On Sunday I ran the Vermont City Marathon Relay with my friend Brianna. GO TEAM JB! I love this race so much that I think I will participate in it, whether it’s the full, half, or 3-5 person relay, every year that I’m able to. I even had a wedding the night before (congrats to the happy couple -> Mr. & Mrs. Ringuette!) and still decided to register … that’s how much I love this race.
I was running the first half, which started at 8, so I needed to get down to the start by 7:45 or so. My alarm went off at 6:15 and I started to get ready! I rocked my Oiselle Volée singlet for the first time and loved every second of it. My pre-race fuel consisted of 2 pieces of bread with butter and LOTS of water due to the weather forecast for that day. Race officials had announced extra precautions they would be taking to prevent heat-related injuries. They also warned competitors to prepare for heat. It was going to be a hot one and I was very nervous about that.
Once I got down to the start (shout out to the best boyfriend in the world for dropping me off!), I only had to wait around for a few minutes before the gun went off. There was this lady in front of me, who had to be at least 75 years old, rocking an all Lululemon get up & running the full. Can you say #goals?! I literally could not imagine having to run a full on Sunday. Race official had stocked up on extra water and kept reminding everyone how important staying hydrated was because that’s how extreme the weather was supposed to get.
It was game time once the gun went off. I put my head phones, cranked up the volume, and got into the zone. A few people told me they saw me throughout the course and were screaming my name but I didn’t even notice because my music was too loud… oops!
I knew this race was going to be tough within the first mile considering I was already sweating like a mad woman and could feel my skin burning up. The first few miles are around the downtown area of Burlington so the streets are lined with spectators which is always exciting. I felt good and was pleased that I was running at a 10 minute pace until around mile 7.5.
Next up was the belt line (for those of you who know VCM, I’ve decided is worse than battery hill) which is about miles 4-9ish of the race and the most boring part. Not too many spectators plus nowhere to hide from the sun equals Jackie looks like a lobster. I noticed that the color-coded heat-alert system the officials use to tell racers their risk of heat-related injury had already shifted from moderate risk (yellow) to high risk (red) by the time I got to mile 5. I was feeling pretty good but this is when the heat definitely caught up go me. I stopped around 7.5 for a quick stretch break before continuing on. At this point I decided to slow my pace down because I knew that was the only way I would get to the end. I could not wait to get off that belt line. Actually, I could not wait to be done all together.
From around mile 10 and on, it was pretty rough for me. I’m so beyond thankful for all of the people who were outside spraying their hoses on us, who were giving out ice cubes & oranges, and who were cheering us on. Those hoses made all the difference for me. It felt so good to run through the cold water.
Slowly but surely I made my way to mile 13.1 where Brianna was waiting for me to hand off our ‘baton’ which was a little braclette thing. I was just so excited to be done. I took my shoes off before I even got my medal, which is beautiful! The finishers tent was stocked with bagels, chocolate milk, granola bars, bananas, and water. Shout out to my boyfriend, puppy, & Cindy for being there at the finish!
Since Brianna was my relay partner, I wanted to be down at the finish for when she crossed. I still had a little bit of time before this would happen so I decided to change out of my soaking wet clothes before heading down. Once we got down there, I got a cheeseburger & maple creamee and they were amazing. I could have eaten like 12 cheeseburgers.
The biggest surprise came around the 4 hour mark of the race. There was an announcement over the load speakers that the officials decided to stop the race due to the combination of heat and humidity. At this point, the color-coded alert system had changed to black and runners were dropping left & right. I know it must not have been an easy decision, but man, what a disappointment. Brianna was stopped about 2.5 miles from the finish line for 10-15 minutes before deciding to continue on since she saw a bunch of people still running. She was crushing it and felt good enough to finish, which she did! GO TEAM JB!
Overall, I’m pleased with my time of 2:30 and glad to have run this race even if it was extremely hot. As usual, the volunteers were so amazing! The only thing that I wasn’t the biggest fan of was the new finish line area. It was pure chaos and not very easy to navigate… I did like all the food options though 🙂
Until next year, VCM!