Sunday, January 22, 2012

Indoor Marathon Relay Race Recap

It's not often I get to race as part of a team, so I've been excited for weeks - actually months - for last Saturday's Indoor Marathon Relay Race. Team Fatties (name chosen because of how much all four team members love to eat!) went into the race with the goals of averaging sub-seven minute miles the entire race and a top three all female team finish.

Team Fatties at the finish line.
Sara B. (center) was the best team manager and cheerleader!

Here's how we did:

Time: 3:02:32
Average Pace: 6:59
All-Female Teams: 2/29
Overall: 14/99

I'm really proud of how we did! We met our goal of running sub-seven minute miles throughout and ended up with a second place finish!

Our prizes for winning 2nd All-Female Team

Now, I'm not sure why, but I went into this race thinking it was going to be somewhat easy. My team planned to run four laps at a time (a little over one mile) so I thought of it as a speed workout with really long breaks between the mile intervals.

About halfway through the race and feeling it!

It definitely wasn't easy. I was up second for my team and ended up taking my first four laps faster than I should have. A combination of the fast pace and cold, dry Pettit air left me coughing away after my first four laps. Felt like I couldn't breathe and I didn't know how I was going to finish out the remainder of the race. Fortunately, I felt better after sucking on a few hard candies in the warm lobby area.

Our competition
Because all teams (all male, all female and mixed) are running around the track at the same time, it's hard to get a feel for who your competition is. My team learned we were in second place for the all-female teams about halfway through the race and quickly figured out which team was right ahead of us.

Team Illini Quad was really fast and they were about four laps ahead of us. We switched up our strategy and began running two laps at a time in an attempt to catch up, but it was a bit too late. In the end, we couldn't catch them and they finished about 7 minutes ahead of us in what I was told is a new course record for an all female team. They were tough competition and ultimately just too good. Congrats to them on an awesome race!

If you run but haven't yet done the indoor relay race at the Pettit Ice Center, I highly recommend adding it to your bucket list. The enthusiasm shared by all the runners makes it a truly fun afternoon. You can be as competitive or non-competitive as you want and along the way, you might even make some new friends.

Oh, and if you end up running the race next year, don't forget to bring throat lozenges - your lungs will thank me :)

Anyone else run any of the Indoor running events at the Pettit over the weekend? If so, what did you think?

- ST

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