Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nash Dash 10K Race Report

At the start of the week, I looked at my training program and saw I had a 10 mile run for the upcoming Saturday. I thought it would be more fun to do that training run in an actual race, so I started searching for one. I was lucky and found a 10K in Lawrence called the Nash Dash. I hadn't done this race before, but I thought it sounded fun! The course started downtown on Mass St, and went up on the University of Kansas campus, so I knew there would be challenging hills!

I decided to do 4 miles before the race and then do the 10K to get the other 6 miles in. I thought I might be crazy for doing it in that order, but I wanted to get it over with and not have to run after I had done the race. So I got there early, ran almost 4 miles, and then went to the start line! The great thing about this race was it didn't start until 8:30 and I'm not a morning person, so it worked perfect!

The weather was pretty perfect that morning. Not too hot and not too cold and it was nice and sunny. First off I ran 3.83 miles in 38 minutes and 55 seconds. My pace was 10:09. I honestly didn't mean to go that fast, but I was feeling really good. Then I ran the Nash Dash 10K, which was actually 6.29 miles according to my Garmin in 1 hour, 3 minutes and 32 seconds which was a 10:06 pace. It wasn't a 10K PR for me, but it was pretty close! There were a few brutal hills, but that was expected when you're running on campus. The thing I didn't expect was for them to have us run up the steepest hill going up on campus. Challenging and hard and I was tired by the time I got to the top, but it felt good!

A thing they did at this race that I'd never seen at a race before, was they did a hill challenge. On that steepest hill they had a time mat at the bottom and at the top, so they could get everyone's splits just on the hill. They gave prizes for the fastest hill sprinters. I wasn't one of the winners (or even close), so I can't tell you what they got. But I thought that was a unique thing for a race that added an extra competitive element.

This is definitely a race I would do again because it's at a great time of year when the weather is really nice and it's always nice to do as many local races as possible!

Rock 'n Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon Race Report

After hearing about the Rock-n-Roll series, I have always wanted to do one of the races. This was also the year for our 1 year Anniversary and we had talked about going on a mini vacation. So, I started looking and we settled on Seattle for a few reasons. 1st and most important reason – my husband’s brother and his family live outside of Seattle and I had never met them and my husband hadn’t seen his brother for 10 years. They weren’t able to make it to our wedding, so we thought we would go to them. 2nd reason – we could use this trip as our 1st Anniversary trip. And 3rd reason – I could run the RNR Seattle half while we were there! So, we just celebrated our anniversary a little early (in June instead of August), I ran a race and we got to spend time with family. Very productive 5 day vacation! I’ll give the race report first and then post some pictures about the rest of our trip and all the fun things we did.

The race was on Saturday, June 25th and I booked our stay in one of the hotels that sponsored the race. This was the best thing I could have done! All I had to do on race morning was get up, get ready and walk out of the lobby and get on the bus. The bus then shuttled us to the start in Tukwila which was about a 25 minute bus ride. I’m not a morning person, so not having to worry too much on how to get to the start was a huge plus for me!

The morning was overcast and chilly, but not unbearable. There were tons of people doing the race – I think around 35,000 – 40,000 people! I was toward the back of the pack and there was a lot of waiting. I actually crossed the starting line about an HOUR AFTER the actual start time. That is how long it took for them to get through all the different corral starts! But, there were great people to talk to and great music to listen to while waiting to start, and it definitely made the rest of the race better. I didn’t feel like I was weaving in and out of people and I didn’t feel like I was running in a huge crowd of people. That was what was nice about the corral starts.

The scenery was beautiful! The spectators were amazing and encouraging! The bands every mile were great! Since the race started in Tukwila and finished in Seattle, we ran in little neighborhoods, ran by a lake, ran in non-populated areas, ran on major highways, and then finished in the city. It was all different areas throughout the 13.1 miles. The neatest thing was getting closer to the city and seeing the skyline getting closer and closer until you were there at the finish! The best thing about the whole race is that I got to see my husband on the course! He was about a mile from the finish line and seeing him so close to the end gave me the strength to finish strong! It was the first race of mine he’s been to and I loved seeing him supporting me on the course!

I didn’t feel like I was completely prepared for this half marathon like I was the one in April. There had been so much going on and I did have some injuries that made me skip training runs, or cut my distances back. I felt pretty good while running the race. I had some soreness in my knee while running, but nothing major. It was about an hour after the race when I noticed my foot was really hurting. It hurt to walk on it even and it made the last 2 days of our trip a little difficult if I had to be on it for long amounts of time. Once I got back from Seattle, I went to the dr after a few days of it not feeling better. They didn’t find anything wrong with it but wanted me to wait a couple weeks and come back if it was still hurting. I stayed off of it (very hard for me to do) for 2 solid weeks and at that time it was feeling much better. Then the pain was completely gone after another few days. I never went back to the dr and have no idea what was wrong with it. It hasn’t acted up since. I usually run in Saucony’s, but I trained for this race and ran this race in Mizuno’s. I didn’t like them as well as my Saucony’s, but gave them a shot. It might or might not be the shoes, but that race was the last time I wore them and I went back to the kind I know that have worked for me in the past! Even with not being as prepared as I would have liked, I still did the 13.1 miles in 2 hours, 27 minutes and 54 seconds, so I was pleased. My pace was 11:14.

Everclear (one of my favorite bands from my college days) performed at the post race party and it was awesome to see them in person and hear some of their great songs! We hung around the party for an hour or so, then headed back to the hotel to rest a while before going to meet up with my brother-in-law and his wife. I did love my first experience with a Rock-n-Roll series race and can’t wait to do the Las Vegas one in December!

I wrote this blog post a month or so ago, but I'm just now getting around to posting it. Since writing this, I have actually finished my 2nd RNR event, but that race report will come a little later. Below are some pictures from the race and the overall trip!

I also wanted to add the website for the Rock 'n Roll Series events. If you haven't checked it out, you should! They have so many different sites all over the country!


The view from our hotel room

The best salmon I have ever had!!! YUMMY!

All the fresh seafood at Pike Place Market!

David eating his crab legs!

David and I at the Expo

All the people waiting for the race to start

Start line!

Big blow up "rocker" at the 1st mile marker

Beautiful scenery to run through

Runners in their reflective gear in the tunnel!

Getting close to downtown

Even closer...


Eating after the race and showing off my medal

At the post race party

Everclear performing at the post-race party

Overview of the post-race party while we were heading back to our hotel

Really neat bling!

David and his brother Travis before we went in to the Mariners game

Space Needle

View of downtown Seattle from the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle

Last picture of us before we had to get on a plane later that day. We had a great time in Seattle!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fredonia Flag Festival 6K Race Report

On June 11, 2011 I ran in "The World's Only 6,147,777 mm Race." I'll get to what that means in a little bit. My hometown of Fredonia, KS has the annual Fredonia Flag Festival. Why does my hometown have a flag festival? Well, Fredonia has a 40 x 60 foot American Flag that flies on a 100 foot flagpole atop the South Mound. You can see the flag from miles away and it really is a gorgeous site! Sorry that the picture above is a little blurry, but you get the idea. Every year the Flag Festival raises money to maintain the flag (you wouldn't think a flag would cost a lot of money, but it's a big flag)! For the last 3 years, they have incorporated a race into the festival. I have ran this race the last 2 years.

Now to the explanation of the 6,147,777 mm race. Why not a 5K? Well, to be creative, they decided to signify the date that congress adopted the American flag which was 6/14/1777, hence the 6,147,777 mm race and why the flag festival is held around that same time every year. The race comes out to be about a 6K and 3.82 miles is what my Garmin clocked it at this year. It was a nice, warm June morning and I ran with my friend, Sarah. Running with friends always makes races more enjoyable! Our time was 42:23 and the pace was 11:05 min/mile. There were 2 water stops along the route, which was really nice since it was pretty warm that day. They also had water and fruit at the finish line - bananas are my favorite after a race! It's a small race (about 20 people maybe), but the town is small too. I think every year they will continue to get more participants and it will keep growing!

I was only a few weeks out from my Rock-n-Roll Seattle Half Marathon, so my training plan had me running 10 that day, so I actually got up extra early and ran 6.32 miles before the race. Then with the 3.82 for the race, I got my 10 miles in for my Seattle training! Win-win situation!

This is definitely the smallest race I participate in, but I'm there to support my hometown and it's great to be able to run with my friends who I don't get to see all the time! I can't wait until next year's race!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hospital Hill 10K Race Report

I'm a little late on some race reports, so I'm catching up. This race was on June 4th and it took place in Kansas City, MO starting and ending at Crown Center. This is a race that draws many participants and is always a favorite among runners in the area! I always get really excited about this race until I'm about a mile into it running up the first of many hills, and then I start wondering why in the world I signed up for it! It's not called Hospital Hill for nothing. There is a huge hill that goes right by the hospital and then quite a few other hills throughout the race. If you're looking for flat, this is not the race for you. Below is a picture of the Finish Line when I first got there. Not too many people yet, but then the next picture shows the crowd of people at the start line!

The great thing about this race is it is so well organized! They have great perks for the runners, great medals, great water stations, tons of support along the course and that is why people continue to do this race year after year. This was my second time doing the race and I did the 10K both times. They also have a 5K and a Half Marathon. I honestly don't think I could ever do the Half Marathon on this course because not only is the course hard, but it's usually pretty hot in Kansas in June. It's pretty brutal, but that is also what makes finishing that much sweeter! Below is a picture shortly after the start. We are heading toward downtown KC and you can see all the people way up there!

This next picture is in the last mile and there is actually a nice downhill heading toward the finish line. This was a nice sight after looking up so many hills throughout the race!

My 10K time was 1 hour, 8 minutes and 29 seconds with a pace of 10:51. Not a PR for me, but I wouldn't expect a PR on this course (for me at least). Here I am with my medal post race! I was ready to get in my car and turn the A/C on!

This race is still one of my favorites, regardless of the hills and the heat! And I will be doing it again in 2012!

Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm Back!!!

I can't say that I'm back, because I was never really gone. I was just a little absent from the blogging world. I have quite a few race reports to write and I hope that making this post tonight will keep me accountable to actually write those reports in the next few weeks.

But for now, I'll leave you with these pictures of all my running shoes from old to new (minus the pair I ran in while training for my first half marathon back in 2008). I have ran through many pairs of shoes, but I can't bring myself to getting rid of my old running shoes. I still wear them when I walk the dogs or when I'm going to the store. And by looking at them, you can probably tell I'm a Saucony girl!

The oldest pair is in the lower right hand corner and they are Saucony Paramounts. You can see that I have 2 pairs of Paramounts - exact same shoe, different color. And I also have a pair of Paramount 2's. It's just hard to switch to a new style when you find one that works. But I eventually had to because they don't make the Paramounts anymore.

The Mizuno's took me through a half marathon, but I always go back to Saucony's! I have the Kinvara's, but they are only used on shorter runs. They are a little too minimal for me and I need a little more support. My newest and favorite pair (top left hand corner) are the Saucony Cortana's! They are so comfortable and they have tons of fun colors - it was hard to choose which color combo to get!

The way to tell how old my shoes are is if you can see the label in the sock of the shoe. You can't see it in the older ones on the bottom row, but you can see the label in all the newer ones on the top row! Looks like the top row need to get some more miles on them!

Anyway, enjoy my running shoes and hopefully it won't be another 4 months until I blog again!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mini Vacation starts tomorrow!

I need to get caught up! I have 2 race reports to write and will have another one after this Saturday! June 4th, I did the Hospital Hill 10K in Kansas City, June 11th, I did the Fredonia Flag Festival 6K, and this Saturday I will do the Rock-n-Roll Seattle Half Marathon! I promise that I will get caught up after our vacation this weekend.

My husband and I are heading to Seattle tomorrow for a few reasons:

1 - We wanted to go somewhere for our anniversary. Our 1 year anniversary isn't until August 28th, but we decided to do the trip a little early and we decided on Seattle! I have been to Seattle once for work (8 years ago this month) and it was only for 1 day. I've always wanted to go back.

2 - David's brother lives about an hour away from Seattle and I haven't gotten to meet him and his wife yet, and David hasn't seen him in about 10 years. So we are really excited for them to come to Seattle on Saturday and hang out with us!

3 - We decided on this weekend because it is the weekend of the Rock-n-Roll Seattle Marathon series. I was looking for races to do on vacation and I've always wanted to do an RNR race, so the timing was perfect!

We will be there 4 nights and hopefully will come back refreshed and full of the fresh seafood Seattle has to offer!!! Once I get back, I'll give a vacation recap and also get caught up on all the race reports I need to write! Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Headbands and a Great Cause!

As some of you may know, I trained for my first half marathon through Team in Training. They are an amazing organization that raises money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society while helping people train for endurance events. I raised $3900 in 2008 while training for the Nike Womens Half Marathon in San Francisco. I had a friend in high school who lost his battle with leukemia and I ran in memory of him and the many others who have been affected by those diseases.

I was catching up on some blogs and came across a post about someone raising money through Team in Training. Bethanye has to raise $2500 and has started making her own no-slip headbands to reach her fundraising goal. Go check out her fundraising page HERE, and help her raise money for Team in Training! I ordered 3 headbands and absolutely LOVE them!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

CEP Compression Socks Review

I entered a raffle a while back on Stephanie’s Running to Health blog HERE and ended up winning some CEP Compression socks! I was so excited because they have been on my “running gear I want” list! I ordered the lime green ones and I couldn’t wait for them to come in so I could try them out.

Before I ever wore them on any runs, I wore them after a few runs to recover and make my calves feel better. One night I showered after my evening run, came downstairs in my lime green socks pulled up to my knees, and sat on the couch to watch my shows. My husband gave me this look like, “What are those and why are you wearing them?” So, I explained to him that I was hoping they would make my legs less tired if I wore these. And they did!

The first time I wore them on a run was a couple weeks ago on an 8 miler. It usually takes me a good half mile to get warmed up and settled into the cadence of my run. I had to take a different route than normal because of road construction, and they had this bridge across a creek totally blocked off. I tried to see if there was anywhere I could get through, but not even on foot could I do it. There were some new small hills I hadn’t run on before with it being a new route, but I felt great. My legs didn’t feel heavy like they sometimes do on longer runs. I don’t know if it’s just in my head, but I think the CEP Compression socks were what helped me feel so good.

I am so glad I am a runner and learned about compression technology, but I would recommend compression socks to ANYONE! You don’t have to be a runner or an athlete to get use out of them. I sit at a desk all day long and sometimes that makes my lower legs ache. If I am wearing pants and boots, I will wear my compression socks also and no one ever knows. But, then my legs still get that good circulation throughout the day and they don’t ache!

The other times I would recommend them is when you are flying or riding in a car for a long amount of time, or when you are going to be walking around a lot. They just give your legs that extra support and circulation. You don’t realize how much these compression socks will help you until you try them out and see how much better your legs feel! When driving to OKC a couple weeks ago, I wore the compression socks on the drive so that when we got there my legs felt fresh. And then I kept them on as we were walking around. When Sunday rolled around, my legs felt great for the run, even though I had been walking around a bunch that weekend.

Check out their website HERE to learn more about the technology they use and the different products they have. You won’t be sorry! Here is a picture off of their website of the green socks I got:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Relay Race Report

This is a long post, so just know I warned you first!

Side note before the race report: I found out last week that I didn't get into the NYC Marathon this year. I had submitted my application through the lottery and wasn't picked. I could get in through fundraising, but I think I'll just keep trying through the lottery drawing (if you don't get in 3 years in a row, you are guaranteed to get in the 4th year). I was bummed at first, but it does take up a lot of time and energy, and I wasn't totally set on training for a full this year. Maybe I'll get in next year!!!

Now for the race report: I have been excited for this event ever since we signed up for it many months ago! It seemed so far away, but it finally got here. I took Friday off work and woke up at 5 am to watch the Royal Wedding while still laying in bed. I wasn’t planning on watching it in real time (I had the DVR set), but I needed to wake up at 6 anyway to get ready, so what’s an extra hour? She was beautiful, the wedding was beautiful and so nice to see some happiness! I pulled myself away from the TV, got ready and headed south. I drove to my hometown where Miranda and Amanda picked me up and the 3 of us headed even farther south. Our other teammates, Heather and Alyssa, were bringing their families and would be there a little later than us.

We got to Oklahoma City, found our hotel in Bricktown and got checked in. Amanda really scored on the hotel through Priceline, so she got extra thank you’s from us for that! It was a nice hotel for an even nicer price and it was in walking distance to everything. Score!!! Friday night we went to the expo to pick up our packets and visit the booths. This was a great time to go as it wasn’t busy AT ALL! I thought these balloons were really neat!

Then we met up with a couple other runners (one we knew, and her friend we met for the first time). We ate some good Mexican food and then had a really fun night out! It was SO windy and we all kept hoping that it wouldn’t be that windy on Sunday for the race...more on that later.

Saturday, we slept in a little, and then ate the wonderful continental buffet breakfast the hotel had. It really was delicious! We walked around Bricktown and did whatever came to mind. We did go to the expo again (way busier this time), and we ate at Peachwave (my first frozen yogurt experience). After a little lounging, we decided to try Zio’s Italian restaurant for dinner. Luckily, we only had to wait about 20 minutes to be seated and the food was pretty amazing and priced extremely well. We definitely got our carb loading in!

We then decided to walk to the Memorial so we would know where to go the next morning and the best way to get to the start. We might have gotten a little turned around and went the wrong way... We wound up at a memorial, but not THE memorial. So, we got quite a bit of extra walking in the night before the race. But, we made it to the Memorial and this was my 2nd time visiting it. But this time was at night and it was so pretty and tranquil. So many emotions while looking at the memorial and reading about it. I thought back to the day the bombing happened and remembered exactly where I was and what I felt when seeing the destruction on TV. After seeing the Memorial, taking some pictures and feeling good about how to get there the next morning for a 6:30 start time, we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep and rest our legs! Below is a picture of Amanda, Miranda and I in front of one of the race signs by the memorial.

And here is one of the entrances to the memorial. The lighting was beautiful.

4:45 am came early and I met Heather and Alyssa in the lobby at 5:30. Miranda and Amanda were legs 4 and 5 and they were going to wait a while before they went to the start. We start out walking and it was about 50 degrees or so. Nice weather for a run. After about 15 minutes of walking, it starts to rain and it starts to get colder. That’s okay, we knew there was a chance of rain. I was really lucky and somehow dressed appropriately. I had my long tights on with shorts over them (of course), a long sleeved shirt, my pink team shirt, my hat and my light Columbia rain jacket. It is really light weight and I thought if it did start raining that it would keep me dry and I could wrap it around my waist when I didn’t need it anymore. Getting closer to the start line, we met some people walking the other way saying the start was delayed 30 minutes. So, we headed to a big building that had an awning we could stand under for a while. The rain never stopped, so when it was time, we started walking again. Heather got to the start and Alyssa and I headed to the buses. I was the 3rd leg and decided that I didn’t need to get on the bus just yet and I would watch the start. There were around 25,000 runners and it was an amazing sight to see them all running by the Memorial at the start of the race!
You can see the start line on the left hand side and the runners are off!

Runners have gotten to me at this point and it is very hard to see, but you can still see people waiting to cross the start line as far back as you could see. TONS of people! I did get to see Heather, who was doing our first leg, pass me but my camera wouldn't cooperate, so I only got a picture of her back as she passed by me.

I then headed to the bus to have it take me to my exchange point. When we got there it was still raining and the only shelter was a little awning over this store front that could really only handle 2 people deep. But, it kept me somewhat dry while I was waiting. I waited until the last possible minute that I could, then I had to go stand in the rain at the exchange. I saw Heather come by as she was our first leg but was also continuing on to do her first full marathon! Alyssa came next and the exchange point was mass chaos with all the people handing off timing chips to the next runner. But I was off.

The only thing I wish I had were my gloves. I didn’t think about grabbing those. So, I pulled my sleeves down over my fingers and that helped a little. My toes were numb when I started and it took a good mile of running for me to feel them again! At that point, I needed to pee. I didn’t want to go at the exchange for fear of missing my team come through. So, I made the pit stop and it took a while to pull my pants up as I still couldn’t feel my fingers real well. After I got warmed up, I felt pretty great! I ended up just keeping my rain jacket on the whole time. It was very lightweight and it was keeping me from getting soaked. My feet weren’t dry, but my upper half was at least.

I think somewhere around the 5th mile of my leg, I saw Heather across from me on a hairpin turn by the lake. My legs were feeling great and I knew she could use some encouragement and company while running her full. I’d been there before and it can be a lonely experience. So, I had no idea if I would catch her or not, but I booked it and caught up with her. By this time it had finally stopped raining, so we ran the last couple miles of my leg together. We got to the exchange and I handed the chip off to Amanda and bid them both farewell. I got my medal, some food and headed to the bus. At about that time, the rain started again. And this time, it didn’t stop the rest of the race. I got to the Finish line so I could watch Miranda and Heather come in.

I got there in time to see the very end of the sub 4 hour marathoners finish. I smiled really big for them because that's a huge accomplishment and an amazing time!

I saw the firefighters (some of them who were there the day of the bombing 16 years ago) finish the race in all their gear. I cried.

I watched people who were running in honor of someone who died in the bombing. I cried.

I saw kids join their parents at the end to run over the finish line with them. I smiled.

I saw a guy who ran the whole thing carrying a huge American flag. I cried.

I saw people with “Marathon Virgin” shirts on and I thought of my first marathon. I cried.

I also got hailed on while in the stands and I was glad I wasn’t still running and I felt bad for whichever teammate of mine who was running and all the other people running in it. The good thing is the hail was small and it didn’t last long. The white dots on the road is hail.

I’ve never watched a finish as I have always been in the race. And we know I never finished early enough to watch many other people cross. Being in the relay was amazing to be able to run in the race, and then get to the finish to watch my teammate cross! I saw Miranda coming and I yelled as loud as I could for her and I was all smiles, and so was she! Here she is in the light pink shirt crossing the finish line!

I went to find her and Amanda and we went back to the finish to watch Heather cross the finish line of her first full marathon! We yelled for her and it was amazing to see her accomplish that feat. The weather was horrible, her knees were bothering her, but she is now a marathoner and that was SO neat to witness! Here she is in the bright pink shirt crossing the finish line!

By this time, I was FROZEN! The best part was getting a Carl’s Jr. hamburger at the finish line. It was so warm and yummy and I wished I would have grabbed about 5 of them! We decided to go to First Church which was close to the finish line because they were letting people go in there to warm up. Not only were they opening their doors for the runners to get warm, they were serving coffee to us and they had a huge pile of dry clothes if anyone wanted to change. I didn’t know this at the time, but learned while reading on the website that First Church opened their doors after the bombing and they were a place where families could go to learn about their loved ones who were in the Murrah building at the time of the bombing. It was also a temporary morgue right after the bombing. They were so gracious on race day, but their history with the Memorial goes way back to April 19, 1995. Here are the only pictures that I got of the Memorial on rainy race day.

We decided we would head to the hotel to take warm showers. It was still raining, but we weren’t too far. After walking about ½ a block, it started POURING! Not just raining, but pouring. I don’t know how it happened, but I saw a taxi for the first time all weekend and we flagged it down and hopped in. We were lucky to get that nice, warm, dry ride to the hotel. Here we are in the warm and dry taxi (Amanda, Me and Miranda).

We took warm showers, packed up and headed for home. The weather for the race wasn’t great, but the whole weekend was fun and the purpose of the race is way more important than any bad weather we had. We have decided to make this an annual event and we’re sure that there is no way we can have that bad weather 2 years in a row! Next year should be great, right? I guess we’ll have to see. Here is a picture of Miranda and Amanda at the finish and below that is one of me at the finish all bundled up.

Results of race:
A marathon relay was all new to me. It consisted of 5 legs:
Heather was the 1st leg which was approximately a 10K
Alyssa was the 2nd leg which was approximately a 5K
I was the 3rd leg which was approximately a 12K
Amanda was the 4th leg which was approximately a 5K
Miranda was the 5th leg which was approximately a 10K

My Garmin said this:
Miles: 7.37
Time: 1:22:56
Pace: 11:15
In all the exchange confusion, I forgot to stop my Garmin, but it might have only been a minute or 2. I don’t know for sure.

We were 83 out of 124 teams in the Open Female division. Our total time was 4:56:10.

So much fun and if anyone is considering a race, this is definitely one I would recommend. It was the 11th year they’ve done it and it is so well organized and there are so many wonderful volunteers that come out to help. Since it is for a great cause that touched all of us Americans, it has a real community feel to it even though it is so huge! Amazing race! I, unfortunately didn't end up with any pictures of all 5 team members. Sad!

Here are a few pictures of the medal we got for the relay. It has the logo of the Memorial on it - the Survivor's Tree. And the front of the medal is different from the back, which I thought was really neat!