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Well hello there!

I still owe you all a Brew to Brew post. You’d think for a journalist (ex-journalist?) I’d be a little more timely. Oh well. It’s a week late, but hey, I still want to talk write about it darn it.

Last Sunday, April 7, David and I got up at the crack of dawn (for us) and drove to meet our relay team at the Boulevard Brewery at 6:30 a.m. I was surprised that it wasn’t super packed. I mean, 3,500 runners participated in the event. I had to remind myself it was a relay, so people were going to be spread out over the course throughout the day. Our first runner, Julie, started our 44-mile journey at 7 a.m. (See Julie’s post about the relay here.)

From then on, we had a routine: we’d drive to the end of the leg, chat until our teammate reached the end of the leg and handed off our awesome baton (picture of it later on in the post!) to the next runner, and then drove to the end of the next leg. We repeated this nine times to complete the 10 legs of the race.

We were the Sparkle Ponies. Jerod suggested this team name — thinking it was so ridiculous that we would come up with something else. None of us did, though, so we ran with it! (Ha ha, I can never pass up a pun.) Brandi (our chauffeur and supporter for the day) made us bandannas complete with sparkly paint to complement the team name. The ladies rocked pink ones, while the guys sported purple ones.

David with his sa-weet bandana!

David with his sa-weet bandanna!

There were some clever team names there, including Here Kid, Hold My Beer, Run Lawrence Run, and Just Brew It.

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The fun didn’t stop with the names. There were also several teams that dressed up in costumes. We spotted Freddy Mercury and a number of superheroes.

We had a great time hanging out and catching up as we waited for our runner to complete his or her leg. Here’s how we broke up the relay:

Leg 1 (3.9 miles): Julie
Leg 2 (5.3 miles): Cassie
Leg 3 (5.9 miles): Lindy
Legs 4 (2.6 miles) and 5 (4.7 miles): Lorie
Leg 6 (3.3 miles): David
Leg 7 (5.7 miles): Jerod
Leg 8 (4 miles): Me
Leg 9 (4.2 miles): Bobby
Leg 10 (4.7 miles): David

I was so happy once my leg came up. I was antsy throughout the morning. Everyone else in the car ran their leg and I had to wait. At least I was super stoked once it was my turn!

Photo courtesy of Lindy Rhodes.

Photo courtesy of Lindy Rhodes. Visit her blog here.

Although my leg had what I’m going to call rolling hills, I enjoyed it. While some teammates ran on the highway, my leg was all on a gravel road. I liked being away from all the traffic. It was a new experience to run on gravel. Can I count it as an introduction to trail running? No? OK, fair enough. I developed a blister during it. Boo. I blame that on breaking in my shoes mostly though. Thankfully, it didn’t hurt and I didn’t discover it until I was back home. I saw animals on my leg, too! Baby goats and a stray dog.

Our team completed the race in 7 hours. I was not lying when I said it would be an all-day venture! After David completed the final leg, we headed into downtown Lawrence to redeem our food and beer vouchers.

I was disappointed with both the food and the beer. For food, we had two options: gumbo or lentil soup. Since I’m a picky eater and the thought of eating crawfish grossed me out, I opted for the lentil soup.

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The couscous on top was dry. I enjoyed the fruit and salad more. It probably helped that they were cold. We could also have two beers. They gave us four options (two Boulevard ones and two Free State ones). All I wanted was a basic Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat beer. It is a staple Boulevard beer. But no, they didn’t have it. Seriously?! Humph. So I asked the guy to give me the closest thing to a wheat beer and he hands me a Boulevard 80 acre. It was gross. Too hoppy for me. I’m still new to beer. I need to be eased into it all.

I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t impressed with the food. We all voted that next time we would eat someplace else. Yep, next time. :) We all had a great time and want to do it again!

Team Sparkle Ponies. First row (L to R): Julie, Lindy, Brandi, Me, and Lorie. Back row (L to R): Jerod, Bobby, and David.

Team Sparkle Ponies. Look at our awesome sparkly pony baton! First row (L to R): Julie, Lindy, Brandi, Me, and Lorie. Back row (L to R): Jerod, Bobby, and David. Cassie also ran with us, but she had to leave early.

In addition to doing something else for food, we talked about bringing beer in the car with us (ones that we like!) and handing a beer to our runner when he or she completes the leg. Don’t worry, no drinking and driving here! Then, we had also talked about running more legs and/or getting more people involved so we would have company on the legs.

Participating in a relay was a success! Another fitness goal complete.

Question for you:
1. If you participated in this event, what would you name your relay team?

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