This weekend was the Door County Fall 50 Relay, an event that I have been looking forward to since registering for the race back in May. Our team, the Beer Chasers, was made up of me, Steve, and our friend James. Teams can be up to five people, but we decided we wanted to make it a little more of a challenge.
We also decided to camp for the weekend (my bright idea). Yes, it was just a wee bit chilly. No, we probably will not camp again next year. Friday afternoon we arrived at Peninsula State Park and got to work setting up camp.
Once the tents were up, we went to get firewood. I totally pretended to load some wood into the car so it would look like I was helping.
We got four bundles of wood because we knew it would be quite chilly, and we would need a raging fire to keep us warm.
We went out for dinner on Friday before returning to the campsite and making s’mores by the fire. We were bundled up in our tents shortly after 11pm to try to get some sleep before the race.
Our start time for the relay was 10am, so we were able to sleep in until around 7:30. We reluctantly got out from under our warm sleeping bags and got ready to run. Steve put the finishing touches on our team car before we left by drawing a foamy beer mug.
We drove up to Gill’s Rock, the tip of the Door Co Peninsula for the start. Here is the course map:
We snapped a pre-race team photo before I set out on the first leg.
Leg #1 was 4.8 miles, and I planned on running around a 7:45 pace. Well, I was feeling great and ended up running the first leg in 34:00, or 7:05 pace. I handed off the timing bracelet to Steve, and I knew we were off to a good start.
James and I drove to the next exchange point and waited for Steve to arrive. He came in faster than expected, and handed off to James.
We decided that after the first three legs, we would each run a double leg to minimize the amount of stopping and starting for each person. I was assigned to legs four and five, which ended up being 9.43 miles total. I got to run through Peninsula State Park, right past our campsite, and through the town of Fish Creek. I knew my pace would be slower than the first leg, but I couldn’t believe how fast I was still running. I ended up with a 7:20 average pace for those miles. When I finished, I immediately stuffed my face with a pb & banana sandwich, a chocolate chip cookie, and some M&M’s. Gotta keep the energy up!
Steve ran legs 6 & 7, while James and I manned the vehicle. I snapped a photo of Steve running as we drove by and something freaky happened with the camera.
James ran legs 8 & 9, and I couldn’t believe how fast the day was passing by. Before I knew it, I was up to finish the race by running leg #10. I had no idea how I would feel after already running two speedy legs and sitting around for a couple of hours, but I ended up surprising myself once again. At first when I took off I was a little stiff and my chest was tight, but after a few minutes I loosened up and ran my fastest leg yet.
Steve and James met me about a half a mile from the finish so we could all run it in to the finish line together. I was passing people left and right, and I pushed it as hard as I could. My average for the last 4.7 miles was 7:00, with the last mile being at 6:47 pace. I was amazed that I was able to run that fast with nearly 19 miles on my legs for the day.
We finished in a total of 6:09:46, which is a 7:24 average pace. Pretty speedy for 50 miles if you ask me.
This may be the only time in my life where I can say I ran 19 miles in one day with an average pace of 7:11. The Beer Chasers came in 6/148 in the mixed open teams division. Seeing as we only had 3 people and most teams had 5, I am really happy with our result.
There was a great post-race party with unlimited beer and pizza and a DJ. We took full advantage of the free beer, and then it was time to show off our bling.
I told Steve and James to look all gangsta’ and this is what happened:
I’m just gonna leave that one alone. I went triple-bling for the next shot.
Aaaannnnddddd…..we managed to take one normal photo as well.
Overall this race was more fun than I could have imagined. The people were so fun, there were great team costumes (note to self for next time), and it was basically just one big party all day. I think the Beer Chasers will definitely be back next year.
Back at the campfire, there was only one way to celebrate.
Yes, that would be a s’more made with a Reese’s cup in place of the Hershey’s chocolate. Genius, I know.