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Laurel Highlands Ultra Relay RR (Read 64 times)


Trail Monster

    A couple weeks ago my friends posted on Facebook that they were looking for a few more runners for the Laurel Highlands Ultra Relay. The Laurel Ultra is a 70.5 mile race on a wilderness trail with difficult footing, steep grades, logs, rocks, and mud. There are 8 aid stations along the course, four of which are checkpoints and relay exchanges. So of course I volunteered!


    Friday night I drove out to Seven Springs and found the condo where our teams would be staying. We had ended up with enough people to form two teams. John, Kam, Alisa, Sunshine, and I were to make up Team 1. Mike, Steph, Kelly, Rob, and Michelle were to make up Team 2. Relay runners who were not currently running were going to volunteer at the 26 mile aid station.


    When I arrived at the condo I found out that Michelle had not been able to make it. Some quick restructuring led to the decision that Mike would run leg 1 and 5 for their team. We also decided that I would be the transport person since I was the anchor runner for my team.


    So after an awesome potluck dinner and some beers I hit the sack around 10PM. Mike and John woke me up around 4 or 4:30am and I dressed in my Altra tank, INKnBURN shorts, and Altra Torins. We headed out to drop off Mike's car at the first relay exchange point (mile 19.3) and then I drove them to the starting line. I picked up the bibs and shirts for the rest of our runners and then watched the 5:30am race start. I saw a couple friends and chatted for a bit before heading back to the condo. I picked up coffee on the way which was surprisingly okay for gas station brew.


    The coffee did the trick and everyone was up and moving shortly after my return to the condo. Alisa and Sunshine loaded our van to set up the 26 mile aid station while I followed Kam and Steph to the second relay exchange point (32.3 miles) to leave their car and then drove them back to the first checkpoint to wait for John and Mike. Thankfully I got them there just in the knick of time! John crushed the first leg, finishing at about 10am. Mike wasn't far behind coming in around 10:30.

     

    view from the road to Laurel Mountain summit

     

    Leg 1 elevation profile

     

    I rushed back to follow Kelly to the third exchange to leave her car and then drive her and Alisa to their starting point. Once again our runners were rocking and their relief didn't have to wait long. I drove back to the aid station where Mike asked if I would run two legs instead of one. I agreed and we decided Rob would run my 5th leg for Team 1 and I would run legs 4 and 5 for Team 2.

     

    Leg 2 elevation profile

     

     

    I was suddenly out of time now that there wasn't another leg between me and my run. I rushed to the exchange point and then helped patch up incoming solo runners until Kelly arrived. I grabbed two handhelds, one with Gatorade and one with water, and headed out to tackle leg 4.

     

     

    A runner I helped out at mile 46

     

     

    Leg 3 elevation profile

     

     

    The trail is almost entirely single track and technical. I took one good tumble about a mile into my first leg. The runner behind me let out a little curse and hurried to make sure I was okay. It must have looked pretty epic but I was okay aside from some scrapes. I averaged right around a 13 minute mile and arrived at the last relay point in around 2:20. My team had dumped my bag at the checkpoint with a headlamp in it so I quickly stuffed my arm warmers and one handheld in the bag and took the light with me. I talked to Rob, who was waiting for Sunshine, quickly and then headed out again.

     

     

    Scraped up

     

     

    Leg 4 elevation profile

     

     

    I once again maintained about a 13 minute per mile average until it started to get dark. As the shadows lengthened it became harder to see the rocks and I began twisting my ankles more and more. I let fear get the better of me because I'm not willing to get injured before Burning River 100 so I slowed to a walk. A couple times I tried to run again but I'd quickly slip or trip and decide it wasn't worth it. I averaged about a 19 minute mile over the last 4 miles.

     

     

    Beautiful and brutal single track

     

     

    Leg 5 elevation profile

     

     

    I finally popped out at the finish line where I found Sunshine waiting for me. We ate some chili and chatted with other runners until Rob finished about 15 minutes later. All total I ran about 24.5 miles in 5:52. Sunshine drove Rob and I back to Rob's car at the last exchange point and then Rob drove me back to my car. I was a little sad to say goodbye to the last of my teammates but I was ready to go home.

     

     

    Finding this on the back of my Jeep this morning did help though:

     

     

     

    Overall, I'd say it was a good day. I had about 50+ miles on my legs going into this relay and I only expected to run about a half marathon. Being able to handle the unexpected bonus miles made me feel really good about my current fitness level. And I have to say my first relay experience has left me ready for more. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again!

     

     

    Shirt

    2013 races:

    3/17 Shamrock Marathon

    4/20 North Coast 24 Hour

    7/27 Burning RIver 100M

    8/24 Baker 50M

    10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)

     

    My Blog

     

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    FitFluential

    INKnBURN

    Altra Zero Drop


    Will run for scenery.

      Wow that sounds like an awesome event !  I'd love to do something like that some day.  I'm not crazy about the running in the dark part (unless there was a full moon).  But the relay aspect sounds really fun.

       

      That shot of the single track looks so inviting.  All that luscious green !  I'd love to run it right now.  Or, rather, I'd love to run it in the daylight....

       

      Hope the leg heals quickly.

       

      Q : Are you a screaming banshee ?

      Stupid feet!

      Stupid elbow!


      Bad Ass

        Sounds awesome!  Congrats.

        Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

        Next:  RnR Country Music Half Marathon

        Blog

        "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

        RabbitChaser


          That sounds like a fun race and looks like a beautiful trail! Great job!


          Trail Monster

            Wow that sounds like an awesome event !  I'd love to do something like that some day.  I'm not crazy about the running in the dark part (unless there was a full moon).  But the relay aspect sounds really fun.

             

            That shot of the single track looks so inviting.  All that luscious green !  I'd love to run it right now.  Or, rather, I'd love to run it in the daylight....

             

            Hope the leg heals quickly.

             

            Q : Are you a screaming banshee ?

             

            It was really fun and beautiful! I wish I had taken more pictures but I just didn't have time.

             

            A: sometimes. Wink

             

            Thanks for reading all! Sorry I couldn't make it more interesting. We didn't even get team pictures In all the rush.

            2013 races:

            3/17 Shamrock Marathon

            4/20 North Coast 24 Hour

            7/27 Burning RIver 100M

            8/24 Baker 50M

            10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)

             

            My Blog

             

            Brands I Heart:

            FitFluential

            INKnBURN

            Altra Zero Drop

            fitfatboy


            More cowbell!

              Congrats!  Especially with the bonus mileage.  LHHT is such a beautiful trail.  I've gotten to run the 50K there twice, and both times were great learning experiences.  Good luck @ Burning River!

              STILL HAVING FUN!!!

              LRB


              Dreamer

                "So of course I volunteered!"

                 

                Of course!

                 

                I was fully expecting to see elevations with skyscraper sized hills as you usually run.  This thing must have been a jog in the park for you ha-ha!

                 

                Way to get it done!

                "Training is not always fun, but it should always be rewarding."

                happylily


                  Great work, Sara!

                  PRs: Boston Marathon, 3:27, April 15th 2013

                          Cornwall Half-Marathon, 1:35, April 27th 2013

                  3 years, 13 marathons, 13 BQs     


                  Trail Monster

                    "So of course I volunteered!"

                     

                    Of course!

                     

                    I was fully expecting to see elevations with skyscraper sized hills as you usually run.  This thing must have been a jog in the park for you ha-ha!

                     

                    Way to get it done!

                     

                    Haha. It actually ranges from 1200 feet to 2900 feet in elevation. It just doesn't look so bad when you stretch it out over 70+ miles. LOL. I actually summited two mountains in that 24.5 miles. The first one was Laurel Mountain, not sure the name of the second one.

                    2013 races:

                    3/17 Shamrock Marathon

                    4/20 North Coast 24 Hour

                    7/27 Burning RIver 100M

                    8/24 Baker 50M

                    10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)

                     

                    My Blog

                     

                    Brands I Heart:

                    FitFluential

                    INKnBURN

                    Altra Zero Drop


                    SheCan

                      Omgosh that is soooo awesome!  You put up a lot of unplanned miles in that relay.  It sounds like a heck of a lot of fun.  Glad you weren't hurt in your tumbles.  I'm sure your team was thrilled with your performance.  And you really are a tough woman.  Congratulations.

                      Cherie

                              Don’t work harder than you can breathe,
                      and you’ll never get out of breath.-- Johnny Nuguyen

                      Jamezilla


                      Follower of Forrest

                        Sounds like a good time.  Have you put in for Ambassadorship with InB yet (check it out on their website if you have not already)?

                        4/5 - Lost Brook Trail 10mi  1:15:42

                        4/27 - Ironmaster's Challenge 50k

                        6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 56mi


                         

                        FreeSoul87


                        Runs4Sanity

                          Awesome job!! Next time you should have a video camera on your head, so we can watch Smile

                          *Do It For Yourself, Do It Because They Said It Was Impossible, Do It Because They Said You Were Incapable*

                          PRs

                          5k - 24:40 (7:57 min/mile pace) 

                          10k - 54:39 (8:48 min/mile pace)

                          15k -1:24:04 (9:01 min/mile pace)

                          13.1 - 1:56:38 (8:54 min/mile pace) Sub 2 hours!!!

                           

                          Awood_Runner


                          Smaller By The Day

                            I don't know how you do it.  It seems like you're always game for a race, regardless of the conditions or circumstances.  Its always worth checking out your RR's, just to see what you managed to get yourself into.

                            Improvements

                            Weight 100 pounds lost

                            5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

                            10K 48:59 April 2013

                            HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

                            MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013

                             

                            St. Jude's Hero Profile


                            Trail Monster

                              Sounds like a good time.  Have you put in for Ambassadorship with InB yet (check it out on their website if you have not already)?

                               

                              I have a deal with them that's not an ambassadorship. Smile

                              2013 races:

                              3/17 Shamrock Marathon

                              4/20 North Coast 24 Hour

                              7/27 Burning RIver 100M

                              8/24 Baker 50M

                              10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)

                               

                              My Blog

                               

                              Brands I Heart:

                              FitFluential

                              INKnBURN

                              Altra Zero Drop


                              Trail Monster

                                I don't know how you do it.  It seems like you're always game for a race, regardless of the conditions or circumstances.  Its always worth checking out your RR's, just to see what you managed to get yourself into.

                                 

                                LOL. I get myself into trouble...

                                2013 races:

                                3/17 Shamrock Marathon

                                4/20 North Coast 24 Hour

                                7/27 Burning RIver 100M

                                8/24 Baker 50M

                                10/5 Oil Creek (distance to be determined)

                                 

                                My Blog

                                 

                                Brands I Heart:

                                FitFluential

                                INKnBURN

                                Altra Zero Drop

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