After my second leg, I was happy to be over the hump. Only one more leg to go and it would likely be in the daylight hours in the morning! Yay! (Or so I thought.. damn Eastern time zone).
I quickly changed clothes in the van as we drove to the next exchange. Our next runner was needing some inspiration at this point and frankly those of us in the van were a little lackluster. I mean, I was wide awake, but I just didn't have the "rah rah ree" spirit in me. Nonetheless I attempted to sing Rocky Raccoon to her, in hopes that maybe it'd help her get through her night-time leg, too. It didn't. So, then I started telling her how everyone in the van last year (besides me) LOVED their nighttime legs, because all you saw was a sea of blinky lights to catch and kill. She listened, but I could tell she wasn't buying what I was selling. Once we got to the exchange, we stood outside and waited for April to come in. I went a little further ahead of the exchange, so that I could shout out when she was coming (it's amazing how easily I can pick out April's gait from a distance).
April came into the exchange and handed off and again we were on the road. It was cold. Very cold. But luckily I had remembered the cold from last year and came prepared. I was dressed in a long sleeve tech tee, a sweatshirt, a fleece, running shorts, sweat pants and gloves. The perfect outfit for standing around in the cold.
Our 4th runner came into my favorite exchange of the whole race... the Stanford, KY exchange! When we drove into the town, we were stopped by someone in the street who welcomed us to town, told us where the exchange was, where the parking was and also informed us that the Mayor had opened up his office all night and that there was coffee and snacks there. He also said that some of the stores were open for the runners as well!
This was definitely the boost our team needed to get amped about continuing our runs after midnight... We stopped in the shops...
Yes, that's an oreo in his hand. They had oreos, fig newtons, hot chocolate, and SAMOAS! YUM!
I went back to the soap shop next door and picked out a couple of homemade Kentucky soaps!
I highly recommend this soap shop that sells Plainview Farm Goat's Milk Soaps if you ever find yourself in the super hospitable town of Stanford, KY!
We took a group shot in the soap shop and headed out to the next exchange...
One thing about our van that I was very proud of us was our stamina. I think at every exchange all of us made it outside to cheer on the runners (we cheered every team, not just our own). It's not easy to will yourself out of a warm van to stand outside in the cold at 1am when you know a couple of other people are there to keep track of the clipboard, etc... but I was proud of our van for having team spirit and not just crawling in the back of the van and trying to sleep while we were the active van.
Finally, our last runner got started and we headed to the exchange. I was anxious to see the other van and we got there pretty early, so I was able to spend more time visiting with them than at the last exchange.
After handing off, it was time to attempt to get some sleep. We piled back into the van and I started driving us to the next van exchange at Four Roses Distillery. The drive was a good 30 minutes and as the van quieted I struggled to keep my eyes open for the drive. FINALLY I made it (without falling asleep!) and we parked our van next to other vans in a grassy area. We all said goodnight and got as comfortable as we could to sleep for about 2:30 hours. We had one runner in each row of seats, plus a runner on the floor of the van and then I was in the driver seat and April was in the passenger seat. Somehow, we all managed to zonk out HARD.
To awaken me out of my slumber, I heard a text message on my phone coming through and I reached to the right to grab it, and immediately I heard loud knocking on my window to the left. It was someone telling me that I had to move the van and just like that.. I was awake and getting ready for my last and final leg.
We moved the van, got parked and I sat in in silence for a little while, there wasn't enough time to really go back to sleep, but it wasn't time to get outside in the cold and wait around either. Eventually, I did get up and went to the porta potties a couple of times and then headed down to the exchange with a couple of other people to wait for my turn.
It was still dark, even though it was 7am (damn you Eastern time zone!) and I DREADED running in the dark again. Ugh.
Overall, I was feeling pretty good. I felt fairly rested and my legs felt pretty good. It was cold, but not as cold as it was earlier in the night. And most importantly, I was ready to get my last leg over with.
A couple of team members from the other van made their way over to us (they were dropped off, the van was trying to find parking) and we waited for our runner to come in.
We didn't wait long and this time I was prepared mentally for her arrival. She handed me the bracelet and I was off on my last leg of the 2010 Bourbon Chase!