Thursday, April 30, 2009

Next Up: The Odyssey

This was originally posted on 4/21, prior to the Relay but has been relocated so that all of the relay posts can be read in sequence.

The next stop on the race journey is the American Odyssey Relay. The relay is less like a race and more like an adventure. It's me and 11 friends that will run from Gettysburg, PA to Washington, DC. We each get to run between 13 and 22 miles over the course of 36 hours or so. We start this Friday at 7 am and, with any luck, we'll finish our run on Saturday evening between 6 and 8 pm.

This thing started about a year ago when some blogger friends decided to put together a team. It was local for me, so I couldn't resist. Since then, seven of the original twelve dropped and we've been able to find some great folks to jump in.

So who's on the team? Glad you asked.

  • There's team captain and official Grand PooBah Karen, also known as Pokie. Karen gets to deal with all the b.s. coming out of the race organizers as well as figuring out some of the logistics from her home in Arizona. (At risk of pissing off the team captain, I always thought of her as a blogger, but I just noticed no blog posts in more than three months, so I'm thinking maybe she's a former blogger.) Her (former?) blog is here.

Katie blogs here. She's a fellow Baltimorean and one of the original team members. Katie's the VP of Purchasing. Katie's brother was kind enough to design our awesome team logo, displayed on the left.

  • We've got a couple of Canadians on the team -- Nat and Jeff. Nat blogs here. They're visiting the boss in Boston on their way here. Just hope they're not too wasted from that part of the trip to put in 30 miles on their feet later this week. I've been trying to speak Canadian so they can follow all the instructions. If they make it here on Thursday, I'll feel a lot better about all that language barrier stuff.

I'm the last of the originals and, with my current state of employment (or lack thereof), I've taken on the VP of Logistics role. Lemme tell 'ya, with 9 people coming in on three flights and from six states and provinces (Arizona, Arkansas, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ontario and, of course, Maryland) the logistics of getting everyone everywhere has been damn near a full time job. (Wait till they all get my bill.)

As we started to lose folks that committed nearly a year ago, we were able to find some most able replacements, despite at least a few nervous moments.

Taryn is another Arizonan and, apparently, comes from hill deprived Yuma. Not even flat AS a pancake, FLATTER than a pancake. Since Taryn volunteered to run extra miles if were were short a runner, she instead wound up with a leg that even the race director recommend that this runner not be ashamed to walk. What's the big deal? Just a 4 mile "run" at a 5% climb. I've been pep talking her and I know she can do it. Taryn blogs here.

Last winter, I met Ann Marie when we were training for Team In Training. She was running the Alaska marathon. We were about the same running pace and we found out that we live just a block away from each other. Who knew? Check out Ann Marie's blog here.

Dan and Matt join us from the Garden State of New Jersey. Dan and I both ran the 2007 Philly Distance Run in 2007 and we've been friends since. Matt and Dan are in the same triathlon club. Dan blogs here.

Cheryl blogs here and comes to us from the home of my boyhood hero, Brooks Robinson, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Sorry to say I don't know much about Juliet and Jaqualin other than that they're from the great state of North Carolina.

By the end of the weekend, I'm sure we'll all be fast friends. Either that or we'll never want to see each other again. Given the no whining rule, I'm sure we won't know how we really feel about each other until we get our holiday cards. . . or not.

I hope to be posting periodic updates on my Facebook page (if you're not a Facebooker, no time like the present!) from the road as long as my battery holds out.

May be a while before I get a report here, though.

That's about it. Looking forward to sharing my stink with these 11 folks. Should be a blast.



Daiquiri princess said...

Jeff this sounds like such fun. You will do great. As always you amaze and inspire me.

G-d speed my friend. I'll be anxiously watching facebook to find out how you are doing.

Dodger said...

Just to show how long Brooks played, he was MY boyhood hero too!!

Nat said...

totally did not realize that Taryn had a blog. The things you learn.

Oddly enough I ran the Distance Run in Philly in 2007 as well.

Rates as one of my favourite Half Marathon experiences EVER.

Looking forward to meeting the gang on Thursday.

Pat said...

Good luck guys. You'll have a blast.