Team 72, Krell’s Orange Krush began the day at 7:00 am, with Ed Kelly kicking off stage 1 on a relatively cool, overcast Saturday. Ed tagged off to R2C freshman Jeff Burrowes, who easily finished the 8.2 miles of stage 2.
Another R2C newbie, Roselynn Bedoya, then enjoyed the trails on stage 3 with a smile on her face. The temperature and humidity then kicked it up a notch, yet Dan Smith ate up the Beast (stage 4) seemingly unaffected by the weather.
The Beast was merely breakfast. Next, Mike Sneden continued the relay on stage 5 as temps and humidity climbed. Newcomer Jon Alaya then worked long and hard to get through the hot 8 miles of stage 6.
I made quick work of stage 7, fairly flat and shady in parts, but most importantly, only 3.9 miles!
Rose ran her second stage, the 5.5 mile stage 8, making friends along the way and smiling, especially when she finished and was able to cheer us on for the rest of the relay. Jeff ran seemingly unfazed by the weather for the 9.1 miles of stage 9, eating up the miles with minimal support, despite the fact he already ran 8.2 in the morning, a testament to his ultra-marathon capabilities, he must part camel. Ed and Jon leapfrogged through the wild card legs of stages 10 & 11 in the blazing heat.
Mike Sneden returned to run though stage 12 “the oven”, wearing a stoic expression and running smoothly. Finishing off stage 13, the last high-mileage leg, was Dan Smith, aka, the Beastmaster, eating it up like a light dinner.
I polished off the final sprint to the sea, running much faster than I had expected, crossing the finish around 7:17 pm.
The team was perfect combination of veterans and first-timers. With that said, the first timers were no strangers to running long distances in heat & humidity.
Roselynn constantly cheered on our runners with shouts out the window and conversations with other runners. She gets my vote for Miss Congeniality and got many votes for loudest cheerleader on the relay. Ed’s right ear might still be recovering from temporary deafness.
While crewing our teams, we applauded other runners and kept the level of enthusiasm high for everyone in the car and out on the road.
It was great to see the other ERC runners and friends along the course and at the exchanges. We acknowledged the hard work by the volunteers and thanked them along the way; Jeff didn’t miss thanking a single cop, race volunteer, or bystander applauding.