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Race Repot: IceBreaker Marathon Relay

The marathon relay at the Pettit Center on Saturday was my first time racing indoors, and was my first time running the marathon distance on a relay team. This race is very unique: the track is around 440 meters (40 meters longer than the standard quarter mile track), there are only two lanes, there were around 99 teams, and the temperature in the building, which houses a speed skating rink, hovered in the mid-30s, and the time chip was placed around the ankle and had to be switched each time a transition was made. The dynamics of the Berkeley Running Company relay team, moreover, were atypical in that we had three runners. This complicated our strategy, since we wanted to run a distance that we could run very fast, yet we didn't want to be sitting around too long between legs, so as to avoid tightening up. So, Brian, Willy, and I decided on four lap legs (1760 meters), which would give each of us a bit over 11 minutes rest between legs.

Brian (Berkeley Running Company) owns a 2hr:30 marathon and Willy (Naperville Running Company) has a 23:45 PR in the 8km. So, on Saturday morning, I had to work hard to keep up. We each ran 8, four lap repeats, totaling 32 laps each and 96 laps total (roughly the marathon distance). Our splits were as follows (roughly: sometimes I hit the split during the time chip transition, sometimes I hit the split just after, or sometimes I timed the transition period separately):

Willy: 5:18 (shortened leg), 5:33 (4:59 mile), 5:38 (5:05 mile), 5:46 (5:12 mile), 5:43 (5:11 mile), 5:42 (5:10 mile), 5:45 (5:11 mile), 5:49 (5:15 mile)
Brian: 5:52 (5:18 mile), 5:52 (5:18 mile), 5:44 (5:11 mile), 5:42 (5:10 mile), 5:42 (5:10 mile), 5:43 (5:11 mile), 5:45 (5:11 mile), 5:48 (5:14 mile)
Eric: 5:45 (5:11 mile), 5:43 (5:11 mile), 5:43 (5:11 mile), 5:46 (5:12 mile), 5:47 (5:13 mile), 5:49 (5:15 mile), 5:50 (5:15 mile), 5:26 (shortened leg).

The result: 1st place, 2hr:18:17 (5:17/mile). I'll definitely consider running at this event again next year, as it was a very cool, and very unique, experience. Thanks to all the volunteers, supporters, the race director, Chris, and David at Berkeley Running Company!

Willy, high stepping. 

Brian, moving too fast for the camera. 

The team, post-race. 

A photo with the trophy and race director, Chris. 

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