Monday, June 23, 2008

June 20 and 21, 2008


The Wasatch Back Relay covers 181 miles from Logan, Utah to Park City. We had the opportunity to be a part of a 12 runner team, each having three legs to run. This blog includes snippets of our adventure. A big thanks goes out to PricewaterhouseCoopers for sponsoring us and supporting their staff with work/life balance while allowing members to work as a team. Also a big thanks to our team leaders, Chris Sepp, Chris Pulsipher and Jon Hansen for taking care of all the details.

Please feel free to leave comments under each section and let me know if I need to edit anything. Don't forget to check out the short clips of the baton passes.

Laura Dalbey


1.
How long did you train and what did you do to train? oops! I didn't train.... I ran the Colorado Marathon at the beginning of May, and since then have been running approx 5 miles a day 5 days a week. Would have been a good idea to have done a couple 'two-a-days"
2. Why did you pick your particular leg? i am better at longer distances, and not good at running up mountains, better at running down them
3. What did you enjoy the most about your experience? all of it, this was my first race of this kind. I loved how all the van's were decorated, I really liked the people in the van with me.
4. Share something funny that happened to you during the weekend or something you thought was humorous. too much, everyone in the van was awesome. the whole time was fun
5. How do you feel you did on your legs? probably would have been a good idea to have stretched a bit after each leg. My legs were not happy when i ran the third time, they felt very heavy... i feel bad for van 2.
6. Would you do it again? YES
7. Share a highlight of your experience or something you want to say about the race. finishing... meeting new people, seeing how beautiful Utah is. The race was so well organized and fun.



video

Kenya Haupt

1. How long did you train and what did you do to train? For three years in a row I have done a marathon and a half walk in late June for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. So..........(as mentioned above, it is a walk) every weekend beginning in mid-April I start walking about 12 to 15 miles either on Saturday or on Sunday so that is/was my training regimen. My big "walk" is this coming weekend in Keystone and Breckenridge.
2. Why did you pick your particular leg? It was assigned and I'd be happy to take it again next year -- it was great!
3. What did you enjoy the most about your experience? Hanging out with all our team members and seeing the amazing scenery!!
4. Share something funny that happened to you during the weekend or something you thought was humorous. Jim Andrus is particularly humorous! Oh, and it seemed we kept losing Chris Pulsipher whenever we would stop for breaks.
5. How do you feel you did on your legs? For a walker, great -- gotta get up to the jogging though for next year.
6. Would you do it again? I'm in.
7. Share a highlight of your experience or something you want to say about the race. Our team was so supporter of one another and just learning more about everyone in our van and their families was a ton of fun. The race itself is well done and some of the van decorations were just laugh out loud!!

Chris Pulsipher

Since I was taking the baton from Chris Pulsipher, all I can say is.........it was always sweaty. I could tell he ran hard. Van 1 didn't call us to tell us to come to the second exchange point. Chris Sepp woke up from the short sleep we all had and called them. We hurried, packed our stuff, and barely made it. I jumped out of the van and ran to Chris from behind. They all thought I was some crazy lady; Laura wouldn't hand me the baton. No, really, it's just me, It's O.K. Not a great way to start my second leg. We had a lot of rough exchanges unfortunately.

Tom Pierce

Brandon John

1. How long did you train and what did you do to train? I ran 4-5 miles about 3-4 times a week and an occasional longer run on weekends. I trained since I first learned I was on the team around the first of March.
2. Why did you pick your particular leg? Picking was easy, I stepped into Matt Connor's shoes.
3. What did you enjoy the most about your experience? The team and especially all of Jim's lame jokes (j/k). I really enjoyed the scenery and the feeling of accomplishment after it was all finished.
4. Share something funny that happened to you during the weekend or something you thought was humorous. When we were meeting up at the 2nd major exchange point, right before we saw Chris E., we passed a runner in whitey-tighties and a cape and Laura and Kenya shouted out to him, and he immediately jumped into character and covered his nipples and gave us a surprised face - it was pretty funny. Also on Chris P's 1st leg, Jim had given everyone we regularly passed nicknames, such as "tan girl" and "big hair" - also very funny.
5. How do you feel you did on your legs? I think I did okay with the amount of training I had.
6. Would you do it again? Yes, definitely.
7. Share a highlight of your experience or something you want to say about the race. Each exchange point was the highlight for me, it was fun how there was always action going on w/ someone on our team.

James Andrus

I truly do not know why people take pictures of stuff like this. I thought it was perfect for Jim's personal account of the experience. I edited the pic and hope no one will come after me.


1. How long did you train and what did you do to train? I trained for years. Running from dogs, the bully in High School, my wife. It all contributed to my stellar performance. There simply wasn't anybody on our team who raced better than me.
2. Why did you pick your particular leg? The level of difficulty on my leg(s) was obviously more than anybody else could take. I was happy to take one for the team.
3. What did you enjoy the most about your experience? I enjoyed very much the opportunity to have people get to know me better. I recognize and appreciate that it is such an uplifting and edifying experience to get to know me. Again, this was a service I was willing to render. And for this very reason, I will be doing the race again next year. It simply isn't fair for people not to know me.
4. Share something funny that happened to you during the weekend or something you thought was humorous. Honestly? The funniest thing that happened was my near collapse after running my first leg for only five minutes. Seriously, what was I thinking not training for this? THAT will never happen again.
5. How do you feel you did on your legs? Poor, medium and medium to poor.
6. Would you do it again? You won't be able to keep me away.
7. Share a highlight of your experience or something you want to say about the race. The highlight of this race for me was my generous and willing sacrifice to be the "road kill" for just about every other team in the race. Again, it was my pleasure to serve and take one for the team. Somebody had to do it.

Chris Sepp on The Ragnar

Relieved to be done and handing the baton to Jon. He was asked if he would do this exact leg again next year, without hesitation he said "No."

Hands down, Chris is the man. He did the Ragnar without having to walk or take a break. In mythology and legend, ragnar is "a man who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits and favored by the gods."

This is him on one of his "easier" legs.

The dirt road has got to be tough.

video


1. How long did you train and what did you do to train? Running the canyon with J. Moore made a huge difference.
2. Why did you pick your particular leg? I love hills.
3. What did you enjoy the most about your experience? Hanging out with the team.
4. Share something funny that happened to you during the weekend or something you thought was humorous. The time Chris Ericson accidently threw his empty bottle into some random person's van...classic.
5. How do you feel you did on your legs? I was just happy to finish them.
6. Would you do it again? Definately.
7.
Share a highlight of your experience or something you want to say about the race. I think completing the third and hardest leg in my set was huge for me. Other than that, the air mattress and ibuprofen!

Jeff Moore

"Rough" does not even begin to cover it.

Jeff and his lovely wife. His family came to see him run his last leg, and boy was it a nasty one. Just when we thought it couldn't get worse, the road turned to dirt.

How is it that he can run like a champ without having trained very much?


video

1. How long did you train and what did you do to train? Ran a few times up by Brighton. I had a unique taper strategy where I didn't run the last 3 weeks before the race. I wanted my legs to be extra fresh and ready to go.
2. Why did you pick your particular leg? I told Sepp I'd take anything. Not sure if we can be friends anymore after the sections he dealt me.
3. What did you enjoy the most about your experience? Definitely the camaraderie.
4. Share something funny that happened to you during the weekend or something you thought was humorous. During my trek up "you've got to be kidding me" hill from hell, nature called. It was just my luck that 3 vans full of people drove by as I dropped my drawers.
5. How do you feel you did on your legs? I think I felt the grim reaper licking his chops a few times. The night run was pretty fun though.
6. Would you do it again? For sure! This race was motivation to get back in shape. I want a blacko.
7. Share a highlight of your experience or something you want to say about the race. I really enjoyed my time with everyone. I'm looking forward to next year!

Trevor Hanson

This is Trevor finishing up his last leg. It was a rough one. We didn't dare warn him about the hill at the end. Why think about it more than necessary!
This is him at the end of his first leg. The heat was miserable. Unlike Chris E. he was more than happy to receive all the water we offered him.
He ran with more ease on his second run in the middle of the night. There was no heat and although it was more than 7 miles long, it was downhill, and he Rocked!

video

1. How long did you train and what did you do to train? (2 months and it showed. I ran 4 to 5 miles on a treadmill 10 different times. Result - under prepablack by about 30 runs. I desprately needed outside (sun) exposure.
2. Why did you pick your particular leg? (It was the second best choice for the van I was in and it kept me from dying on the trail).
3. What did you enjoy the most about your experience? (The challenge, the people we ran with, the environment (mountains))
4. Share something funny that happened to you during the weekend or something you thought was humorous. (Complete lack of personal privacy. For example, I was stretching my legs on the ground and he was about 5 yards away changing for his leg after mine....he said, "oops, that woman over there just watched me drop my shorts.....oh well..."
5. How do you feel you did on your legs? (Leg 1 - horrible, heat exhaustion about killed me, I didn't use any water to keep me cool and it was about 90 degrees with no breeze. My time stunk. Leg 2 I made up for my bad leg 1 by averaging 8 min miles for 7.1 miles (night run, obviously). Leg 3 was bad again as my right knee felt like it was going to explode. I had no choice but to walk a couple of the hills...wimp).
6. Would you do it again? (absolutely ...and I'll be more ready this time).
7. Share a highlight of your experience or something you want to say about the race. (Amazing experience. Something I wish everyone I knew could experience. The only area that could be improved would be the available food. When running so much I needed better calories. I'll plan on more substantial, healthy food next time to keep me stronger...plus my nerves would be more settled now that I'm "experienced')

Jon Hansen

Jon was hard to document because he's so dang fast.

On his last leg, he flew down the first two miles doing less than a 6 minute mile. When he saw the first uphill, he probably thought that he was done for. He managed to keep a good pace even though his leg was really long (6.9 miles).

Everyone seemed to be walking at this point. Not our man........he has some will power. Way to go!
Future Iron Man

1. How long did you train and what did you do to train? I didn't really train. I ran twice during the 9 months preceding the race. Prior to that I ran a marathon so I was in OK shape from that still.
2.
Why did you pick your particular leg? A trade - one of the other guys asked me to trade with his legs so I did.
3.
What did you enjoy the most about your experience? The team nature of the event. Working with the team to accomplish such a task is a lot of fun.
4.
Share something funny that happened to you during the weekend or something you thought was humorous. While trying to see if the car keys were close to Chris Sepp, who was sleeping in a gym with many other runners, I realized I was looking through someone's stuff whom I didn't know. What made it worse was he woke up while I was looking at his bag. He was obviously pretty confused/annoyed. I didn't say anything - I just quietly walked away like nothing happened.
5.
How do you feel you did on your legs? OK, my last leg about killed me. I am still walking funny as a result.
6.
Would you do it again? Of course!
7.
Share a highlight of your experience or something you want to say about the race I just love how it can bring a team together working to accomplish something great.

Chris Ericson

This is Chris E. tackling a hill with the awesome Mr. Trevor supporting him with water.

Because of Chris' obsessive compulsive behavior of having to breathe in sync with his steps, he refused to drink any of the water we offered him. He didn't want to lose his rhythm. Forgive us for trying to keep you from dropping dead of dehydration.

This is Chris on his last leg to the finish line. At mile 2 we offered him water but he waved us off. He did grab a water bottle off the corner, drank some and threw the rest into some random van he thought was us. Ooopps!! At mile 3 he said he was dying for water. He finally would of taken some but since there was no access to the trail he was running, we took off to the finish line to meet him. Sorry.
This was his second run. He had some nice views including a hot mama that passed him up. There's nothing better than a cute, little tush to keep you going.

Last baton pass.

1. How long did you train and what did you do to train? I ran a few nights a week over the past few months, each night ranging from 3 to 6 miles. Though, I will definitely train more in the mountains for next year.
2. Why did you pick your particular leg? My wife picked it for me when she told me I needed to lose weight. - jk, I got lucky to have more mountains, lakes and average distances.
3. What did you enjoy the most about your experience? Being with friends and my wife on an adventure.
4. Share something funny that happened to you during the weekend or something you thought was humorous. The moment I realized (3 hours later) that I threw my waterbottle into a moving van that I thought was my team's, but was actually a complete stranger that just happened to be driving by with the window down. I guess the heat was really getting to my sanity.
5. How do you feel you did on your legs? I want to be more in shape with the high altitude. I think my legs were strong enough, just not my lungs. I loved the lake run and the run to the top of Snow Basin Resort, those were gorgeous views. (Not just because of the the girl running by me on the lake btw. :P )
6. Would you do it again? I am definitely in for next year! No doubts at all.
7. Share a highlight of your experience or something you want to say about the race. I really enjoyed being out there, I was sad that we didn't see the other Van more often, but it was great to get to know my coworkers better and grudge through a great adventure with my wife alongside me. Next year my focus will be, more water, more sleep and better training for high altitude.

Nancy Ericson

Courtesy of Chris Sepp. I was usually the one taking the pictures so Chris snapped this one of me. Thanks.

This is me finishing up my last leg. Thank Goodness. I thought about walking but after some good cognitive therapy on myself, I kept on going even passing the wonderful, beautiful, most athletic Ultra chick who was running two legs at a time. You go Girl!!

My hubby teases me because I like to run with my thumbs up. Who knows why I do that. At this point I don't care, I'm exhausted.

This is after my first leg. I tucked myself under some stairs of some building because I thought I was going to hurl and I didn't want anyone to see me. The team all came looking for us.

My saving graces during the race were Ibuprofen, a shower, massaging out my legs, and sitting in the front seat of the van.

Since my second leg was in the dark, there are no shots of it. It was tough in that I started out really cold and shaky. There were more hills than I expected and had to walk the tips of a couple of them. Other than that, I jogged the rest. I refused to tell any other team member that I had to stop for a short bit because I didn't want them (especially my spouse) to think they could stop as well. I wanted them to think, if Nancy, our weakling, ran up without stopping, than I should be able to.

1. How long did you train and what did you do to train? I heard about last years running experience and decided then that I wanted to be a part of that if possible. So mentally I started getting prepared last year. I did a triathlon in September and a half marathon in April. I took a month break because Chris was in Jackson Hole for a month and there was no one to watch my kids so I could go out to run. So I started training in the middle of May, running a couple times a week and doing a long run on the weekends. It was fun running with Chris once my brother in law moved into our house.
2. Why did you pick your particular leg? I was unsure of myself, so I hurried and claimed the easiest leg. Sorry guys.
3. What did you enjoy the most about your experience? There was a van that had on it painted “You would run too if you had 57 kids.” That pretty much sums it up for me. Between the 12 racers that’s how many kids they had. Being a stay at home mom is hard. So it’s nice to do something for myself once in a while.
4. Share something funny that happened or something you thought was humorous. A truck pulled up next to me while I was running a leg and the guy driving said “hey sexy, you doing all right?” I thought they were talking to me when I realized there was another runner coming up behind me.
5. How do you feel you did on your legs? My goal was to not stop. So I thought I did well on that. I need to pick up on speed.
6. Would you do it again? Yes
7. Share a highlight of your experience or something you want to say about the experience? I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I had a blast hanging out with the other team members in our van.