It was an early morning yesterday leaving home at 4:30 AM to meet up with a fellow Thirsty Irish Runner to make the two hour drive up to the Lake Winnipeseaukee region of New Hampshire for the 2013 Fred Brown Lake Winnipesaukee Relay. The relay is an iconic relay race put on by the North Medford Running Club and features 65.1 miles of running around Lake Winnipesaukee with 8 legs and 5-8 runners on each team. The race starts and finishes at a large arcade called The Fun Spot.
After making the drive up we met up with our other teammates and received our running assignments. I was given the third leg which features 9.3 miles of running from Alton Bay to Kingswood High School in Wolfeboro. The race website notes that this leg is a “hilly course” which is a pretty good underestimation. Though much of the 65.1 miles have some good hills mixed in, I felt to be climbing and descending for many of my miles. I definitely could have fueled better and the sun baked down on the stretch of my leg that was along an unshaded highway. Thankfully there was some great support from both my teammates and other teams and spectators along the way that provided me with water and Gatorade.
This was my first relay and it was a unique experience. It was pretty awesome to be able to check out so many different areas and root your teammates and others along throughout the race. There was a nice camaraderie built not just between our team but other teams, as well. Of course, when your team is complete with two support vehicles and a camper you really have a way of making an impression when pulling into exchange points. There were a lot of teams that were from running clubs we traditionally don’t see so it was good seeing some new faces but still seeing some familiar friends from groups like Somerville Road Runners and the Colonial Road Runners.
After our final runners on both of our teams came into the finish line we celebrated with a great team barbecue before hitting the road for the two hour ride back home. With a cup of coffee in hand and a maple cider donut in the gut the ride, all in all it was a nice day and a good experience to take part in the 2013 Fred Brown Lake Winnipesaukee Relay.