10 Metro Pax decided to take a chance with a new Relay Race this past weekend and we all grew horns like a Billy Goat.
208 Mile Relay Race with 10 people outside of Sparta, NC. The official name is Get Outside Mountains Relay GOMR, but by the end we felt it should be renamed. Unlike your typical point to point relays this was a two-lap relay with a Hub and Spoke style. No stinky vans for 36 hours, No tired driving, No pre-coordination on logistics…Just show up ready to run and your Captain will point you to a shuttle a hundred yards away 30 minutes before your leg and your off. At least that was the approached taken by YHC. Best Relay Ever! Team “Legs of Glory” Delivered F3 Metro a Top 3 All Male Finish!
I would estimate the Legs of Glory Team had a combined 50 years of experience in F3. As you all know when the combined experience of the PAX is in the Respect Range we tend to be able to handle most everything. From a F3 standpoint the experiment that is Metro is a success!
From YHC perspective the strength and longevity of F3 is the fellowship aspect of the group. If you asked me 5 years ago if I would enjoy a weekend in the mountains with 9 other men camping and running, I’d call you a few choice words. The fact that we had such a great time just chilling this weekend and experiencing life together was a tribute to the bonds of the gloom. But enough of the HIM sentiment and to the event.
So YHC hard committed to this thing early in 2018. About 6 weeks out I get and e-mail about having 6 men committed and looking for some additional PAX to fill the group out so we slowly get a hodgepodge of 10 ready to go into the weekend. A GroupMe is set up an we are off.
In typical fashion legs are assigned and off we go. So, in the entire relay there is one Moderate Section ONE… I thought it was a typo or a mistake. Everything else was Extra Hard, Extra Extra Hard, and Extremely Hard. WTF are they just trying to make this thing look difficult. I then ignored it all until the day of the race. YHC gets picked up by Silent Bob and head out to Sparta 2 hours from Charlotte. I ask SB about the legs to which he says, “Our Family Mountain House is up there and there are not too many flat road and the rolling hills are mountains.” Now I am stuck in a car with a guy named Silent Bob for two thinking about running up Mountains. I may or may not have started Crying.
We get to the GOMR headquarters and Silent Bob drops me off and helps me with my stuff. I tell him, I will grab it and he should just grab his…”Cannoli, I am not camping, I am Glamping in a luxury Log Cabin 10 minutes away.” I see Silent Bob 6 more times during the weekend before and after his legs. For the record he did offer to have us come by the cabin to freshen up.
At the Campground Gangster Mouse was listening to 90’s Alternative Rock #livinguptohisname, Groupon showed up with BOGO Bottles of Bleach for the team. Spooky Jon was scary focused, Mr. Green ate organic, Black Jack wanted to play cards, Barracuda was on a 2018 plan, Malkovich was ready for a starring role, Sundance ran his 2nd leg into the sunset with no head lamp,
Charlotte is in Monsoon Season recently but Sparta for the weekend was perfect if you like 90 and Humid! For a Mountain Run they certainly made sure the Mid-Day runs had no shade and the mid-night runs were in the forest, just saying.
The sun was on top of us and it messed with our ability to follow directions. As we all know Garmin is still in business because of Metro (on a side note I saw a Blackberry at the relay). GOMR set up all the routes with specific distances example turn right 2.32 miles at X street, turn left at 3.72 miles at Y street etc. YHC uses an old fashion cheat in school trick of writing this on my arm and looking at it every 10 feet then my Garmin, then the road, then repeat until I arrive to the next exchange late but not lost. Spooky has a legal approach, he memorizes it. His first leg he felt so good he passed the exchange zone and ran another mile and a half before turning around. Silent Bob saw him run by, but was Speechless. When I heard all of this, I point blank asked Silent Bob why he did not just chase down Spooky when he turned around and exchange mid-leg, no answer.
Before second leg I took a shower at the Sparta Wellness Center, this is a cross between a Banjo and the Ritz. For $2 we get a locker room shower. During the heat of a relay race YHC will trade a child for a shower or just a hose. This was awesome. I get back and somehow (Thanks Obama, or is it Trump, or is it Putin, not sure these days #nomorepolitics) we bleed more time with another wrong turn and we are an hour behind (the route was clearly marked with signs and spray paint on the road). I grab a vest and a blinky and head out, but completely forgot the head lamp. I was supposed to launch at 7 and forgot about dark, but have a phone and will grab Sundance’s lamp…. He did not have one so I borrowed a pink clip on with a square foot of illumination and 4 feet of range #bestoption and head out. So, this is considered Very Very Hard leg. Spooky said it was a little harder than the BRR Nipple, WTF was an Extremely Hard Leg. First mile had 600 in elevation gain, About a mile of the Mutha.
Get back eventually, eat a soggy Subway #ziplocks and head back and find out we have a little bit of a curve ball. Groupon must get back to Charlotte and because we are behind we need to horse trade legs. Groupon hits an Extra Over Night Leg and YHC switches to the morning. But in general, the night was positive even with one or two missteps. Legs of Glory prevailed and found a second wind. Due to some time constraints we decided to go into the relay by-laws to pull out a Shotgun approach for a few legs.
The Shotgun is rarely used, but makes everyone happy. YHC was trying to get home before Tuesday and offered to skip a leg for the good of the team. I spoke to the race director to explain the situation and the fact that we are a little behind. I suggest the #takeonefortheteamandskipalegapproach….He looks at the bylaws and section 42f.98.a.31.c.78.t and determined that it is possible to shotgun start a few legs in this format in order to get the volunteers home. So we send 3 runners out to Shotgun start 3 legs simultaneously at 8:30am. Brilliant we just got back on track…Not brilliant the rest time between legs is cut by said shortcut. All legs were finished by Legs Of Glory and the Podium Finish preserved! You could not Beet the Beers at the end!
By far this is the best relay format that I have done. I appreciate Malco’s Leadership and the entire team for a great weekend. I have more stories to tell, but will only tell them at Spaghetti 6 while I fine tune the 2020 plan!