|Really really ridiculously early in the morning.|
This year I lucked out and ran the 3rd leg of the race (First year I got stuck running the last leg, which is the pits. Last year I ran leg 2, which wasn't bad.). For those of you who aren't from around these parts, leg #3 is a 4.4 mile hike over the JFK causeway which connects Corpus to Padre Island. Anything after leg #3 is just too late in the morning which equals too hot, and leg #1 is on the beach, so I've learned that choosing either #2 or #3 is the way to go.
Each year, I dread this race. I don't know why I continue to agree to run with a team, because I just absolutely dread every second leading up to the baton exchange. I mean, anyone who signs up to run a race in Corpus Christi in the middle of May is a glutton for punishment. Sitting in the shade at 7am was pretty pleasant, but add an hour and a half to the day and take away the shade and it gets really warm really fast. But then before I realize it, the 4 miles are behind me and I can see the next chute ahead and I remember that it's not so bad after all. The first mile of leg #3 has an ugly climb up a bridge that begins the causeway, but once you're at the top, the view over the waterway is fantastic. Running back downhill isn't half bad either. However, just so we're clear, once you're up and over the bridge portion, there's still ton of causeway left to travel.
Pros: #1. Had a
Cons: #1. It was HOT. #2. The smell coming off of the waterway (Laguna Madre) was rank. Had this taken place during my first trimester, the stink of stale seawater and marine life would have made me super nauseated. #3. No water stations or portapotties on the bridge. #4. The last .75 mile was off the bridge and back at sea level where there was NO breeze (see also Con #1).
For the first time ever, I ran with a sponsored team this year, which means fun matchy-matchy race shirts (see below) and registration fees comped by our sponsor. This is definitely the way to go! Many thanks to Meredith for inviting me to join the Shake N Bake team (and not being overly uptight over the slower-than-usual pregnant girl bringing the team time down by a few minutes). Our team motto was "If you're not first, you're LAST!" which is especially comical considering we were nowhere NEAR first. Also for the first time ever, I didn't carpool with anyone. The last 2 years I've ridden along with other people and had no worries about driving around in Corpus with 15,000 other race-goers. In hindsight, this wasn't as dreadful as I made it in my mind, thinking of navigating by myself through horrible traffic, finding nowhere to park and missing the shuttle completely. None of those things happened. I'd add this to the Pros list, but there were roaches on the shuttle.
|On the back is the motto & some groovy flames.|