The Relay (2012) – A brief report
This is my second time running The Relay (199 miles, 36 cities). I ran it last year (race report) with the Stanford Running Club. This year too, I ran with the club. Only we sent three teams this year, instead of just one last year.
And we got spectacular results. Out of the 200 teams that competed, one of the Stanford teams came in 2nd at just under 21 hours (avg 6:27/mile). My team finished 7th with a time of 23 hours and 28 minutes (avg 7:15/mile). And for the first time, we had an all girls team which finished first in its division with an over-all time of 26 hours (avg 8:04/mile).
Compared to last years, race, I enjoyed this one more. I ran harder legs. And I felt stronger. On my last leg, even though my left knee started acting up again, I pushed myself through the pain.
Someone asked me, why I would sign up to run 200 miles and spend an entire weekend doing it. My reason is simple – running is usually a lone sport. Rarely do I get an opportunity to race as a team. Spending over 30 hours with eleven other people and suffering together – that is another joy altogether. All year round, I race for myself. But once a year, I race for the team. Once, a year, this lonely runner gets a chance to be part of something bigger himself.
So, that’s why I run.
To suffer as an individual, to win for the team. It’s called taking one for the team.
And that my friend, is a rare joy in the world of running.