the sawtooth relay, or: that one time i won an athletic event.

This is about how cool I felt while I was running. I just channeled my inner Fonz. “Ayyyy!” (photo credit: Gretchen Hurlbutt)

Never in my life have I been known for my athletic prowess. As a matter of fact, for many years I feel as though I may have been known for my lack of athletic prowess. I’m not necessarily proud of this, just sharing the facts. That said, my mind felt a little bit blown when they announced the Boise Betties (MY TEAM!) as the first place team for the women’s division of the Sawtooth Relay.

The Sawtooth Relay is my favorite race that I’ve run. This was my second year running it, both years with the Boise Betties. The race starts in Stanley, ID and travels 60+ miles (up and over Galena Pass) and ends in Ketchum, ID. Teams have six runners who each run two legs that are roughly five miles a piece. Our team stayed in Stanley on Friday night at the Sawtooth Spirit condos (check it out next time you’re in Stanley. The store is super cute!) and had dinner together at The Redd (extemely delicious but I’m pretty sure that our waitress was literally a crack head). The race officially starts at midnight with teams starting every fifteen minutes until 9am. The Betties ended up with the amazing start time of 8:15am so we practically got to sleep in!

Boise Betties at the start line. L to R: Gabby, me, Becca, Erica, Shea and Sam. Erica was about two minutes away from crushing the first leg of the race.

I ran legs 2 (5.83 miles) and 8 (5.09 miles) and would say that I did moderately well. I kept within my target pace and didn’t die. That’s good, right? I was surprised at how much the altitude affected me with my first leg and despite how gradual the incline was, my glutes were killing me by the time I was done. The next several hours involved lots of cheering, driving, time keeping, snacking, porta-potty using, shit talking, water supplying and laughing – then leg 8 rolled around and I got to run again! This time I had a nice, gradual downhill and felt like I was trucking. But no matter how fast I was going for Rachel-pace, it couldn’t even hold a candle to the other girls on my team. These ladies are fast! So fast that other teams were asking us whether some of our runners were Olympians or not. Ha!

Gabby brought us home over the last short leg into Ketchum, ringing in an amazing 7 hour, 37 minute overall time for the total distance. It was awesome! I wish I could say that I contributed more to the smokin’ fast time, but I definitely brought my team down to earth. 🙂 I’d hate for their heads to stay in the clouds.

Along the Relay course. Remember how I told you in the last post that Idaho is beautiful? Seriously, it is.

Ready to pass off the neon, reflective slap bracelet “baton” at the end of my first leg. This was also when I realized that I had cramps. Awesome. My sister has a fridge magnet that says “I can do anything a man can do. With cramps.” Pretty much.

Meeting up with Gabby to sprint the final few yards to the finish. WHY DO I LOOK LIKE I AM DYING? My whole face and body is looking as if I ran the entire sixty mile relay solo, not like I had just jogged the last thirty yards as a formality. I have never claimed to be photogenic.

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