Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dixie Dirty Dozen Part 1

Dirty Dozen (-1) Pre-Race

200 Miles, 2 vans, 24 hours & 12 people.....That's the short of the Dixie 200 Relay running race.
The full version is an awesome event that has made memories to last a life time. Months ago after following Michael on twitter tweet about his time doing the Ragnar Relay Miami to Key West, I told him that looked so fun and there was talk of the Dixie 200 Relay being set up for Atlanta to Birmingham. Right in my backyard! So in February while Michael was picking up his packet for Mercedes Marathon he also became team captain of the Dixie 200,and the  Dirty Dozen was born. At that time, it still just seemed like a great fun adventure and I really didn't put much thought into "what have I signed up for!?"

As the months went on for preparing for the race, there were many name changes in the dozen, some left the group and some were added and it wasn't until the week of that we had our final dozen, ok really 11 but who's counting! I had met a couple of them, briefly, prior to the race but we were about to spend 24+ hours together, we would get to know each other really soon!! 
Van 1

Van 1 (half dozen)
Sam @alum98
Kevin @kdwashburn
myself @jcrawford720  

Van 2 (half dozen -1)

Van 2

Pre Race Instructions
Now that we know everyone...onto the race it's self! It started with most of us jumping into our vans from Birmingham and traveling to the start point in Atlanta at the Silver Comet Trail. We arrived at the Holiday inn close to the start line around 10pm, and we settled in for what would be our last night in a bed until Saturday night. I shared a room with 3 of the other girls, Niki, Allison, & Tanya. I was 1st to sleep, mainly because I was the lead off person to start the race. Somehow I was picked to go 1st! Nothing like pressure to start of our team off right!! Prior to the start we had a little debriefing of the events of the race. Due to only 8 teams in this inaugural race we would have mandatory breaks after van 2 completed each leg. This was done to make sure the groups stayed together (as much as possible) and to help with volunteers at there check points.  Having these breaks made it nice to see everyone at the van exchanges, it really added to the bonding/getting to know everyone on this adventure! 
my Final Leg of Race
As for the running, myself, I had some of the best runs I have ever had!! My 1st leg started with 7 miles with a time of :58 a 8:11 pace!! I was amazed!! My 2nd leg which started about 11 hours later that day, was 4 miles with a time of :33 a 8:01 pace, still amazed!! my 3rd leg, a even shorter leg, but 12 hours later and (maybe) 2hours of sleep was 2.75 miles with a 8:08 pace. And let me tell you that 3rd leg..even though it was short I was shocked at how stiff I was when I started!! Wow the hamstrings were tight, note to race like this make sure to stretch!!
Starting Line
Everyone seemed to have great runs through out the entire 200 miles! We in van 1 were very lucky, we were able to get most of runs in during the morning or early evening! Which ment cooler weather and not so scary!! As for van 2.....somehow they ended up running in the hottest parts of the day and in the middle night down some of the most back woods type areas with dogs....and from what they said ALOT of dogs!! According to Niki in order to be sub-8 for entire run is to have dogs chase you in the dark of the night!!

Instead of going on...I think I will make this part 1 of 3 on the Dixie 200!! This is just the 1st recap of the event, I have yet to cover the exchanges, and of course the finish!!
Finisher Medal! 

Before I end this portion, I want to say this was one of the best things that I have ever been a part of!! I am so glad I didn't scare myself out of doing it!! It was also a was my last tour of the south before moving back to Michigan.

Have you ever been a part of running relay race?
Would you spend 24 hours with 11 of your closest running friends and run 200 miles?

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