When last we left our intrepid heroes, we were in Stanford, Kentucky, gratefully enjoying refreshments and toilets and a warm building in the middle of a chilly night. I don’t have a whole lot of memory for details after that, except that I managed to navigate us wrongly leaving that station, and as a result we got to the next hand-off about twelve seconds before our runner did. But nothing died, I hope, so let’s just count that part of the things that happen category.
There were a couple more legs before we handed off to van 2, just a few miles from Danville, where we’d started this round of legs. And that’s a very mild pun: our legs did form a loop, starting and nearly ending at the same street corner. But not quite: Leg 5 ended at the same street corner that leg 1 started, but leg 6 still had to run. So it was more of a Q than a loop. It really annoyed Tahnee, who felt that the race would have been a lot shorter if we had run directly from Louisville to Lexington, and she is right, although a small amount of the point might have been lost had that happened.
Anyhow, after that we had more rest time—indoors this time. A high school, I think back in Danville, opened its locker rooms, toilets, cafeteria and gymnasium to racers for a small donation. The shower was glorious, although perhaps an indictment of the city’s educational priorities: the men’s showers were in the football facility, which was nice in that “we have adequate funding” sort of way. The toilets were in the school proper, and the men may well have been using what had been a girl’s bathroom: no urinals, three toilets but only one with a stall around it, and only two out of three sinks worked. Or maybe this is a southern friendliness thing; Tahnee in particular noted that there were a lot of toilets without stall doors or stalls at all. But who am I to judge?
The gym floor was a gym floor; not particularly comfortable (my fault for not bringing a sleeping bag or a mat) but dark. I didn’t actually sleep, but being horizontal was nice. Plus, you can use T-shirts as blankets, at least for your arms.
After a couple hours it was time to book it to our next hand-off point. It happened sooner than we expected—the school was maybe 40 minutes from the next drop-off point, and as we were getting ready to leave we got a message that the last runner was about 40 minutes away.
I think we made it on time, but I pissed that away. Literally—I had to pee, and had to wait in line at port-a-potties, and when I got done and arrived at the hand-off point my partner was already there.
The leg itself was rated easy. It was definitely short, only 3.4 miles (and when did I become a person who described “3.4 miles” as “only”?) but it didn’t seem particularly less hilly than my other ones. It felt hard, but I suspect most of that was not sleeping and having already run twice and being early in the morning and cold and stuff like that.
The coolest part was crossing the High Bridge, or more likely a Nearly as High Bridge Adjacent to the High Bridge. These bridges cross high (whoa!) above the Kentucky River. In fact, I couldn’t see the river—the cold morning left some dense fog underneath the bridge. I could see treetops underneath me poking out of the clouds, though, which was awfully neat.
Most of the rest of the route was through back country roads, also very pretty, until the hand-off and ensuing collapse. Of myself, not the bridge. Sorry, I should have been more clear. I also had to not gloat that I was done while the rest of my team still had to run; I’m not sure how well I did at that.
And despite being done, there’s still MORE TO COME!