This is one of Strictly Running’s races, held the weekend of the 4th of July. I last ran the 4 miler in 2009, but have really enjoyed the team aspects of relays since doing the Palmetto 200 last year. Myself and Tyler “Trophy” McGaha decided to run the relay last year for fun and to try and set a new 2 mile PR. As is the case with a lot of relays, most competitive runners opt for individual glory in the regular race. Plus a lot of beginners do the relay to avoid going the whole distance. So, everything came together last year and we won the 2010 relay, and fifty bucks! We felt compelled to defend our title this year, despite the unlikeliness of the stars aligning again. Our team name: “Trophy Hunting” for our unrelenting pursuit of trophies or money, usually in the most obscure rural race we can find, the “undercard” shorter race, or these relays.
I was coming off a week at Folly Beach, during which I caught a nasty virus, so I was definitely less than 100 percent at this race. The heat and humidity were terrible as well. I knew we had no chance of winning this year, as I saw Angel Manuel and Eric McMichael were also signed up. I figured we were about even with Eric but Angel would destroy us by a few minutes, which turned out to be true. I had pulled an 11:50 split last year on the second leg, but decided to give Tyler the anchor this year. I started off thinking I could try to match that split, but I soon realized the hill on Trenholm road was absolutely brutal trying to pull sub six pace. I was so winded at the top I started getting passed by quite a few people doing the whole 4 miles – including Darrell Brown and Amy McDonaugh. I was able to get my breath back a little on the downhill, but the clock at the mile was 6:08 or so. I just felt terrible at this point as the course went uphill again. Just couldnt get my breathing right, though my legs felt fairly strong (the virus had kept me off the roads over the weekend). I finally got into a little but of a rhythm towards the last half mile, but I knew there probably a couple of relayers ahead, including Eric and Sarah Allers. Finished with an almost identical mile split for a 12:15 total, 25 seconds slower than last year. I had managed to edge Eric M. by 20 seconds or so, but Tyler said Angel overtook him fairly quickly. I cooled down by running the second leg slowly, getting to cheer on a few friends on the way, which was cool. What we hadnt counted on was a complete unknown team that ended up winning – I didnt recognize either one of them. Tyler ran a strong leg and we finished 4th overall. No prize this year, but SR put on a good race and post race spread.