Posts Tagged ‘Girls Run Beta’

Race Report: New Balance Reach the Beach Relay

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Girls Run Beta! (Reach The Beach)

6,000 runners. 500 teams. 201 miles. 32 hours. 12 women. 2 vans. 1 state. Put New Balance Reach The Beach Relay in the bag! I ran as a guest of New Balance, who covered all my expenses and kitted me out in gear for the event as part of the “Girls Run Beta” media team. And it was amazing.

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Girls Run Beta! (Carrie Kabat)

The New Balance Reach The Beach Relay, in partnership with the Ragnar Relay Series, takes teams of 12 runners 201 miles across New Hampshire, from the White Mountains to Hampton Beach State Park on the Atlantic shore.

The scenery was lovely, my teammates fantastic, and the overall experience amazing. It’s no wonder I’ve only heard great things about this race.

The fun levels were off the charts. We giggled, we danced, we ate, then ate some more, we told ghost stories, high-fived, commiserated and cheered. While looking for Jess during a night run, I busted out an impromptu rendition of “There’s a Light (Over At The Frankenstein Place) from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Another team called “Snoop Joggy Jog” inspired some “Bow wow wow yippy yo yippy yay” at our side-of-the-road dance party. Carrie and Dani played DJ with boy bands greatest hits. And the gummy bears flowed like water.

Race Report: New Balance Reach The Beach Relay

Van 1! (Photo: RunKarlaRun.com)

We worked as a team. Carrie finished her legs with a cart-wheel (true story) and chauffeured us from spot to spot. Dani was co-pilot and speedy anchor leg. Rachel recruited her dad’s team to cheer us on, and taught us the art of the silent scream (pictured). Jess kept a log of our start and finish times, and shared her Aleve when an afternoon migraine threatened to derail my second run. Kylie gave me her seat in the van to lay down. When it was time to suit me up mid-run with reflective vest and lights, the entire team swarmed me as my pit crew.

I was water girl, filling up and passing out water bottles to the finishing runner or the runner on the road—in one case jogging along side Dani for a brief stint so she didn’t have to stop. I also shared my massage stick with the team and Carrie shared her foam roller, so we could all stay limber.

In other words, the race was truly a team effort. You can see for yourself in this video New Balance put together for us.

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Ready For New Balance Reach The Beach 2015 Relay!

Ready For New Balance Reach The Beach 2015

(Photo: Reach The Beach Relay)

201 miles. 12 women. 1 state. And 1 unforgettable experience. I’m ready for the New Balance Reach The Beach 2015 Relay! I’m running as a guest of New Balance with the “Girls Run Beta” media team! New Balance has kitted me out (along with all the other team members) for the occasion. I’ll also be taking a tour of the New Balance Global Headquarters in Boston before taking on the trails and roads of New Hampshire.

Ready For New Balance Reach The Beach 2015 Relay

Vistas! (Photo: Reach The Beach)

New Balance Reach The Beach 2015 Relay

The New Balance Reach The Beach Relay, in partnership with the Ragnar Relay Series, takes teams of 12 runners 201 miles across New Hampshire, from the White Mountains to Hampton Beach State Park on the Atlantic shore. Mountain vistas, serene lakes, and a covered bridge or two are on the menu. I can’t wait!

Teams start in waves from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday and have until 8 p.m. on Saturday to finish. We’re expected to maintain a pace of 10 minutes per mile or thereabouts for a total of 33.5 hours running.

“Girls Run Beta” starts at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, so we have exactly 33.5 hours until 8 p.m. Saturday. The pressure is on to maintain that 10 minute per mile pace. I’ll be racing each mile as fast as I can. I’m aiming to stick as close to my 9:00-9:10 half marathon pace as possible, but we’ll see how I fare with the hills, multi-legs, and longer distances. As long as I’m at a 10:00 or faster, I’ll be happy!

Ready For New Balance Reach The Beach 2015 Relay

Hand off! (Photo: Reach The Beach)

Most teams include 12 runners, who finish three legs each. Leg distances vary wildly from 2.5 miles to 10.9. Each team member runs 12 to 20 miles total, depending on the legs they’re assigned. We have a designated order that dictates which legs we run, always in the same rotation. So Runner #1 does Legs 1, 13, and 25. Runner #2 does Legs 2, 14, and 26, and so on. We pass off a slap bracelet between runners as our baton.

As with distance, the difficulty of each leg varies as well. Reach The Beach 2015 uses four descriptors to classify legs: Easy, Moderate, Hard, and Very Hard. There are nine “Easy” legs, 13 “Moderate” legs, nine “Hard” legs and five “Very Hard” Legs.

Me? I drew a Hard, Very Hard, and Hard for a total of 19.8 miles. No other runner has all three legs with “Hard” in the name. Everyone else gets at least one easy or moderate leg. And I’m tied for the second highest mileage overall. What did I get myself into??? An adventure, it would seem! Here’s goes something!

Ready For New Balance Reach The Beach 2015 Relay!

Leg 1

Karla’s Leg 1

Start Time: 10:30 a.m.
Classification: Hard
Miles: 2.5

I have the honor of kicking off the race as Runner #1 on our team. Woohoo! This is the shortest leg of the race, but also the steepest. It takes me 954 feet up a mountain in 1.25 miles, then down just as quickly. Gulp. It’s apparently known as the “hero” leg: “For the mountain goats on your team.”

Um, that’s not me. If I’ve written it once, I’ve written it a hundred times: I swim like a fish and hike like a fish. I’ve run exactly one trail race in my life, this summer in Turkey at the Runfire Cappadocia 20K. And I didn’t even finish. Because I got lost. Oh boy. (You can read about it at Shape.com: What It Took to Conquer (Part of) the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon in Turkey)

In my defense, I did run three days in a row during the Runfire Cappadocia Ultra Marathon through the Turkish desert, with the heat index peaking above 100 degrees, for a total of 24 miles. If anything, that experience should have prepared me well for this. (More to come on that soon!)

Running the “hero” leg is poetic justice. In my Shape.com story about Runfire Cappadocia, I wrote:

I wanted to be an ultra marathoner for all my days. What does it take to run through the scorching Turkish desert? The willingness to be a hero “for ever and ever,” as David Bowie sang. Or, you know, just for one day.

Looks like I’ll be eating my own words! Read the rest of this entry →

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09 2015

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