I ran the Fred Meijer 200 mile relay race last August with a team of Mt. Pleasant Road Runners. We had a 10 member team that ran the 36 different spurs. I have ran several different races in my short running life but this was one of the greatest experiences so far. At our first team meeting we decided on our team name “Got the runs”. A very fitting name we thought. For most of us on the team it was going to be our first relay of any kind. The race starts in Comstock Park and is run on the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail to Cadillac and back. It’s a nonstop race meaning one team member is constantly on the course at all times.
My first run was the 10th spur so I was the last person on the team to run. That spur was 8.84 miles in the heat of the day. It was pretty humid and uncomfortable but the adrenaline of my first run was easily enough to push me through. It was roughly 5 hours later when my turn came again, this time I had to get my reflective gear and head lamp on as it was dark out. It had started raining a couple hours prior so we were all pretty wet by now. As a whole the team was still going strong but you could see that fatigue was starting to set in. I hadn’t had time to eat dinner yet and that was starting to play with my system as well. This was a shorter run at 5.5 miles so the time went by quickly and I was able to make 3 kills along the way. A kill is when you pass a runner from one of the other teams. We used this to help stay motivated when on the course all by yourself. After I finished that spur we had about 3 hours of down time so we decided to try and catch some sleep. I can tell you that I didn’t get any sleep but was able to at least lie down for a while.
At the finish, we all met our last runner about 100 yards from the end and crossed the finish line as a team. It was an amazing experience and I made several new friends along the way. Our team exceeded our expectations by finishing in 7th place overall with a time of 30 hours 5 minutes. I couldn’t have asked for a better team and can’t wait to see how we do this year. We hope that you will consider joining our team this year! We are meeting on Sunday, January 10 at 1pm at Runners Performance of Mt. Pleasant!