
And I finally had to retire my Vibrams. After almost 800 miles...