Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I Reached the Beach...again...and it was even better second time.

For the unfamiliar, a quick primer: Reach the Beach is a 200 mile race over 24 hours, where you race as teams of 6 to 12, self supported. "Legs" are broken down by mileage/runner and the race folks set up and man "official transition points" where they note what runners are coming through and handing off the " baton" to the runner for the next leg. It has been said that RTB is less of a race than a 24 hour training run in a great environment with a bunch of your friends. I couldn’t agree more! This was my second, the first being the 2011 RTB New Hampshire which you can read about here, and even though I didn’t think it was possible, my 2012 RTB Massachusetts was 1000 times better. I owe that to my teammates, pictured to the left; Julia, Danielle, Jessie, Kelly and Ally. They made the 24 hours fly by and kept me in stitches the whole time.

My 1st leg, 7.53 miles, started at 4:45pm Friday afternoon. Living in the Massachusetts I didn’t think there are hills in the metrowest area of the state…ya, I was totally wrong about that! It was an extremely hilly course in the heat of the day. To be honest, I'm surprised it did it in 55 minutes (7:17 pace) because a couple of those climbs, especially the one where I was trying to look good for the photographer and blew by a runner only to take the turn and end up at the base of a huge hill, coupled with the heat literally took my breath away.

My 2nd leg, 8.2 miles started at 1:36am Saturday morning. As much as I wanted to get rest when our van came off our first set of legs I ended up doing stuff around the house (I live about 5 mile from our last leg in Hopkinton MA and my team ate and crashed there before our next turn) and only got about 45 minutes sleep before we had to hop in the van and head to the next set of legs. I was concerned that I didn’t get enough rest to do anything on the leg and then promptly went out and ran it in 1:17 (7:21 pace). I have to say though that I felt pretty good when I got handed the baton and took off. It was a chilly night with little to no wind, a few hills and it was quiet. All I heard was my footfall, my breathing and the 4 runners I caught and passed. I felt like a was running a lot faster but I’m happy with the pace. I handed off the baton and then the lack of sleep and adrenaline rush wore off…and I promptly racked out through the rest of my teammates legs and the drive to the “sleep spot” to wait for our last set of legs. Ugh.

My third leg, 3 "kills" so far...

My 3rd leg, 6.74 miles started at 10:50am later that same Saturday morning. I guess this is where the fatigue caught up to me because when I stepped off I felt like I was running in mud. Even for that early in the morning it seemed really hot. You had to run uphill about ¾ of a mile into the transition area at the end of the leg. To add insult to injury, that climb, in the heat, took runners right by a beef farm with open pits of silage. There is very little that makes me nauseous anymore but running wide open, up a hill at the end of 6+ mile run, in the heat, breathing heavy while being assaulted with the smell of cow crap and silage was a little too much for me. I don’t know who planned that leg but whoever it was…there are NOT nice people. I have to say that the only reason I didn’t puke on the side of the road was that I knew if I did, this run was gonna last even longer and I desperately wanted it to be over. Final leg done in 52:49 (7:50 pace) and now I can cheer on my teammates to the finish. On a side note, as good a time as I had, I could not have been more proud of myself when my bud Jordan came up to me after our legs and said that he saw me in front and tried to catch me but I was cooking and he couldn’t. He was probably just being nice considering he’s an Ironman finisher and a damn fast cat but I’ll take it as a very small victory for the old broken guys…

So another RTB is in the bag. After which I promptly went to sleep for 12 hours…bwahahahaha…see what I said about being an old broken guy? It’s funny when you realize later that day, and the days following, that the soreness, fatigue and runner’s gut was TOTALLY worth it because of the great team and experiences had. Now, I need to go look at registering for RTB New Hampshire in September…again…


  1. Nice job! I like that you are holding up a 3 on your third leg for your 3 kills.

  2. Thanks! That face says it all, I was wiped out by then...but I did get 2 more kills before the end :)