I am so excited to be writing about how AWESOME the Tree Farm Relay was this past Saturday! Yeah! My trusty mountain bike (who I am soooo sorry I have not ridden since last August) DID NOT let me down. I was super thankful that I had no blown tires, tubes, or puking this time around! I was especially happy that I had no bike issues because I realized on Thursday that I left my camelback, which was carefully packed and set aside so the movers wouldn't take it and put it in storage, on the floor at the apartment. It had my mini hand pump (that works like a charm on those fatty tires), tube, and HYDRATION. Thankfully I realized that days in advance, and was able to bum a bladder (how funny does that sound) from Cristina. Also, since it was a relay race, there was no rule that teammates could not share a bike if we needed to. It was also relatively short, and the I am not that much slower of a trail runner than I am a mountain biker. I am sure my bike would have slown me down a bit, since it felt like a tank next to my tri bike.
It was pretty hot. Doing two races during this midwestern heat wave was probably not the smartest idea, but who knew back when we signed up! In fact, we had signed up so early that we were team 9, out of 98. Here is my team, the Tutu Bellas. This is our third year as a team doing this race. This race is big on costumes, hence the tutus, taken from Kristel's theme of doing trail runs in tutus.
Since there were so many teams to do a traditional mass start, they do it LeMans style. Everyone stands at the top of this hill and runs down it, then grabs their bike and bikes up the other side of the hill to help spread people out. This year, they had a special surprise for us that they wouldn't tell us about until we were lined up ready to go. We were told to remove our shoes and hold them up over our heads until the start. Yeah for triathlon experience and velcro mountain bike shoes! Lots of people had lace up shoes and some just had running shoes.
I opted to run down the hill in my socks and put my shoes on at the bottom. It was much easier to run that way, and I didn't have to worry about getting knocked down the hill while trying to put my shoes on. I was able to get fairly decent positioning as a result.
I tore up the the first hill and passed a few more people. The first lap is always the hardest, as it is crowded and people are wiping out trying to go all out. We all slowed down due to a bad crash just a short bit into the trail. I did pretty well, but I did lose control a couple of times and lost some time. It could be expected since it had been a year since I rode this trail, and I hadn't even been on the bike until this morning. I did not stop at the crater, which is the in course party stop. I don't drink, so it was a no brainer to pass up the shots they were offering there. I felt pretty good about my time, and had us in second place, and handed off to Michelle.
Michelle had a good ride, and handed off to Kristel.
Cristina was our anchor, and had the fastest time for any female (on an all female team). She made up a bit of time and secured our second place finish.
It felt so great to ride and have nothing bad happen before a race! I really hope this past week's experience was a once in a lifetime experience, and glad to put in a good race today. My lap time was around 55 minutes, and we finished with a time of 3:50 and change.
Here are some pictures of some of the other "costumes"
It feels pretty good to be done with my summer season. I should hopefully be able to avoid racing in the heat for a while. I need to get working on the move. I am officially in Kentucky now, and need to be a responsible wife and mother, and work on the house now. Yeah! I can't wait to be in our own home!