June 17, 2009

Madison-Chicago 200

I'd never really been to Chicago, IL (drove through 3 times while traveling to/from DC and SLC) or Madison, WI, so when I was offered a chance to join the Deloitte Running Team in doing the Madison-Chicago 200-Mile Relay, I jumped at it.

The flight to Chicago on Thursday was uneventful, and I met up with Randy, Jessica, and Jenny at the rental car place. I've known Randy for a while, but he was the only teammate I knew. The four of us drove up to Madison and got a little Wendy's on the way (ah, the meal of champions!).

Our team met up on Friday morning and signed in for the race. We got our directions and information packets and then went to the store for some supplies. Just the basics: bananas, Gatorade, water, PB&J's, etc.
We started the race at noon, but I was in the second van, so we had some time to kill before we ran our first legs. So we decided to go into downtown Madison and get some lunch. I was runner #10, and my first leg was a 5.5 miler along a trail. Nothing too exciting. In fact, it got hard to stay focused, because I was just running along this same path in almost a straight line for the whole time. There was some scenery, which helped, though.
After our van was done with its first legs, we went for dinner and then to our next van transition (a high school) to catch some shut-eye. My second leg was a short run, just 3 miles. I love having a short night run. Short, so I could just book it and be done with it, and peaceful because there aren't lots of cars out on the roads.

Next van transition was at a church, and we slept inside, because it was raining and we were tired of being in the cramped van. Unfortunately, there weren't any couches left, so we just had to sleep on the floor. Not the most comfortable, but we were tired, so we still were able to sleep a couple hours. My last leg was 5.75 miles through the Chicago suburbs, and it was quite enjoyable (maybe because I knew I was almost done haha). Lots of trees and running pathways.
We finished in Chicago with a total time of 26:11:58, which gave us a 7:45 min/mile average. That gave us a 6th place finish in our division (61 teams). And of the full 114 competing teams, we took 22nd overall. Great race, Deloitters and Friends!

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