Ok, this leg is what caused my disgrace in the 2006 RTB, it could have been the lack of training or Mike's overly ambitious 1/2 marathon pace estimate for me, but what ever the reason the leg sucked.
For all you people in Van #1, this is the "money leg" for Van #2. I was ready, at least I hoped so.
After the Van #1, can't find the VTA fiasco, our team is running a little behind on getting to the rest area. I do have time for a nice sandwich that will serve as my food for the next leg. Steve W. knows a short cut to the VTA and we get there with 3 hours or so before my scheduled run. I walk around a bit stretch the legs, see what they have for food. Its pretty crowded not going to get a quiet place for sleep, seeing they parked us near the road.
I get out my sleeping bag, and lucky yellow pillow. (Owen, thanks for letting me bring it) toss it on the ground and try to rest. There are some annoying people talking, cars and runners going down the road, but I set my alarm for 1am and close my eyes hoping for a little sleep. I wake up, my watch say 12:50ish but I feel a couple of drops of rain. Hmm, a couple more, I pick up my stuff and search for coffee. The rain picks up, I drink my coffee and realize that I am pretty tired, no one should have to get up at 1am. I talk to a couple of the "competition" before making my way to the van.
I proceed to open and close the back door 30 or 40 times (thats Ryan count not mine), get some running gear on. Try to get warmed up and stay dry. Van #1 pulls up, (please note that Van#2 was at the proper VTA). I am not sure that Steve W and Mike are on talking terms at this point.
Finally John G is coming up the hill to the hand off point. I receive the very sweaty and somewhat gross "baton" and start my run. There is a slight up hill grade for the first 1/2 mile or so and my legs aren't very happy. I crest the hill and it flattens out, I open up my stride and feel pretty good. I figure I can try to give a good hard run since I only have 2 miles tomorrow. Running at night on a back road is pretty cool, I catch a couple of people, say some words of encouragement but I doubt they are happy. I don't really remember the course too much there are a few more turns then I remember and the slight down hill and flat spots seem pretty good. I look at my watch once or twice and notice I don't have my number on me (Oops) and I am wearing my glasses. The van will meet me around 4 miles in, I will give my glasses to them and get my number then.
They come by take my glasses give me some water, no cow bells no threats no comments that were suppose to be humorous they come out wrong. I get to run with it for 3 or 4 minutes while they find my number. They drive by and take the water bottle and give me my number. I put it on while running, trying to maintain my pace. I felt like I was cruising this whole time. Then comes the big steep hill. Ouch, I slow down I keep working it but it doesn't feel quick. I past some more people give them the distance left and keep going. Ah the top of the hill, I open I my stride and continue to the end. I pass about 16 runners, probably more but my counting skills aren't too good.
My time was a little disappointing thought I was clearly faster then 7:00 pace, but it was definitely better then last years run.
Leg 22: Wet and dark but it was fun reeling in all those red blinkies.