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Tuna 200 Relay - Run

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Raleigh, North Carolina
United States
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  • 00m
  • 200 miles
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I sent this email to my Tuna teammates, after the run. I think it sums up the relay race pretty well:

Your prayers worked. This is going to be a little crazy and long, but bear with me.

First, thank you all for such wonderful experience. June, your leadership was superb, and my teammates in both vans were awesome. I do hope we can continue to run together going forward. Jeremy, Vince, Steve, Darryl, you guys rock. Just a top-notch experience, I couldn't have asked for better partners in crime. If only Carl wasn't such a dingbat.

You all know how apprehensive I was about how this would go. I had not really trained for this event much at all. I've never gone into an event so unprepared. I wanted to simulate back to back runs. Didn't happen. I wanted to simulate night runs. Didn't happen. Couldn't really simulate anything this time. Long runs were disastrous. Short runs hurt. Didn't run for a week, then ran only 2 miles before having to stop to walk. Didn't run for another 5 days, until Thursday night. I went for an easy 4-mile shakedown loop to test out my new headlamp. That didn't go very well, and I was very concerned. But I had asked for your prayers. And I waited.

Friday morning, I awoke early and decided a short walk would help. I put on the day's run clothes, and found K-Love on my iHeart radio app, and set off to walk. It was a normal walk, and I ran into Jeremy out walking his dogs before we were to meet up to roll out. Leg still felt "not good enough".

I'll fast forward through a lot of stuff here, but suffice to say, I had no idea how I was going to feel when I put the first footstep into run leg 10. I just went. And it felt pretty good, but not great.

Run leg 12 was a little better, and I had fun bringing that one home to Rachel (as evidenced by the photos!) But still, I knew I needed rest to be able to hit the next 2 segments. Here's where it gets interesting. While we were there at Eureka Christian Church, as I was waiting for my teammates to get cleaned up and changed, I pulled down a bible from a shelf. And thumbed straight to Psalm 23.

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

Every word in those first four verses applied to me.

Of course, sleep would not come, and we had to rally quickly due to the speedy ladies!! And off I went, exhausted, dehydration setting in, with extremely high humidity and 7.46 miles to go. And there I was in the darkness, my longest leg ahead of me. Van 2 was awesome in keeping me company, but there was a stretch along in there near the end where I told them to go on to the exchange. At that point, I got pretty low, and started walking. God and I had a nice long conversation during that leg , and he let me know it was going to be okay, and we would finish the race safely.

He didn't tell me that leg 23 would break me though. The irony is that it was Psalm 23 I had read, that I needed to trust the most during leg 23. Starting that leg is a blur to me; I can't recall starting it, as we got there literally with seconds to spare before I had to hit the road. Jeremy had just absolutely killed the prior segment, and I was not ready at all to run. And I suffered mightily. I had just one kill, very near the end, and the guy I passed looked worse than me, which is saying a lot. He just looked at me as I slowly inched past him, and when I asked if he was okay, I just got a blank stare back.

I do not remember much of what happened after that. I vaguely remember collapsing in the back of the car at the campground, hearing the girls were there and okay, and Vince was on the move. From there until about 6am Saturday morning is is a big blur. Jeremy said I was mumbling incoherently for about 2 hours early Saturday morning. I wonder how much of it was unintelligible prayer...

I awoke to the sounds of silence in the back of my car, and saw Steve asleep in the front seat, but no one else around. I emerged to find that we were parked next to my friend Stacy's van with Team Tough Souls (they came in after us), and that we were indeed at the Midway UMC in Stella, NC. I stumbled inside, cleaned up, changed clothes, warmed up, ate pancakes, sausage, drank coffee and OJ, and felt like a new man. Except for the terrible stomach cramps I had from dehydration.

I took everything I knew to take to make the GI tract settle down, but it was not working. I knew the next legs were going to really hurt. I was so happy I was not first out, but was dreading being last in.

For my first run leg (leg 32), I asked Steve if he would mind taking a picture of me running over the bridge over Bogue Sound. He took the perfect shot, and I love it! Fist raised in the air, both feet off the ground! Exactly the feeling I had at the time! Two kills that leg, and I felt really good. Still stomach cramps, but the legs were working.

The guys rocked their legs all race. I know it got hot for Jeremy, but to pull that leg off in the heat of the day, and then Captain Consistent Vince just nailed leg 35 to give me the handoff. We were behind one team by about a minute, and just seconds ahead of another team when I left. Off I went on leg 36, to chase down for one more kill before settling in for a duel with the team that was right behind us. We ended up trading that position four times in the last segment, until it became a battle of who could walk less. With about a mile to go, I spotted more targets ahead, and made a run/walk plan: run the gaps between 5 driveways, walk 1. That worked, and I put him away for good.

I was never so elated as when I saw a sea of blue Hook Line and Suckers shirts ahead of me, and Darryl tossed me my shirt. We passed another team as we entered the circle. Maybe two, I can't remember. Darryl was barefoot, and I couldn't believe it. I could not accelerate any more, I was dead. But I wanted to have my shirt on going across the line. Thanks for yelling at me to pick it up!

I so wanted to give us a 30 hour flat time, and I had it in the bag, but I think I needed that 70 seconds to talk to God early Saturday morning to get us home. That this run is basically a tour of Eastern NC Churches is a fact that is not lost on me. There is a reason for that.

I didn't say I wouldn't do it again, just not next weekend :)

Keep me in mind for 2015.



Post race

Last updated: 2014-11-06 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 200 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
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Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
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2014-11-06 11:47 AM

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Apex, NC
Subject: Tuna 200 Relay
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General Discussion Race Reports! » Tuna 200 Relay Rss Feed  

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