Saturday, April 25, 2009

VT Relay for Life

Relay for Life night! I got off work, went home and immediately packed up my things and hiked over to the drillfield. WOW, there was 5,200 people walking around a track that was 1/5 of a mile, it was packed!
After checking in and looking around a bit for my team I decided it was about time to get started. Being 7:30, at this point I only had 10.5 hours left.
The run started out a bit hectic I must say trying to weave in and out of walkers. It was hard not to get frustrated but I just had to remember that most people were not there to run so I would have to suck it up and just do my best until things settled down later on into the night. I kept a running log throughout the night so here is how things carried out for the next 10 hours . . .

Start ---------- 7:35 PM
50 Laps ------- 9:24 PM
110 Laps ------ 11:45 PM
Rest ---------- 11:45 - 12:15 (Met up with my team during this break, Woot!)
155 Laps -----1:49 AM
Rest ----------1:49 - 3:40 AM (I should have never brought a sleeping bag)
200 Laps ---- 5:32 AM

To emphasize a bit on the run. It was so great running with all those people and seeing so many people out for a great cause. All of you definitely helped me keep going to finish the run whether it be from the spontaneous "go Henry!" shouts, to generous water and food donations, to my new friend Zak that did a bunch of miles with me.

However all this encouragement started getting me thinking a bit about the upcoming race in the keys: there are 50 people in this race, not 5,000. There won't be a live band and the encouragement of seeing cancer survivors out there on the track with you. We will be running in a straight line on a road with cars flying by, not running around a track with cheery friends and people trying to sell lemonade and throwing footballs. There will be NO SMILING ALLOWED in the keys. Haha, ok so thats a bit extreme and I will most definitely be smiling, perhaps crying? throughout the race and definitely as I cross the finish line but it started to make me nervous about keeping that motivation throughout the race because you all made it so easy to keep going!

However; I won't be alone in the keys and if there are two people that I look up to, that know me thoroughly and know darn well how to get me excited and motivated, that would be Hannah and Mark. To an ultra runner, the support crew is your backbone. They keep you going, keep you hydrated, keep you fed, and most of all just seeing them at that next stop keeps you motivated. The support crew is just as much a part of the race as the runner, after all, both of their races end at the same time whether it be 16 hours or 32. So I wanted to say thanks to my sis and "bro" for all the time they are committing because I couldn't have a better team!

So those of you on my team should get a kick out of this picture. For those of you that don't know, I met my team about 3 days before Relay for Life while they were downtown late night selling Doritos and snacks to fundraise.
Well I didn't have a team and wanted to participate so they graciously took me under their wing and gave me this napkin because well, I was having a little trouble remembering the team name. Thanks yall!

Some shout outs from relay!
-Zak, the mining engineer, thanks for running with me, I'm impressed that your'e not a runner
yet pushed yourself to do 16 miles anyway
- Team Ateht Ahpla Ihp, even though we didn't get to hang out to much at the race thanks for
reaching out and letting me be on your team, oh, and when I came back to the mountain of
water bottles it was like a little oasis!
- Jess Quick,Caitlin, Jill, Bryon, and the competitive cheer girls, it was nice meeting those of you that I didn't know and I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 hour break with you all and the many conversations we had during it. Oh! and thanks for the food, not gonna lie the cookies are almost gone!
- Jessica Daniels, for every shout out!
- All the girls out there from Sigma Kappa, you guys always put a smile on my face :-)

For those wondering how I kept track of my laps, I worked out a little system that goes as follows. I carried a water bottle, so starting with my right hand after the first lap, I would move one finger to the side of my water bottle, after the second lap I would have two fingers on one side and three on the other. After 5 laps (one mile) all my fingers would be on the same side of the bottle and I would start on my left hand. After completing two miles my my left hand would be done and I would go back to the right and do the right hand water bottle one more time. After 3 miles or 15 laps I would make a mark with a pen on my wristband, as you can see from the picture below. If you count them, there are 13 marks. 13 x 15 = 195 and then I finished with 5 laps that aren't marked.

Lastly! Thank you so much to everyone who helped donate to my fundraising page! We just hit the goal of $1,000 yesterday and we still have 3 weeks to keep going!

Total on the day -

Miles - 40.0
Time - 10 hours
Friends - Awesome


  1. I'm so proud of you Henry! I'm so sorry I can't be a part of your support crew like originally planned....stupid work! But you know I'll be cheering you on as I sit at work alll weekend long.

    You're my hero hubby!

  2. The napkin picture is AWESOME! Haha...