Market To Market Race Day
Ohio’s first Market to Market Relay Race from Cincinnati to Dayton was a huge success. We started out at 7:40 am in the fifth of seven waves of runners to hit the backroads and trails for 76 miles. Our day started out in 90% humidity which broke midway through the race and became a perfect running day. To recap from my last Market to Market post, teams of 6-8 runners divide up the race of 19 legs and run anywhere from 8 to 17 miles per runner, accompanied by a team van which has a separate, more direct route to exchange points. The race was meticulously mapped out by Matt McBride and his team who made this potentially complicated race a breeze in terms of getting from place to place.We quickly learned that we had under-estimated our speed. The team mentality you have in a race like this definitely evokes an extra boost of speed, especially with the adrenaline you get when it’s your turn. My husband, Steve, for instance, finished our first leg close to ten minutes earlier than we expected, and we barely made the exchange. There was definitely a learning curve involved in this unique to Ohio relay race where timing is everything!
What made this race so special was that you were supported constantly by your teammates and strangers alike and had runners of all levels waiting for you and cheering you on at the end of each of your, sometimes grueling, legs. The runs themselves were moderate, but there were some taxing uphill legs and an added .2 mile bonus for the runners at Ft. Ancient who enjoyed a climb straight up the side of a cliff to get to their team vehicle. The actual legs felt solitary but were picturesque (I had planned to take a few phone pics, but didn’t want to stop), but the second you came around the bend and heard your team number called to alert your next runner, the race felt so much more social and supportive than any other race I have run. It also felt to all of us like much more of an adventure, getting to the next spot, timing our breaks,and wondering what the next leg would feel and look like. The 10 hour day, for our team, went fast and we all went home that night talking about next year’s race.