A.M. Easy 6 with James W, 1.5 with Benjamin and Jenny, additional 0.5 with Benjamin, and 1 mile with Julia.
P.M. Brief report, more details when I have time. Ran Leg 10 of Del Sol (7.4) in 42:20, average pace technically 5:43, but with adventures.
Now details. Our team was as follows in leg order: Van 1 - Dave Holt, Logan Fielding, Nick McCombs, Clyde Behunin, and James Barnes with Steve Hooper driving. Van 2 - Adam Wende, Ted Leblow, Kory Wheatley, myself, Jeff Shadley, and Steve Ashbaker (the Air Darkhorse).
Google was supposedly the team to beat, but after checking their performance history in other relays, I knew that they would not be breaking 6:00 average by much if at all. Barring an exceptionally catastrophic event, our team should not have had a problem outperforming this. I was more concerned about some Arizona running store bringing current and post-collegiate runners together. We did, however, consider putting http://google.com/search?q=fast+running+blog on our van to taunt our competition, but it was a last minute thought and we lacked the materials. Apparently, according to one of our team members who talked with Google, they indeed had done the above search and knew they were in trouble.
I considered beating Google by a lot one of the main reasons for coming to the race. Why? There was a mission to accomplish. I want to see the US companies to start following the pattern of the Japanese corporations. I want to see strong corporate teams where winning a race is a matter of importance to a corporation enough to actually do something about nurturing the runners. From what I've observed about Google, of all the US companies they appear to be one of the most open to the idea of promoting the company by winning a race. Most corporations spend millions on maintaining their public image but are perfectly content to send a team that will not break 8:00 average pace. Google is different. They care. At least some people inside the company do. I wanted them to seriously ask this question - How in the world are these guys from Utah and Idaho manage to beat us so bad? What do we need to do to beat them next time?
However, beating Google would not have quite done the job had we not won the race outright. After the first leg, we saw that this would not be easy. Although we had no problem separating ourselves from Google as I expected, The Running Shop team from Tuscan was strong. Their runner finished together with Dave. Logan opened a 1:30 gap on his leg, then Nick increased it to 3:42, and Clyde to 4:19. Walter increased it further to 4:27, and then James to over 5 minutes in spite of being sick.
Van 2 took over. Adam ran strong ahead of his projection, Ted and Kory ran strong as well. We were not timing the gap any more as we could not afford to wait. My leg was interesting. I was projected to run 5:28 pace for 7.4 miles on rollers with a net elevation gain which I felt was a bit overoptimistic for a number of reasons. Nevertheless I should have been close. The leg started with 1.5 miles of 2% grade uphill and a steady headwind. I had forgotten by GPS at James and Lybi's house and borrowed one from Adam. Unfortunately, it did not start right away when I pressed the button. However, about a quarter into my leg I got it started for real. I was running a steady 5:50 pace in the initial section. Then I hit a 1:18 quarter on a short downhill, and settled into 1:22 - 1:24 quarters once there was no headwind. Had a hard time hitting my true threshold in the dark and at this late hour (11 pm). Had an adventure with about a mile to go. My flashlight fell off. It took me a few seconds to realize it was gone. I figured losing a few seconds by going back to get the light would be better than losing the light and possibly getting our team DQ'ed on top of it for running without the light. So I went back and got it. I do not know exactly how much I've lost on it, Adam probably could figure it out since it is on his GPS. My overall time was 42:20, 5:43 average assuming the leg was indeed 7.4. I do remember that the GPS had an auto-pause, and afterwards was showing 5:36 pace average for the timed portion of my run (7.15). So the leg could have been a bit longer than 7.4 as well. I ended up being 1:42 slower than the projection, and Jason from the Running Shop gained 2:35 on me.
To add injury to insult, once I got in the van I realized that my cell phone was gone, and we could not possibly go back to get it. Fortunately, I knew that most likely it went down at the same place as the flash light, and we could figure out exactly where later from the GPS.
Jeff and Steve ran very strong on their legs and more than made up for my adventures. We handed off to Van 1 with 7:48 gap on the Running Shop.