Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Wasatch Back Relay

Wasatch Back Relay

I put together a team for this race, and we had an awesome time! In Suburban #1, we had me, Gary Gillilan, Erik Gillilan, Terry Wong, Scott Shepherd and Jason Neuwirth. In Suburban #2, we had Nate Jensen, Allen Frost, Peter Maughan, Ryan Cluff, Jason Harmon and Kory Child.

Since we had to be at Hardware Ranch at 9:00 am, the members in #1 went up Thursday night and stayed at the Super 8 hotel. We were so excited and nervous. We were all up early, and got up to the start line at 8:30 am.

At 9:00 am, Terry started us off. He was like a rocket at first. I had leg #2, down Blacksmiths Fork canyon. Man, I felt great! 3.65 miles in 33:57, for a 9:17 mile pace. I handed off to Neuwirth, and off he went. We all had great first runs, and handed off to #2 ahead of our projected pace.

We had lunch at Subway, then drove up to Huntsville. We tried to get some rest, but basically we just waited nervously. It was hot, and we were worried about the guys in #2. They came in ahead of pace as well! Kory didn't look too good from running in the heat, but he did it. Terry took off, smiling from ear to ear again.

Terry had no idea what lay in wait. He had the climb from Huntsville to the top of Trappers Loop. What a climb! He battled up it, and kept us on pace. He was a stud!

I had the run from the top down into Morgan valley. It was hot, and I was cramping up, but I just kept after it. My knees hurt from the sharp downhill. I did 5.33 miles in 47:25, for an 8:53 pace.

Neuwirth had a long, hot run through the valley, as did Scott. I tell you, Scott was one strong runner. He was impressive. Gary did a great job starting us up to East Canyon. Erik was like a caged animal, waiting to finish the climb to the top. He cruised up the hill, and we arrived about on schedule.

We had a pasta dinner at East Canyon, then drove down to Rockport to try to sleep. We got about two hours before #2 called saying they were on their way in. I quickly woke up the team, then walked Terry up the exchange. We got there late, and in the confusion Terry took off the wrong way! He ended up running close to an extra half mile!

I started running at 5:20 am. I had the run from Kamas to Oakley. It was basically a straight road from point to point. I could see the finish from miles out. It was mentally hard, and I thought I would break. It had some long climbs and some downhill. Pretty much an even split between flat, up and down. I did 6.5 miles in 1:05:30, for a 10:05 pace. I was happy to have battled through it and kept a good pace.

Scott had the climb up Jordanelle. Man, he was awesome! He trimmed 4 minutes off his projected time. Gary was like a gray rocket bringing us into Heber, and Erik was a bolt of lightning. Finally, we were done with our part!

We showered, got some breakfast, met up with Terry, Gary and Erik's families, then split up for a bit. Scott, Jason and I went to the finish line to watch the other teams come in.

And finally, after close to 29 hours, we were done! It was one of the most funs things I've ever done. We are planning on being back next year!

Things to do differently:
1. Get a hotel room in Coalville for Friday night, and get it early on before they sell out! That would cut down on the amount of clutter in the Suburban.

2. Budget things more evenly. Have one or two people buy all the supplies, gas, etc., then split the costs when done.

3. Get some cool, matching running shirts for the team.

4. Decorate the Suburbans.

5. Come up with a new team name.

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