Well, it was an adventure.
We picked up the vans on Thursday night, then a few of us from Van #1 (the best van, obviously) drove about half way to the starting line. Then, up at 4 am to drive the rest of the way for our 7 am start. The rest of Van 1, and all of Van 2 met us there (they had to get up at 1:30 am to make it!).
Our first runner took off right on schedule, and then the madness of playing leap frog began. I had leg 3, which was my longest leg. Started in the middle of no where Wisconsin, ended in the middle of no where Wisconsin. I did run through a very patriotic town, where the route detoured into a 50 yard stretch of their park, which was lined with American flags.
After leg 4, the head started creeping up, we had a high of 87, and heat indexes well into the 90s. Our van finished about 11 am (only about 10 minutes behind our projected pace), and we handed off the wrist band to Van 2, and headed up to our next exchange point to rest up. Took a nap, gobbled down some pork sandwiches, and enjoyed the 20 minute wait for the portapotties.
It was here I got a good sense of the whole scale of this thing. There was probably 300 teams. It became a running joke of “where did we park? I have a white van.”, parked in a sea of white vans.
Van 2 finished their first legs about 6 pm, they lost about an hour off their pace. And they were the van full of runners who where talking down about crossfitters (which our van was).
My second leg started about 8:30, and if I thought I was in the middle of no where for leg 1, I was REALLY in the weeds for this leg. But it was cool, and all downhill, so never mind the hillbillies.
Our last runner finished about 11:30, and our van of non-runners made up nearly 40 minutes of pace time. 40 minute drive to our next exchange point, a high school. We were promised mats to sleep on, and pay showers. We arrived, and I didn’t bother getting out of the van, as I was already curled up on my seat. 10 minutes later, everyone else came back, because there was no showers, and no mats.
We were up at 4 am anyways, waiting on Van 2. They made up some time in the cool night too.
My last leg was at about 7 am. Short, but had a big hill at the finish. Little bit of sisu got me through. I was sure glad there wasn’t a 4th leg on the horizon. Van 1 finished again before it got hot, then we found the nearest place with food and beer and pigged out. Then jetted up to the finish line to wait for our team to finish together. Had another couple of beers to celebrate while we were waiting and then the DJ called for a a plank holding contest. 4 girls from Van 1 immediately leap to their feet.
Emily went 8 minutes after drinking 4 beers, after running 18 miles in 36 hours, and was pissed that the DJ called it off because it was taking too long. The other girl remaining was shaking like a leaf too.
Our last runner came in right on time, and we all crossed the finish line together.