This past Friday a group of us made a valiant effort in running from Austin to Corpus Christi in the 6th annual Capital To Coast Relay. Â A 223-mile around-the-clockÂ relay. Â We didn’t make it. Â Unfortunately one of our runners had a bad run-in with the Texas heat and suffered from a heat stroke during his first leg (a 7-miler. Â Four miles of which are up “Alice’s Hill,” with a net elevation gain of 375-feet in 92-degree south Texas heat & humidity). Â Our team of 12 was divided up into two 15-passenger vans. Â We were on our 9th runner and had covered around 55 miles when he went down. Â Van #2 was quick to react and pulled the guy in, poured ice water on him, covered him with cold towels, pointed the air conditioner vents on him at full blast, and after a 20-minute rush the the emergency room in Seguin, TX, his core body temperature was still 103-degrees. Â From what we were told, he was on the verge of full kidney failure. Â Had Van #2 not taken such quick action, he probably would not have lived.
So our team, the Coast Busters, decided that we would not finish the race by traditional standards, accept the Did Not Finish (DNF), but the Van #1 guys would complete their legs as planned. Â So we kept running. Â And we still did pretty well.
I ran legs 1, 13 and 25. Â My day started at 2:30 a.m. in preparation for the weekend ahead of me. Â My friend Harry picked me up at 4:30 a.m. and we started our drive around south and southwest Austin to pick up the rest of Van #1. Â Our team of six consisted of yours truly, Harry, “Moose,” Eric, Weston, Markeiths, and our driver/manager/brains, Brad. Â I spent the next day and half with these guys and, while I’ve never been a team sport kind of guy, enjoyed slogging it out with that crew.
I started our team with a brutal 9-mile run through downtown Austin starting at 6 a.m. Â This was the first year that the first leg of the race had changed, so there wasn’t an elevation gain map available for us (me) to study before the race. Â I thought I new the downtown Austin topography pretty well. Â I was wrong. Â It felt like I was running uphill the entire time. Â And, to add insult to injury, it was an urban assault leg of a run. Â The other runners and I were hopping curbs, dodging traffic, waiting at red lights, traversing downtown sidewalks, dodging commuters and other foot traffic, and managing what seemed like 5 miles of busted concrete,Â uneven surfaces and general urban construction. Â It sucked. Â It hurt. Â My pace was off and the elevation gain flat-out sucked. Â Oh, and a runner’s worst nightmareÂ –Â I was enduring some gastro-intestinal “issues.”
I slogged through it, though.
To be continued…