Like that? Fun + unplanned = funplanned weekend.
The more I have been running, the larger my circle of running contacts and friends has grown. For example, on Thursday, a friend who I know from coaching in Girls on the Run posted on my Facebook wall asking if I was running a local race called Brew to Brew, because she knew a team who needed more runners. A few messages, emails and texts later, Friday it was decided that I’d be joining a team to run the 44.4 mile relay from Kansas City to Lawrence on Sunday (yesterday)!
I knew of Brew to Brew because I had some other friends running it, but had no clue of what it would be like. The team that I was joining was also with people I had never met in my life. Old Kelsey would never have been down for this type of adventure, but new, more relaxed and fun-loving Kelsey was pretty pumped!
First, a little about the race. Like I said, Brew to Brew is a race to benefit cystic fibrosis and starts in Kansas City at the Boulevard Brewery and takes a 44.4 mile route of backroads, some highways, and dirt/gravel roads to the Free State Brewery in Lawrence, KS. It has 10 legs of the race, and composed of mostly teams of 2-10 runners, while yesterday there were 70 runners that took it on as a solo adventure! Each team is allowed a team vehicle (we saw vans, RVs, trucks) to carry supplies and runners. How it works is the team vehicle drops their runner at the first leg and drives to the second leg, then picks up the first runner while the second runner is going, then drives to the third leg, and so on. Each exchange had portapotties, fuel, and people drinking beer and playing frisbee while waiting for their runners. It was called Brew to Brew, after all!
We started the morning by meeting at the lovely Lara’s house at 7am (that was rough) to load up and head to the Boulevard Brewery to drop off our first runner
Our team was the Punky Brewsters!
Our ‘baton’ was the decorated bra, it was hilarious!
Then it was time to send off the first runners from KC
And hopped in the Expedition to head to the exchange!
Thankfully, our team was able to have 9 runners and everyone did a leg, and we skipped the 9th leg because it was hot and no one wanted or needed to run it. The ones who ran earlier in the day were lucky because it got HOT later in the morning and into the afternoon.
We would drop off a runner for their leg, hang around for a little bit, then load the truck up and drive to the next leg. Everyone was having fun and we weren’t doing the race for a time, so it really was just about enjoying the day.
My team was so much fun and I’m so happy I got to be with them, of all people! Yeah, it felt a little weird meeting them all at 7am not knowing a single one, except that they were a friend of a friend’s friend, but we bonded throughout the day and ended up having a blast.
I was assigned the final leg of the race– 4.7 miles along the levee to the finish line. There was no parking at this exchange so my team literally had to drop me and leave…off I went!
My portion of the race was flat, but I didn’t start running until 2:30pm and by then the temperature had reached 90 degrees. The 4.7 miles was along some farm land on a gravel road (which I loved, it wasn’t easy but I loved it) with the sun beating down on us due to no trees within 150 feet of the road. The scenery was a part of Kansas I hadn’t seen before, though it was hot, the bright colors of the farm and the blueness of the sky made me thankful for that moment because it was so beautiful. Here’s a picture from a blog I found that is along the exact trail I ran:
But it was so hot–that was the stinker! There were no mile markers, I had no idea how far I had ran or how long I had left to go, and the trail was a straightaway with no changing scenery until we came upon some houses and I knew I had to be getting closer to town. Hands down the hardest 4.7 miles of my life!
Eventually I saw a familiar face– one of my teammates! He had a beer in hand and told me the finish line was right around the corner, and he booked it with me, beer in hand, to the finish! A few other teammates joined for a few strides to cheer me to the finish line.
Oh and that skirt…that’s the first and last time I’ll ever be wearing that thing to run it. Yes it’s cute, but the WORST for running in; I wanted to rip it off no less than 5 times during my leg of the race.
That’s beside the point, but we finished! I have no idea how long it took, but I would do this race again in a heartbeat. I’m so glad I joined the Punky Brewsters, it reminded me how much fun it’s possible to have while doing a run, I loved it! I’m really already looking forward to next year–I’d love to make this race an annual thing!
Life is short, when given an opportunity it is best to just go for it and enjoy every minute!
I also inadvertently got a head start on my summer tan…clearly not enough sunscreen could have saved me. Boo. Ya.
Have a good Monday my friends, also…here’s to hoping the Hawks win it all tonight!