After catching a little bit of sleep on the ground in a couple of sleeping bags with Ted and Adam, we wake up about 3am and start getting ready for our next leg. James comes flying in and Adam is off and we are on our way. This whole rotation is mostly short legs (4 or less) except Steve so it should go fast.
At about 5am, we are getting ready for the handoff. A women's team from North Dakota is there waiting as well and they ask when we started. We told them 6pm and the laugh that we started 9 hours behind them and are already passing them!
So, I get the hand off for my uphill 2.75M leg. Man it is hard to get going, but again the adrenaline just takes hold and you go as fast as you can. As this is short, I just put my head down and go, but the hill is worse than I thought. Splits were: 5:45, 5:44, 5:19 pace for last 0.75 for an avg. 5:35 pace.
total time: 15:24
We head to the Saguaro Lake campground for some more rest after Steve's leg. Ted, Adam and I again lay out the sleeping bags, this time on hard concrete. Ted gives up before even starting and Adam and I lay down. I manage to somehow fall asleep and get about 2 hours of hard sleep (Adam is amazed that I could even drift off). We awake to sunshine and start getting ready for our last leg, expecting to be way ahead but still wanting to pour it on. Adam gets the hand off from James and we are away.
I get the hand off from Sasha for the second to last leg and head out for a flat 4.12M leg. The team heads out to scout the course and get Steve to the start of his leg. As I am running along, a guy pulls up with a video phone and asks me "So this is what first place looks like, how do you feel?" I yell and scream for the team, then he asks "So, how fast are you running right now?" I look at my GPS and yell out "5:14 pace!". He hollers and takes off (I still don't know who he was). As I past 1M, I see a dog wandering in the road ahead, I stop to pick up a hefty rock and keep on running towards the dog, cross the road and am ready to let the rock fly if the dog moves. Luckily he is more wary of me and leaves me alone. So, I keep powering on. As I approach mile 3, it is a major intersection and Ted heads out into traffic to clear me a path and the all the cars stop for us! I turn the corner at 4M and hammer it with my loud dog-bark breathing to kick to the finish. Splits are: 5:27,5:41, 5:43, 5: 40 and last .12M in 5:18 pace. Steve is off. About .5M warmup and 0.5M cool down scouting the course for Steve and running into the finish with the team.
total time: 23:07 (Tangents - 154 miles)
Running with this team was awesome and inspiring. They all pushed me beyond what I thought I could do as I beat all of my estimated finish times. They are all great guys who I am glad I got a chance to know better. Thanks to James and Lybi for their hospitality and support (James you are da man! for driving). Thanks to Steve H and Sasha for putting this racing team together and to Ted for captaining the team. An experience I will never forget!
Only real downside...The awards ceremony at the end was a total joke. We got to the finish before anyone was their (they weren't even done setting up for the event) and they totally messed up all the awards for every category, so we received our dinky little first place batons with nearly no one in attendance. Google, the third place team, got a new treadmill from Nordictrack for winning the "corporate" event...what a joke.