Friday, August 19, 2011

Epic Weekend

Epic Cache-Teton Relay was a week ago. I had every intention to get this post done before the middle of the week. As you can see my road to "you know where" is getting another brick.

This was my second year participating in the Relay and only the third year the race has existed. With marathons and half marathons popping up faster than your local Amway dealer can draw circles, it is nice to have an event that is different.

Epic Relay began three years ago with only 12 teams that participated. Last year there were under 50. This year there were 84 teams. It's one of my favorite events.

If you're unfamiliar with the relay system, picture 2 vehicles of 6 runners together playing a giant game of Tag for over 30 hours. Team "Remember the Tetons" started at 7:30 am in Logan, Utah. The teams are staggered so that the slowest teams start early (5:30 am) and the faster ones start later (12:00 pm). Our team was what you would consider the "upper middle class" of team speed. We were pushing to finish in under 30 hours. The finish was 206 miles later in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

A couple nice things about relays is that you have some freedom in the choice of your three runs. The downside to be a faster runner in a relay is that your freedom is generally limited to the hardest ones. I was originally assigned the hardest leg of the relay (#7), but after some significant amounts of swearing and waving my arms up and down like a mad man sweet talking I was able to get switched to the fourth hardest leg (#11) of the course. My runs consisted of the following:

1. 9.31 miles
2. 7.07 miles
3. 3.31 miles

The good thing about my part of the race was that the first leg was the hardest and it definitely lived up to the hard part.

I started my run at 4:00 pm with the temperature in the mid 90s with lots of steep climbs and drops. The first three miles of my run were hot, but I was holding my own. The last 6 miles of the course were agonizing and I just wanted to fall into an ice cold stream.

My next run was at 3:30 am. The route was a gradual downhill for 7 miles. By the time my leg started, the temperature had dropped to 31 degrees. As I ran, my breath would get thicker or thinner depending on the temperature.

My last and final run happened about 12:30 pm. The route was a level paved trail. I pushed this as best I could to make up some time. In the distance I could see one last runner I was gaining on. The thought of one last "road kill" (when you pass someone on a relay) gave me the little boost that I needed.

We finished the relay in 30 hours 29 minutes for an 11th place finish out of 84 teams. We didn't make our under 30 hour goal, but we also added about 10 more miles to the course than last year.


  1. Please for Christ sake help this poor boy from Haiti

  2. Ah..Majid, you totally threw me off. I thought for sure someone had commented on my witty thoughts about my Epic Relay. I'll make you a deal. You click on all the Google links below over an over again for a month, then when I get the check from google for $10.95 I'll split it with you and you can help the poor boy from Haiti.