Day one of Wasatch Back Relay. Ran 5 easy miles with Nick and Brent in the morning.
At the start in Logan it was hot. Our team name was MarathonGIS (Paul's business), and we had a 5:00 pm start with BYU, Weber, Runner's Corner, and 26.2 Running Company. Runner's Corner had Mike Vick, BYU had Derek Taylor, Weber had an 8:38 steeplechaser, and 26.2 Running Company had somebody fast I had no background on. It was hot - 95 degrees. I tried to hang on with them for 0.75, after that they dropped me. They were doing 5:20 pace in spite of the heat and the hills. Some of them were not fit enough to hold it, as it turnout out later. By 2.5, the trailing part of the pack was 53 seconds ahead of me. I was just trying to keep my head above water with a sub-6:00 pace when I was not going uphill. On the uphills I was down to 6:15 pace.
Then everybody expect me took a wrong turn. Mike Vick and the Weber steeplechaser were quick enough to turn around, and by the time we started going uphill from mile 21 of TOU course towards mile 20, they were with me. They were too fast for me to run with, but they were not moving away from me as fast as they were earlier - probably about 20 seconds a mile or so. Derek Taylor (BYU) and the 26.2 guy never caught up, and in fact, according to Cody, I actually increased the gap them on that 1.5 mile stretch. My split for the 5.14 was 30:07, 1:13 slower than the schedule, but adding about 1:40 adjustment for the heat from the Tinman chart,I was actually quite a bit ahead. My stomach felt sick from running hard in the heat, and I raced to the porter potty as soon as I finished, but otherwise I was fine.
On the second leg Jared Rohatinsky (BYU, the brother of Josh, I guess that makes Josh the brother of Jared, some humor for those familiar with the Book of Mormon) passed Dustin, then Dustin passed Joe Bendoski (Runner's Corner, out of shape due to a long break from injuries), then Jared took a wrong turn on a perfectly straight stretch of road, and Dustin being a bit delirious from the heat and the effort just followed him. I've done something like this myself, when you start to hurt the straight road just bugs you, you are looking for any excuse to turn. I did that in TOU 2002. So Dustin ended up running extra 0.9 in the heat which cost us about 6 minutes on this leg, plus some more on his other legs from the extra fatigue. Corbin (Weber) ran great on this leg, and put on a good gap on everybody. Joe Bendoski did not take a wrong turn, so that put him ahead.
Chris Rogers passed the Runner's Corner girl, and the BYU runner who was not feeling well and put on a good 3 minute lead on BYU. We were able to hold BYU off up until leg 8. After that they passed us and were gone.
I discovered that my shorts got ripped up pretty bad, even to the point where I would consider them beyond usability, which has to be very far. I borrowed a spare pair from Dustin. He really saved my rear end, literally!
I got the baton at 11:13 PM at the Snow Basin ski resort near Huntsville. Paul remarked later that when you are starting your night leg your thoughts might be: Why am I running at this late hour, and not in bed with my wife? Those were exactly my thoughts.
I was supposed to average 5:02 pace on this leg. However, this was too aggressive of a prediction. 5:02 on a smooth 4% grade would have been just right. But this leg was full of little break-ups that went uphill for a quarter, and portions that were only 1% followed by steeper parts to make up. You do not go much faster on 7% than you do on 4%. However, you do go much slower on 1% than you do on 4%, and very much slower at 6000+ elevation up a grade even if it is very small. To make things worse, the bread I brought to snack on in between legs had a very hard crust, and I was feeling it. Combined with the dark this made it difficult for me to concentrate and push hard. I ended up doing only 5:24 average on this leg (41:40 for 7.7). I did not feel like I was working very hard, but just could not put it all together and really go. Mike Vick ran this leg a good 4 minutes faster. He should have been no more than 2:30 faster based on the first leg and recent race history. I was only 2 minutes faster than Nate Pollard on it, and this also indicates that I should have run this leg about 1:00-1:30 faster. I noticed I was getting a lot stronger towards the end. I wondered why, then look at the elevation profile - the early miles were at 6500 feet while the later ones were near 5000.
End of Day 1.