My sixth running of the Novant Health Charlotte Marathon was my most memorable yet as I joined a team of four other moms pushing strollers to complete the marathon relay.
I have run the half marathon five times and this year was my first time participating in the marathon relay. It was a wonderful experience that I am excited to share with you in hopes that it will motivate you to a) try a relay race for yourself, b) try pushing a stroller for a race and c) come to Charlotte to run this race with me next year!
Finn and I visited the Charlotte Marathon Expo on Friday to get everything squared away for our relay team. I picked up our packet and dropped it off at one of my teammate’s houses so that everyone could do a front porch pickup of their bibs/shirts.
Disclaimer: our team was provided with a complimentary race entry.
That evening I loaded the jogging stroller into the car and took it to the gas station to fill the tired with air. They were very low and I didn’t want a flat tire on race day.
My pre-race dinner was a grilled cheese and tomato soup. This was one of my best grilled cheese combos ever and featured homemade sourdough, mayo, apricot preserves, prosciutto and two kinds of cheese. It was cooked in a skillet with salted butter.
Carb loading for a 5-mile race is not a thing but you can never go wrong with a grilled cheese in my book!
One of the biggest perks of running a marathon relay is that you don’t have to be up and at the race so early if you’re running a later leg. I was running the fourth leg, miles 15-20, so I was able to sleep until 7, eat breakfast and enjoy coffee, feed Finn and pack up all of our gear before heading out around 9:15 a.m.
We arrived at the exchange point around 9:40 and waited for my teammate to come in. Perhaps the BEST PART about this year’s race was the perfect weather. This race is historically cold. Like cold I have to wear long pants, long sleeves, a hat, two pairs of gloves and stick hand warmers all over me. It was glorious to be able to run in shorts and not to feel hot or cold. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was in the 50s for the run.
My teammate arrived around 10 a.m. (and was pushing a double jogging stroller!!!!) and passed the tracker off to me.
Two of my girlfriends joined me for my leg of the relay and it was awesome to have their company on the course.
Our five miles flew by thanks to the great neighborhood support and cheer stations, beautiful fall scenery and conversation with my friends. I couldn’t believe it when we were arriving at mile 20!
Although I have to admit that it was pretty awesome to arrive at mile 20 feeling fresh and good. Not my previous experience with seeing this mile marker from my two previous marathons! I almost felt guilty during this race when people were cheering us on. I wanted to shout back the disclaimer, “we’re only doing the relay!”
Finn did so well with his first stroller race! He slept through the first half and blew bubbles for the second. He was all smiles at the end. Virginia and I jogged about a mile back to our cars after we finished. I had to feed Finn and then make it to the finish line to meet my team.
All five of us moms met at mile 26 to finish as a team. We lined up five across to cross the finish line and I had chills as we crossed. It was a very sweet moment.
Our final time was just under 4:30 for the full marathon. I think that’s an awesome time considering that we were pushing strollers but it was also really nice not to have a “race” mentality and just to enjoy the race experience and being out on the course. I didn’t even remember to start my watch until 2-3 minutes into my leg! Our pace for our leg was around 9:15 I think.
These ladies were such an inspiration and made my first marathon relay experience so memorable.
And this guy…sharing life with him and experiencing so many new adventures together brings me love and joy on a whole new level. He motivates me to be strong in so many ways beyond physical and I am so lucky to be his mom. It’s hard to believe that this was Finn’s second Novant Health Charlotte Marathon! He ran the half with me last year when I was just 14 weeks pregnant!
RACE DAY VIDEO
The Charlotte Marathon is such a special race for me. It’s the half marathon that I have run more than any other race and it just feels like “home.” The race is so well-organized, the course is lovely and showcases the best our city has to offer and the icing on the cake is seeing our community come together around something so positive and empowering…whether they’re running, volunteering or cheering.
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2019!
I seriously hope you will consider joining me for the 2019 Novant Health Charlotte Marathon. I would love to organize marathon, half marathon and relay teams so that we can all come together and run!
Have you ever participated in a relay race?
Have you ever pushed a stroller in a race?
Who’s in for the 2019 Novant Health Charlotte Marathon!