Lack of time and commitment to other obligations made training pretty tough for most of the team. Katie probably prepared the most, but her feet have been giving her enough trouble that even the most prepared were having concerns.
I ran the first leg of the race and my whole goal was to do better than I did last year. I had held back on a few recent runs just to be a little more fresh when it came to this race, but not enough to endanger my half marathon training for June. As soon as the race stared I felt great. The weather was cool and cloudy which turned out to be perfect weather for a really good race. I started well back of the pack because our corral position was based on our predicted finish time, 4:20 or about 10 minutes/mile, but I run much faster than that and therefore got caught behind the crowd. I did a few nifty maneuvers and managed to work my way through the crowd, while still maintaining a good pace. As the mile ticked by I was running a pretty regular 7:30/mile. I was feeling good and I was concerned that pace would not beat my lasts year's time. So I picked it up a bit for the last couple of miles and finished my leg, 6.7 miles, in 50:01. I felt like it was a great run.
For the Final leg we handed it off to my sister, Anita, to bring us home! Anita's job had kept her from thorough training, but she had recently completed the Shamrock Shuffle in preparation. She was not nearly as nervous as last year, and her performance proved it. She only stopped to walk one time on the only hill of the entire course, and met us at our designated meeting place right on schedule! We all joined up and ran across the finish line in Memorial Stadium as a team. We finished in 4:11:34. We were 26th of 65 teams in our division and 97 of 202 overall relay teams. I think we kicked ass!
Anita's friend Betsy was also huge support! She ran the half marathon in the race, lined up with me at the start, and came back out to join our triumphant run across the finish line! i am trying to get Betsy to be my marathon partner for next year, but she seems a bit hesitant. And let's face it, I am pretty hesitant myself!
In my typical fashion, I attempted to incorporate alcohol into the event. You can see from our shirts that the intent was there.