Run River City – Team Tough Chik Relay

23 May

Back at the beginning of the year, I got a message on Facebook from Jess asking if I would be a part of a Team Tough Chik marathon relay.  I don’t think that I would actually fly out for the race, but my cousin lives in Chicago and she had just had a baby, so it was perfect!

On Thursday I flew to Chicago and met my new favorite person, Evelyn.  She is the best baby!  So happy and all smiles.


On Friday evening I took the train to Oak Forest and was greeted by the one and only Too Tall Fritz!  When you meet your on-line “friends” in real life, it is always like a first date and can be kind of awkward.  Not with Amanda!  We greeted each other with a big hug and we clicked immediately!  She graciously allowed me to stay with her on Friday night so I could run with her and her F-NRC running group.  Susan, another Team Tough Chik member, is also part of F-NRC and I was able to run and chat with her.  What a sweet gal!

Amanda, Susan and Me

Amanda, Susan and Me

After our run, we stopped by a local 5K to cheer on some more F-NRC peeps and Joyelle, another Team Tough Chik member.  So lucky to meet my teammates!

On Saturday afternoon Amanda and I headed to Peoria.  Packet pick-up was pretty easy but the expo was small and sparse.  I have to admit that I was a little bummed because rarely do I get to attend an expo that I am not working, but it is the first year of the race, so I am sure it will grow tremendously!  On Saturday evening we had a team meeting at our hotel when I got the chance to meet Carmen and Jess.

Me, Jess, Carmen and Amanda

Me, Jess, Carmen and Amanda

Carmen was our 1st leg, but due to a recent injury, she had to sit this race out and found a replacement with Katie.  If you would like to read Carmen’s race report and her perspective, here is a like to her post.

Group photo with Katie

Group photo with Katie

Katie handed off to Amanda and her long legs booked it!

If you would like to read Amanda’s race report, go here…

Amanda handing off to me

Amanda handing off to me

I was leg 3, the shortest leg..THANK YOU! This was my first relay and it really pushes you to know that 3 other people are counting on you to perform.  I wasn’t running great.  I will be the first to admit that I am not the fastest runner and I made sure my team was aware of my pace.  If they wanted to win, I was not the gal to have on your team!  But we all agreed that we were in it for fun and not to break any speed records.  Little did I know, that prior to the race another local blogger threw down the gauntlet.  We all have a little of a competitive streak and I will be the first to tell you that I can be pretty competitive, so when I found out that another team was “out to get us”….GAME ON!  All of this is going through my head while I am watching my pace slow.  The reason my leg was the shortest, is because it was the hilliest.  I didn’t think Illinois was hilly, I was wrong.  I live in a very hilly area, so this wasn’t unusual…just not what I had planned.  I knew that I wasn’t running as strong as I could, but I was giving it my all and I thought to myself, all I can do is apologize.  Amanda had mentioned that it is pretty awesome when a runner sprints to the next for a hand off, so I kicked it up a notch and sprinted to Jess.

You can see it on my face, I was pushing!

You can see it on my face, I was pushing!

Jess took off for the last leg and if you want to read her post, go here…

We were able to run in as a team and it will be the first and last time I cross a marathon finish line in under 4 hours!

Team Tough Chik

Team Tough Chik

We finished in 3:57 and were the 4th women’s relay to finish (but 2 and 3 were in high school, so we came in second in my head).  And we did finish ahead of that other team, in case you were wondering.

734245_10200187893795104_249864450_nYup, I am the slowest!  Luckily Katie was wicked fast and helped make up for my pace.  But that wasn’t what this race was about.  It was about having fun and doing something as a team.  I have to say, I was blown away with these 3 women.  They are amazing!  And cool and fun and kind and just plain nice.  We had a great time and really got along very well!

A little cheesy!

A little cheesy!

Overall, I had a blast in Chicago and in the rest of Illinois as well!  I am already thinking about heading back next year!


2 Responses to “Run River City – Team Tough Chik Relay”

  1. Run with Jess (@RUNwJESS) May 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    It was so GREAT to meet you and LOVED having you on the team. Such a FUN time!!! squeal!

  2. tootallfritz May 23, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    You did great!!! I don’t think any of us ran as well as we had hoped. I thought I’d be a lot faster but the heat really bothered me. BUT we had fun and I think we did well! Sooooo much fun! Thanks for coming!

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