Since September, I have been working and training with Organic Endurance, a small endurance sports coaching/training team based in Long Island, NY. Recently, we have met at Coach Nate’s to ride and run in his pain cave. However, this weekend we were able to field two five person relay teams for the Paumanok Pursuit 70 trail race. Each team was made up mostly of OE athletes with a few friends and loved ones thrown in to fill out the ten slots.
This was by far one of the most unique and fun days I have had, possibly ever in a race. First of all, I have never run as part of a relay team. I have always wanted to run a leg in a relay triathlon, and still hope to do that someday, but I have never run a relay running race. I still also consider myself very new to trail running as this was only my second time running on the trails. Both times I have run trails, they have been snow covered.
I was running the fourth of five legs in the race today, and met the team at the start of my leg. The one thing that threw me off completely was the timing of the whole day. The first three legs totaled almost 30 miles, and on snowy trails, there was no exact science to figure out what times my teammates would be running. I got some morning updates from my coach, Nate, who ran the first leg of the race, and led the field coming out of the first leg. I guessed what time I would be beginning the race, and boy was I close! I drove up the beginning of the fourth leg and had about ten maybe fifteen minutes to hang out before I started running. It was a little chilly, but my running tights and pants were put away a few weeks ago when we had that spell of warm weather, so shorts it was with a thermal Under Armour and team tee.
I was nervous/excited to get under way in what I was considering my first race of the season. My leg was just over seven miles and began with some varying elevation. In the first 3-4 miles, I had no opportunity to settle in and get to work at a nice steady pace. Instead, I spent those miles running up and down and up and down hills on the trail. What I have noticed from my experiences trail running is that 1. Time moves faster on the trails and 2. The scenery is so distracting that the miles are a blur. Awesome!
At the end of the day, the relay team I was on wound up finishing before the other OE team, but aside from the [minor] trash talking and friendly competition between us, there were no ‘losers’ we all just had a great day!! Already hearing whispers of another team relay!