My week with the A-Cross the Country Relay…By the Numbers:
The relay course (our part) started about 60 miles north of my house and finished 110 miles north. So when I left in the morning – had to take everything needed for the day. I had a large cooler in the trunk filled with water and sport drink for the runners. Also had bags of snacks, first aid kit, my running paraphernalia, extra clothes, laptop, paperwork, team binder and probably a few other things. My backseat looked like I had issues with hoarding.
The first day we were on some pretty muddy roads, so after pulling in and out of those a few times, my mud caked tires looked like we had done some off-road driving. Add to that the backseat, the dashboard covered with maps/binder and the muddy car mats on the floor board and heavy layer of dust from the gravel/dirt roads (day 3), we were looking pretty questionable when we pulled into Macaroni Grill on our way home after we finished on Thursday.
My personal numbers:
- 532 – Miles driven to get to and from – start, stop and legs.
- 18 – Miles I ran in the 3 days.
- 10 – Average minutes of each mile I ran (just kidding – didn’t time it but not that fast). 🙂
- 10 – Average hours I spent with relay each day.
- 4 – Number of times got lost 🙂 due to fatigue or missing/faded signs.
We were pretty proud of these numbers…
- 143 – Miles covered by all Mid-MO runners.
- 40 – Number of legs for Mid-MO averaging 3 miles each.
- 35 – Number of Mid-MO runners.
- 23 – Number of new members participating.
- 4 – Number of months ago that planning began for us.
- 3 – Number of days of the Mid-MO part of the relay.
- There were 7 of us from Vitae (my office) running in the relay. Not pictured here is Rene Maxey who also ran with us. Carl Landwehr, Vitae’s president, showed his support by joining us in the picture.
- Sarah Black (my niece) and Zach Lauf (Godson and nephew) met the St. Louis runners to start our portion of the relay. They are pictured here (Center) with St. Louis runners.
- Some of the Mid-MO women of day 1. Heart and soul (sole).
- Howard County sheriff checked in on us as I was finishing a leg on day 2 of the 3 days our chapter covered.
- Our good friend, Karla Lang, ran a couple of legs on day 2 and then offered us a great spaghetti dinner at the end of the day. Beautiful Bed and Breakfast. Click on the image to go to her website – great place to stay while running, biking or sight-seeing, in beautiful Blackwater, Missouri.
- Day 3 was the warmest of all the days we covered. We ended up eating a lot of dust running on all gravel roads to finish it out.
- This is Jim Thomas from Share-Life farms in Marshall, MO. He saw some of the runners and wanted to donate something. He made a trip back home and gave us some of these refrigerated organic sour apples – they were really good. Blessings to him for being so generous and kind.
- My sister Dolores did this with me and was there on the first and last day. She walked 7 miles of the relay and trailed me with the car for most of mine on both those days.
We met some awesome people along the relay journey. This is the Whitney family and we are near Marshall, MO. They are all runners. (L to R) Me, Corey Lyons (Stephanie’s brother), Matt (Dad), Talon, Ty, Stephanie (Mom) and Dolores (my sister). They covered 5 legs of the relay.
- Day 3 was all dirt/gravel roads. Testament to that is the layer of dirt on my bumper.
- I am so thankful I’m able to run and take part in such an exciting adventure. My running pouch that is under my shirt adds a few inches to my mid section. No, that is not my stomach – ha!
My friend Kristina Davis and I are running in the More/fitness Half Marathon (her first) in New York next month. Here she is finishing her 4 mile leg of the relay.
- Handing off the East baton to Bernard Krumpelman in Davis, MO after my last leg and Mid-MO portion of Relay.
- The area in Missouri that we were running in was so rural that the street sign marking the end of my last leg and the Mid-MO portion…was in a tree. My red face and bare legs tells you it was much warmer than when we started that day.
- This was 143 miles (35 Runners) from where the local team began their quest to fill in the legs of the A-Cross the Country Relay which had 4,089 total miles.
- James Vignola wanted to run in the relay so much that he chose to do so even though the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) told him it would disqualify him from competing in high school track and field for 1 year. James ran the last 2 legs of day 2, of the Mid-MO portion of the A-Cross the Country Relay. The relay was not a competition, he and many of the other runners ran alone, there were no medals, timer, etc. It was about raising awareness for the unborn, offering our running up as a prayer and sacrifice. We are hopeful that MSHSAA will allow James who is a Freshman at Helias High School, to continue competing. He is a great example to other students and role model for all. Blessings to him and his very supportive family.
So today the relay continues through Kansas City and begins edging north to St. Joseph, Missouri.
It was a wonderful experience. We met some of the most fascinating people along the way with stories that could fill a book.
For me, today, I have a 9 mile long run. Catch you on the flip side.