This past weekend I got a more-than-healthy helping of all my favorite things in life: Running, Fresh Air, Beautiful Scenery, Comradery, and Competition, and got to do it with an amazing group. And now I’m back…Reality Bites. I was lucky enough to be asked to be part of an amazing group called The Marathongs to compete in a crazy race called Reach The Beach. Reach The Beach is unique because it’s the LONGEST (in distance) relay race in the whole entire country. Holler!!
The longest relay race in the nation? Yep! 204 miles through the White Mountains in NH, starting at Cannon Mountain in Franconia, NH, and ending at New England’s Jersey Shore: Hampton Beach. The goal is to complete the 204 miles within 24 hours among your team of 2 – 12 people. Our team, The Marathongs, came in 87th out of 480 teams, averaging about an 8 minute pace. Each team member has three legs along the way, giving a little bit of rest in between, but little to no sleep. Everyone on the team ran somewhere between 15 – 24 miles over their three legs. Basically, it was awesome!
Our team comes from all over: West Haven, Ellington, Vernon, and Glastonbury CT, Buffalo, NY, New York City, Boston, MA, and Newport, RI. There were some (super boring) super serious teams, but many dressed up. Our major competition was “The Kilts”, “The Lumberjacks”, who, by the way, ran in jorts – no kidding, and “The Cropdusters”. Most of the teams had really great names. It was really an awesome experience as all the teams were supportive of each other – all with the same crazy goal of running 204 miles and “reaching the beach”.
I think from here, the best way to show our journey is through pictures and videos.
Austin, Carrie, and Lanham at Heavenly Donuts while we were waiting for our ride. This was a great idea…not only did we get donut holes, but we got a whole bag of them for a mere $2.68. Whatta steal!
As we continued to wait for Bryan and Mykle at the rest stop, we indulged in a couple brews and played this awesome game on Austin’s phone, which is an interactive game similar tot Taboo, Pictonary, and Charades
Yayy!! Bryan and Mykle make it! We are now on our way to meet up with the other half of the team for dinner!
Finally made it to our own little Italy: The Olive Garden. The boys all took full advantage of their “endless pasta bowls”.
Nom Nom Nom…
The boys’ van didn’t really have much light on the dash board, so Bryan had to wear his head lamp to check out the speedometer…sounds safe (enough) to me!
A view of our amazing suite – 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and this lovely bed that folded out from the wall.
A panoramic view of our living room/kitchen. Doug (aka best host ever) made everyone coffee and breakfast sandwiches, while the rest of us basically just sat around and did nothing. Thanks Doug!
Loading up the van. Though I dont think we ever came to a true consensus on the names of the vans, we did have a good amount of names to choose from. The boys were Blue Lace, aka Dong Caravan. The girls were Red Velvet, aka the Lactation Station. Another suggestion, which I was particularly fond of was “Sisqo”, but it didn’t really catch on. haha
We are SOOOOOO good looking
The girls van, lookin good in our thongs, of course!
Tracy, Austin, Erin, Mykle, Lanham, Carrie
The MarathonGs run on Dunkin! No seriously, we did…I can’t even tell you how many dunkin donuts we stopped at along the way. Thank god we ran this race on the east coast, I have no idea how we would have survived without it!! haha
Just got to Cannon Mountain to register and it’s pouring rain…PERFECT!! We couldn’t wait to run in the monsoon…not! We had about 3 hours before the race was to start and hoped that it would clear up in time.
Just hanging out after we registered, waiting for the rain to stop / our safety course. Please note that poor Austin (far right) does not actually look like that in real life!! haha
This is what Austin actually looks like…lookin good sista!
This is such a good look for them. I would say “I’m glad the boys were such good sports about the thongs”, but to be honest, I really think they enjoyed it more than the girls did! haha
Erin, ready to run!
Sitting the the safety course. We now know that the people of NH are EXTREMELY disturbed by this race going on, even though its only 24 hours out of the whole entire year. Sounds reasonable.
Goofing around before the race, getting our wiggle on!
The calm before the storm. No really, it was. The rain was subsiding, and we were all just waiting around for the race to start, eating, drinking, and peeing 4 million times.
Our handy dandy Reach The Beach slap bracelet, which besides obvious fashion purposes acted as our baton throughout the relay course.
The MarathonG boys’ dance. Get it boys!!
Erin – first runner! Ready to go!!! Of course it started downpouring as soon as the race started…8.15 miles in the rain, GREAT!
Some of the girls at a transition waiting for Mykle. Gorgeous View, even with the clouds and fog!!
Erin, Carrie, Austin, Tracy, Lanham
One of our rivals: The Lumberjacks! We were all thoroughly impressed that she ran her leg in jorts. “Hey make sure you meet me at mile 2 to take my beard hat!” haha
The Girls Van! Red Velvet aka The Lactation Station
A back view of the girls van
At a transition – vans vans everywhere. Thank god we had a small red van and not a big white one…We’d never be able to find it!!
Learnin the Wobble!
Carrie joined in!
Who says white girls can’t dance??
The girls on their first leg.
Starting at the top left, going clockwise: Erin, Carrie, Mykle, Austin, Lanham, Tracy
We got banana’ed! We found this banana on our antenna and left it there throughout the duration of our trip…surprisingly it held up pretty good. Oooh Oooh, Aaah Aaah!
Next year other teams can fully expect to be “thong’ed”!!
The Girls after their second leg!
From top left going clockwise: no one, carrie, mykle, austin, tracy, lanham
Erin after finishing her third leg!! Wild Card transition area! Whoop! To the beach we go!!
Carrie feeling (and looking, obviously) GREAT on her last leg!! Get it girl!
Mykle and her thong, thong, thong, thong, thong….(think sisqo)
Our saving grace – our New Balance Air Freshener. I mean not really because our van was still pretty ripe, but at least we were all smelly together. On the bright side, I’m sure it smelled 10x better in our van than the boys’ van!
Waiting for Mykle to finish her final and longest leg!
Carrie, Tracy, Austin, Erin, and Lanham
“Guys something deep in my soul just really want to pull out that weed”…
Austin is ready and rearing to go for her last leg! Look at those colors! Ow Ow!!
Bryan!! Whatta trooper! After spraining his ankle on his first leg, he’s back in the game to finish up the race strong. I think the thought of not being able to wear that awesome thong made his ankle heal up astonishingly fast. OMG!!
Girls finishing up their third and final leg!!
From top left clockwise: Erin, Carrie, Mykle, Austin, Lanham, Tracy
The Marathongs!!! WE HAVE REACHED THE BEACH!!!
Top: Mike, Sean, Matt, Jeff, Doug, Bryan
Bottom: Mykle, Tracy, Erin, Lanham, Carrie, Austin
It was the longest 24 hours of my life…but surprisingly to most, I’m saying that in the best way possible. Things that happened on Friday afternoon seemed like they happened 2 weeks ago by Saturday night. I dont know if it was the lack of sleep, the overexertion, or the amount of things that happened, but it was truly an experience I will never forget and I’m already counting down the days until the MarathonGs run Reach the Beach in 2014.