Yesterday I ran the Power of Pink relay. It’s a 20-mile relay, split between five team members. Registration is a little more expensive for this race (compared to just the four-mile Power of Pink run), but it’s for a good cause – it pays for mammograms for women who can’t afford them. $100 pays for a mammogram and one relay team essentially raises $200. Anyway. This is the fourth (?) time I’ve done this race and it’s a lot of fun. Only women can do the relay – men can run the four-mile run.
Our team name was Pinkies and the Brain, but we were also referred to as team 3. I think there were 10 teams doing the relay. As many times as most of our team has run this relay (three of us have done the relay 3 times together. Two of us have done it all four years together), you’d think we would have our acts together. Notsomuch. The following is the story of team 3.
Packet pick-up ended at 7:30 a.m. yesterday. We showed up at 7:32 a.m. and were told we were late. We were already off to a bad start. When our team captain went in to pick up our stuff, the people asked her if she was team 3. We were the last ones there.
The race was supposed to start at 8. A couple of minutes before 8, we were somewhat holding things up when I asked the race director to take a picture of our team…and my camera battery died. We had to make a quick switch of the camera. (I still don’t have a photo.) We then wished our first runner good luck and walked away.
Our first runner happened to be wearing her number under her jacket. She wasn’t really paying attention when the director and a few other people were shouting, “where’s the runner from team 3? Team 3? Are you guys here??” We should have known by then we were trouble.
I was the second leg. I thought I’d finish in about 50-52 minutes. Give or take. I happened to come in at 45 minutes, and as I was finishing, I noticed that there were no runners from team 3 waiting on me to get the timing chip! Luckily one of the runners noticed and my teammates got out there as I crossed the timing pad. Another strike against team 3.
The third leg was fine. Our fourth leg took off, and the rest of us were waiting in the gym on the second floor. It was about 30 or so minutes into her run when our fifth leg said, “I’ll go down in two minutes.” Just then, the race director walks in yelling the girl’s name and “team 3! Your runner is downstairs! She finished five minutes ago!!” We all ran downstairs to see off our fifth leg and wondering how we underestimated the other girls time. Another strike against team 3.
As our fifth leg was out running, the rest of us were talking about the fourth girl’s race when we finally realized – she missed part of the course. You see, the course wasn’t marked, and some of the race “officials” who were directing runners were inside their cars or talking on cell phones and not directing at all. Runner number 4 was never directed into the college campus, and missed an entire mile.
Yet another strike against team 3.
We did tell the race director about that mishap, and he added time to our overall time.
Out of ten teams, we finished seventh. We weren’t expecting to win, or even finish in the top half. After all of our mishaps, I’m surprised we finished at all!
Overall, the day was a lot of fun and team 3 is already looking forward to next year…if they’ll have us back.