Cooler after cooler (after cooler) of "fluids" made their appearance up and down the aisles. There would be no shortage!
Soon we all settled in, making our way west and south to Urbandale, IA for the 9 AM start of the 2010 Living History Farms cross country race.
The distance between my seat and the overhead compartments was exactly right for stretching my tight hammie. :-)
Most of the Team R.E.D. crew was running TOTALLY for fun, with no regard for time. Just experiencing miles and miles (7 actually) of mud, water, laughter and fun, to be captured on Tom O's helmet cam.
Four of us had been registered as "racing" the event for time and awards: Pete Gilman, Paul Melby (aka Don Trom), Millie Suk and myself. I was pretty nervous about running for time with so many unknowns ... only 6 days post-marathon, no fast running in 3 months as I'm still not 100% after my hamstring injury, 8 water crossings, mud, cold, running in a red tutu, being old and slow compared to the rest of the team, forgetting my orthotics, deciding how many layers to wear (I got on the bus with 3 shirts on ... too many I decided) ... quite a few things streaming through my brain. I kept trying to talk Tom O' out of the "race" part. No luck. I was going to race this thing.
We arrived in Urbandale with plenty of time to pick up our numbers, chips and shirts.
It was immediately evident that costumes were a big part of the fun of this crazy event!
|Bri and her tutu|
|The girls of Team R.E.D.|
|Adam Flicek ... before|
Millie and I lined up in the start corral at about 8:40 trying to keep warm. There were lots of costumes to check out, and we chatted up Andy and Trevor who lined up along with us. (I didn't bring my camera on the course as I didn't want to ruin it. So I have no on-course pix.) We were off, running across the grounds of the Living History Farms
on a variety of surfaces as I recall ... some grass, some gravel and maybe even a little bit of concrete before we were all off-road and encoutering the 8 water crossings and associated mudslides and steep hill climbs. Here are some pix from Jim Li:
|Adam ... after|
The course was much more challenging that I anticipated and the water colder than I expected. After about the 4th or 5th creek, my feet went numb. But I LOVED IT!. My tutu made it through the entire race without getting muddy, wet or torn. Ha! I was being protective of it, actually, which did slow me down a bit I guess. My time, as compared to a road race, is very poor for 7 miles but all things considered, including the above pictured obstacles, I guess it was OK.
At the finish, we were treated to biscuits covered with hot beef stew, pumpkin bars, sweet rolls, cookies, cider and coffee. The stew really hit the spot. Millie and I ate, checked out the results and then went back to the bus and changed. It felt great to get out of those wet clothes and especially ... out of the wet shoes and socks filled with sand and mud.
We then went back to the finish to find the others and await the awards presentation.
|Elaine, Wendy, Meg|
but we had to wait for the announcements for the team awards. They announced that Team R.E.D. had won fourth place (it's since been changed to fifth)!! Whoo hoo!! We were happy!! 122 teams total. R.E.D. Rocks!! For my age-group award, I received a pottery pitcher and $10 in IA beef. For the co-ed team award, a pottery cup.
On the bus, I won a door prize ($25 Running Room gift card) so I made quite a haul. A good day. :-)
The down and dirty:
Place: 3rd out of 115 in my age group
Grandmaster place (age 50+): 5th out of 182
Gender place: 126 out of 3649