Red Rock Relay – Zion 9/10/112September 14th, 2011
Brian Head to Zion
12 Awesome Women
31 hours and 35 minutes
Nine months ago I asked some girls if they would want to run a relay. I had never ran in one and I had never run farther than a 5k. But it sounded fun! I signed up on 12/31/10 to save $200 on the $1200 entry fee. Yikes right- but there are 12 of us.
The relay starts in Brian Head at 11,000 feet atop of a ski lift and ends in Zion National Park. We run through Dixie National Forrest, Cedar Breaks, Cedar City, St George, Washington, Hurricane and ends at the entrance of Zion National Park. Each person runs three legs with a total of 36 legs equalling 186.4 miles! Who does this right?? Well apparently 2400 people do. They sold out too! You can also sign up as an Ultra team- meaning a 6-man team, with twice as many legs. Now that’s crazy!
To get a starting time, you go by your 10k pace. Ours averaged out at 9:00/mile which let us start at 10:40 am on Friday. But before Friday arrived we had to plan. We had two team meetings before hand and decided who was in charge of food, media, costumes, navigation, rules, safety and fun. We also picked what legs we wanted to run. And had a great dinner at the same time.
Pepper and I each have 45′ Motorhomes and our wonderful husbands drove them for us. This was a girls weekend. Jamie used her FasstCo Van for the snow van #1 and Pepper used her new hybrid Yukon. Peppers husband bought a piece of white vinyl and with the help of a friend they cut freehand zebra stripes. It took about 90 minutes and it came out awesome! Everyone wanted to come touch.
Thursday night we slept in the motorhomes in the Walmart parking lot in Cedar City. Which was great for any last minute supplies we needed. In the morning we made sandwiches and packed our vans for the day. The motorhomes were to be at SUU around three when van #1 finishes their first six legs. Then they were there when we finished our 7-12 legs. I was the 12th runner and when I came in the next van took off running. My husband warmed me up some lasagna then we headed to Newcastle. But not before having technical difficulties of course! No headlights on one motorhome. Sean temporarily fixed it. Then we were on our way.
We used the Relay Manager App on the iPhone/iPad to keep track of each runner. And so van 1 knew where van 2 was, etc. It worked pretty good until Newcastle when van 1 didn’t have cell service. I also made a spreadsheet as backup. And kept track of everyone on my iPad. It would be a lot harder if I didn’t have projected times of the runners.
After Brittney was done with the ‘Giant Steps’ dirt trail downhill run, Anni was off on her hard uphill run. The Diablo. We said bye to van 1 and we went down the road to Duck Creek, the next exchange. It started hailing, thunder and lightening. It was crazy! Poor Pam- she had it all. We ate at this little Pizza place in Duck Creek and hung out until it was time for us to run. At every runner exchange we would play ‘Wild Thing’ as loud as possible when our runner was coming in. Everyone knew we were there, and you couldn’t miss our zebra stripes! It was lots of fun.
After this is where we left to Duck Creek. Bye van 1.
I was runner 12 and by the time it was my turn to run- it was dark! OMG, my first run is in the dark down Cedar Canyon. Fortunately, a girl started at the same time. So we ran together for 4 miles. It makes time go by fast. When we started I asked her what her pace was, she said she doesn’t know and that she doesn’t run. But she was a sprinter in High school. okay. So our first mile was an 8 min mile. We were talking and I asked her if she had kids, etc. So she told me she was only 19. So that means she was a sprinter LAST YEAR. Lol. But after four miles she got tired or her side was hurting and I finished strong. The exchange was at SUU and then van 1 took over.
So when we arrived at SUU I knew we had 4 hours until we needed to run again. We headed to Newcastle and parked the motorhomes and slept!
Well since I was the last runner I was still too amped up to sleep but everyone else went to sleep. I set my alarm for 1:45 to make sure our girls were ready by 2:30 am. So I posted some photos to RRR Facebook wall and eventually went to sleep for about an hour.
Van 1 showed up and our girls did the exchange. Then we were off running. Meanwhile, I’m thinking I would never want to do this again. But I guess it’s like pregnancy, now that its over I can’t wait for the next one!
Mandi in running this long lonely highway. We hear a noise and there are horses running like crazy. There is an Ultra team we are catching up to and Mandi makes the kill! We play leapfrog during the night so nothing happens to our runner and we give her support. Peppers leg was called The Spooky Leg. And it was Spooky! And I was in the car! Tiffany ended up running with Pepper to make it seem less spooky. So if a wild animal comes for the attack it will take two of my runners instead of one. hmmmm. lol.
I was after Pepper, I started at 5:am but it was still pitch black. It was 48 degrees and I started with a jacket. I eventually got hot and took it off and went to throw it to the car. I thought the front was rolled down and threw it to Mandi but it hit the glass, stopped, then fell to the ground. We were all cracking up. But inside it was even funnier because I guess Mandi said, “I got it.” But her window was up. Can you tell we were tired?? It was hilarious to us, and I’m trying to run while laughing. So I finish my run and Amber B is next and she gets the sunrise run.
Amber is also training for the St George Marathon so she is excited to run some of the course. Now that it’s getting lighter we leave Amber and head to the next exchange. Meanwhile a coyote runs right in front of her to cross the road! I’m glad it wasn’t me! We are now at the Vejo exchange and the motorhomes are here. We take showers, have breakfast burritos (thanks Amber B) then head to the Washington Rec Center.
Driving to the rec center it was nice to see other teams. It seemed like everyone went to bed at dark and we were the only ones running. lol. Once we all parked at the rec center we put on a movie, got comfortable and rested for a couple hours. I had a peanut butter banana sandwich for an early lunch. Then we went outside and it was hot! About 75 degrees. The weather had been pretty perfect for running until now. But it is summer in St George. It could have been hotter! We were so lucky it wasn’t 100 degrees like it had been just a week before.
Now we are starting our 3rd legs. It’s hot, were tired and I’m going on an hour sleep! Mandi makes it down Telegraph to Chevron and I get an icee. Oh it tasted so good! Water wasn’t cutting it anymore. Hilary takes over and her husband Joe shows up. He actually starts running with her! How awesome. And it was a tough leg. She had some hills. Tiffany is next and we were telling her about the little 10% hill she has. Pepper and I have run it before and it is short, it just looks crazy!! So Tiffany takes Joe’s car to check it out and she texts me, “Hell No”. We are cracking up. We are now at the next exchange and Tiff isn’t back yet- she texted that she was at McDonalds. I’m going crazy. She was joking. But then drove passed us. I’m still going crazy because Hilary is almost here! Anyways- Tiff makes it at the last minute!! LOL
Then we make it to the next exchange and now it’s Pepper’s turn. She gets the La Verkin Twist! We have run that together on a 9 mile run so we kept telling ourselves it’s shorter this time, so it should be easy. Running is 80% mental right?? Tiffany shows up and Pepper is off! She makes it up the hill! Then it’s Amber and then me!
We go to the next exchange in Virgin and Amber was complaining about her right quad. Well she tried to run and couldn’t! She couldn’t put any pressure on it. I guess she shouldn’t have averaged an 8:00/mile on her last leg! Go Amber. (she doesn’t even use a Garmin or similar, she just runs!) I need to know everything! I need to know how slow I’m going. LOL
Some of the awesome girls in my van take over for Amber. I’m the next leg and I take Joe’s car to the next exchange just to get ready, etc. Well I get there 45 min early. So I recline the chair, I nodded off for about 5 min, look at my watch and I have about 20 minutes. So I lie back and next thing I know my husband- who took the motorhome home, took a nap and got the kids, is tapping on my window telling me she’s almost here!! OMG! I grab my water belt and use the bathroom and then I see her just about here. I start running, uphill. That will wake you up. lol. I’m still fixing my hair as I’m running. And it’s hot! Oh this was a slow run. I have run down this leg before, training for the Bryce Canyon Half, but never up. I wanted to run it up but never had a weekend off. I am curious to see how long it would take me on two legs that aren’t tired. Because OMG 11:11 pace. I took a lot of walk breaks and my quads were sore from my two downhill runs. I passed one girl and one guy passed me. He was my pace but never walked! Darn!
I get to the finish and my team is there playing Wild Thing by Ton Loc and they made a bridge to go under. We all ran to the finish. Both my boys were there and I waited for Evan, who will be 4 on Friday. I should have ran through the finish first, I probably cost my team 2 or 3 minutes. LOL
They gave each of my boys a medal too! They were excited.
We finished at 6:15 pm. That means we ran for 31 hours and 35 minutes! And that is an average pace of 10:10. Not too bad. It was a tough course for sure. But the best slumber party ever. I had the best teammates to make the best team. A special thanks to my husband, Mike and Pepper’s husband, Sean and Hilary’s husband, Joe! We needed that ice and water during the 3rd leg! We had a ton of fun and I would definitely do it again. I think I covered everything. Do you feel like you were there?? Like you were in my van 2?
I’m still waiting to see how we finished as an all female team. It looks like we finished 136th out of 202 teams overall. And the team that won- Loco Roosters finished in 23 hours and 10 minutes with a pace of 7:27/mile! Awesome!
Thanks Red Rock for a great time! And thanks for a free entry into MOAB! Can’t wait!!!
Here are some more pictures!
Thanks for reading!!
PS. I tried to have my husband proof read it but he said it was too long! lol So sorry if it’s not perfect!
Oh and here’s the video Jamie made!Tags: brian head, race, Red Rock Relay, relay, run, running, zion Categories: Family / Kids, Race Reports, Running, Traveling
Great report on a great website. Congratulation on your team’s accomplishments.
All your pictures and descriptions are awesome. The zebra car is a real nice touch.
The database summary info is beyond my understanding but is impressive for its technical and graphic presentation. Conceptually, this must have been hard to do.
We especially liked the kids (no surprise here) and the one where the team is jumping under the Red Rock banner.
Amber, your whole coverage of the Redrock race is awesome. Great photos, technical info and comments. Loved the colorful outfits your team wore. Great photo of your team jumping under the banner. You ran a great race under trying conditions and Connie and I are so proud of your achievements and looking forward to your next adventure. You go girl!