Wednesday, March 13, 2013

2013 Columbia SC Marathon Relay

March 9, 2013 7:30 AM
Columbia, South Carolina

Division Place
Gender Place
Overall Place
Bib #
Team Lillywhite/Alves

Leg 1: 5 Miles; Malissa finished in 56:42 (11:20 pace)
Leg 2: 8.1 Miles; Owen finished in 1:03:15 (7:49 pace)
Leg 3: 5 Miles; Lynne finished in 1:05:03 (13:01 pace)
Leg 4: 8.1 Miles; Michael finished in 1:00:10 (7:26 pace)

Written by Malissa

Lynne and I are at the end of our training for the DC half marathon and since this is Lynne's first half marathon we wanted her to have one more race under her belt before race day. When searching for a 10k to run Owen came across the Columbia Marathon relay and thought it would be fun for us to run together. He thought it would be cool for Michael to run the last leg of a marathon.

We left Friday after Michael got out of school. As soon as we got to Columbia we checked into our hotel, went to the expo, and then headed to dinner. It was pretty late by the time we got to the restaurant. The kids were so tired and hungry, both Katie and Kyle fell asleep right as the food was being brought out.

Having never ran a relay before, I was a little worried about the logistics of the race. The marathon is a two loop course and I would run the first leg (5.1 miles), Owen the second (8 miles), Lynne the third (5.1 miles), and Michael the last leg (8 miles). I was most worried about the timing of the buses and we also didn't want Michael to be waiting by himself. There wasn't much info on their website so Owen e-mailed them. We got a really quick response that said there would be three buses that would leave before the race and then after the race starts they would have buses going back and forth nonstop throughout the race. We thought it would be fun to watch everyone finish and since there would be plenty of times to catch a bus we decided everyone would see me start and then hop on the bus to the first exchange.

Right before we went to bed Owen changed his mind and decided he better get on one of the buses that left before the race started. Race morning we were teasing Owen a little because he was a little bit in a panic to catch his bus. Turns out that it's a good thing Owen was rushing to catch the early bus because he made it there with only a minute to spare and while I was running the first leg there was chaos at the bus area. The buses were in the wrong area, at one point they only had one bus and it was so over crowded that faces were smashed up against the windows and they forced people to get off, runners didn't get to the exchange point in time and the first leg runners waited for 30-40 minutes...

While all that was going on, I was having fun running!  My goal for this race was to get a feel for where I'm at speed wise. My main focus for the past three months has been to just log miles. I wanted to take the focus off of speed and just fall in love with running again.  I went into this race hoping I could come in under an hour. It was a hilly course with a massive hill during the second mile. (The hill reminded me of  the hill at Big Sir just not quite as long.) I knew as long as I stayed under twelve minutes per mile I would be okay. I tried to conserve energy my first mile because I knew that hill was a comin' but it was so hard to slow down. As I was going up the massive hill I couldn't help but feel sorry for the runners that were running the full marathon and would have to run the hill twice. My second mile was definitely my slowest but with each mile after that one I tried to push it a little harder to see just how fast I could go. Around mile four I noticed that I still felt really good and my pace was getting faster and faster, it was then that I realized I was back!

My lap times:
mile one: 11:22
mile two: 12:23
mile three: 11:42
mile four: 11:19
mile five:10:59

*side note*  When I got home I plugged my time into the training pace calculator. I have another half marathon the end of April that I plan to run a little more competitive. I was shocked to see that it said I could PR in that race!

I forgot to mention that they were still setting up the mile marker signs while I was running past them and they didn't match up with my Garmin. By mile three I realized I most likely wouldn't run the full 5.1 that I was suppose to. Sure enough Owen was waiting for me at 4.8. I was happy to see him there. He told me the others hadn't made it yet, I gave him a kiss, handed him the bib, and he was off! Owen later told me he had fun passing all runners. He said it was great for his ego ;)

I called Lynne, she told me she was staying at the start line and Mike (her husband) and the kids were still trying to get on a bus. About a half hour later Michael, Mike, Kyle, Alicia, and Katie arrived. We had a little down time while we waited for Lynne to finish. The kids had fun handing out the water to the runners.
I was so impressed with Lynne's run. Because this was a hilly course and she's had some ankle soreness we kept telling her to treat this as just another training run. The last thing we wanted was for her to get injured the week before our half marathon. Based off of our conversation at breakfast, I expected for her to finish about 1:15 so it was so awesome to see her red shirt at 1:02.

Here she is getting ready to hand Michael the bib:
 One of my favorite moments during the race was Lynne's reaction when she finished. She just kept saying that was so much fun, that was so much fun!

Right after Lynne finished and Michael took off, the rest of us hopped on the bus and headed back to the finish line. We met up with Owen who had already showered and changed. I may have made a big scene that he was no longer wearing his team shirt and that he would look like a dork running across the finish line in street clothes...

Michael was just out of frame to Lynne's left.

Michael's goal was to finish his eight miles under an hour. Once we realized he was actually running 8.2 and it was hot by the time he started running we knew it was going to be close. Not as many people ran the full marathon and there was a huge gap in between runners at times. For a split second we were worried that if Michael was running all by himself that he might take a wrong turn, just about that time we saw him running our way. We joined him as he ran by and tried our hardest to keep up with him!

We all really enjoyed our runs and thankfully the bus fiasco didn't effect us. 


  1. I enjoyed reading about the race! You all did a great job! I think I would have been really stressed about the timing of everything!

    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth. It was a fun race to run even with the craziness of the buses.