This is crazy.
That's what went through my mind Sunday morning when I was standing in the pouring rain and I mean POURING waiting to take my turn in the marathon relay at the California International Marathon in Sacramento.
I was soaking wet and shivering cold. I was waiting for my turn to run the 7.6-mile second leg of the marathon relay. And there was a moment that I thought to myself: This is crazy.
Turns out, it was a blast.
I'd never run a long-distance relay before, but now that I've participated in one, I highly recommend it. If you've considered running a half-marathon or marathon, a relay would be a great way to get your feet wet
and, no, I don't mean that literally.
For those of you who don't know what the relay is, here's a quick rundown: The marathon is split into four legs, with one runner doing a different leg. At CIM, the legs were broken up this way: Leg 1, 5.9 miles; Leg 2, 7.6 miles; Leg 3, 7.0 miles; and Leg 4, 5.7 miles. A timing chip is attached to a Velcro strap that wraps around the first runner's ankle. When you hit the transition stage, the chip is past on to the next runner.
Here's what I liked about the relay:
There's a real sense of adventure. Not knowing exactly when your teammate will arrive, how quickly they will find you, how quickly the timing chip will be passed on (this was really tough in the pouring rain)
it all creates a sense of excitement. It's something new and fun.
A feeling of camaraderie and accountability. I was counting on my teammate to arrive so that I could get going. And when I was running my leg, I felt a huge sense of accountability to get that timing chip to the next runner. I thought to myself: "I can't slow down
she's there waiting for me!"
It's a great way to get the feel of what a distance race is like.
I had a great time running the relay, despite the awful conditions. And it's something I hope to do again. Turns out it wasn't so crazy after all.
My training and fund-raising for Team in Training is officially under way. I was surprised and moved at how quickly the donations began rolling in. I have a long way to go to reach my goal, but I'm confident I will get there. It's an honor to be a part of this amazing effort, and I am humbled by the generosity of others.
As for the training
we've only just begun. The weather will make things interesting in the coming weeks, but it will all be worth it in the spring when we complete our events.
Reach Jim Silva at email@example.com. On Twitter: @mission26point2. Donate to his fund-raising effort at http://bit.ly/YGli6A.