I’ve wanted to run this for a few years and haven’t until this year for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to not living in Wisconsin, travel and injury. 2015 was finally the year. I ran it with the usual suspects: Sara, Jen and Erica
We left Milwaukee in the early evening on Friday, stopped in Sheboygan for dinner, and collapsed at the hotel in Ephraim. It was an early morning and rainy. We checked in, pinned on our bibs, layered on rain gear and headed back to the start.
The rain wasn’t horrible until Jen had to run. Rain and relays have gone hand in hand for her this year. I had the third leg which was the longest one of the race, 7.3. It was partly sunny and dry when I started. I felt good and it was really nice to run through parts of Door County that Mo and I had run earlier this year. I was surprised how great my legs felt and just kept pushing along. Once I entered Peninsula State Park I felt rain and told myself it was tree rain. It wasn’t. I ended up quite wet, but ended with a sub 9:00 minute pace. I did an awesome front seat clothing change without flashing anyone. I wanted dry clothing on asap so I didn’t get cold. We spent most of the exchanges bundled up in layers and blankets waiting for our runner to come in.
I swapped legs with Erica since she was sick and her second leg was supposed to have the worst hill in it. The hill was a 14% grade. The booklet said it was okay to walk. I took this very seriously. Once we got to this exchange I realized it was where the Door County Triathlon finishes. Funny how that sticks in my head when I ran that in 2008. It was windy and cold when we were right next to the bay. Thankfully the route quickly got onto a road that was protected from the wind. I was cruising along. I felt great. The first three miles were great. I ran 8:45 miles. And then the hill. It was beautiful and steep. Really steep. Everyone was walking. I decided to speed walk it. Running it would have been pointless. That miles was 10:19, which I didn’t think was bad considering I walked a bunch of it. It was misting the whole time. Not raining, which wasn’t horrible. When I got to the top of the hill I reached deep and pushed hard and ran an 8:20 mile. I can’t really believe I ran that. But I was done at that point.
We got to the finish line and once again layered up to go stand in the wind while waiting for Sara to get in. We ran across the finish line as a team and giggled as our team name was announced because we are all 15.
The finish line included unlimited pizza and beer. The post race pasty was in two huge tents with music and a dance floor. We didn’t get to take advantage of much as we were heading back to Milwaukee and all wanted to get home. Next year we will be back and will book a room in Sturgeon Bay.
It was a ton of fun and so much less planning and organization than Ragnar. I believe I said it was just like Ragnar except we got to sleep in a bed both nights and there were only four of us. Relays are such a fun part of running. And I have such a fun group of people I get to do these races with. We will be back next year for sure.