I never really understood the draw to running in relay events, until I ran the High Desert Dash... I was actually just filling in for a good friend of mine that ended up not being able to run. Yes, I was duped into doing it, but I quickly came to realize why people do these crazy events- TEAM SPIRIT! I know I sound like a high school rally coordinator, but I'm being totally honest here. Our group of five runners, all close friends of mine, decided to run our legs back to back which eliminated the cool down and stiffening process people undergo in the shuttle between legs. Now I must admit, these great people that I joined for the day are also great runners. I was definitely the weakest link and knew it and therefor chose two legs that were short. Little did I know that the legs I chose were ALL uphill. This is where the team spirit came into play. As quickly as I was off, I realized I was in way over my head. My teammates would drive up ahead and then stop and cheer. Initially, I was quite bashful with their support. I didn't want to let my teammates down and saw these cheering episodes as opportunities for them to see what I'm really made of, or really not made of. Eventually, fighting back the urge to walk, vomit and cry, I was looking forward to the support of my teammates. I often wanted to throw out an 'I love you guys'.
Much to my dismay, it was never really about our individual abilities as runners. It was more about our abilities to push ourselves to our own personal limit, which I know each and every one of my teammates did. I often think about that long hill I climbed that day, and how I never really want to do it again. But I would do it again for them.