I’ve never done a relay before so I was really excited for this one. Brew to Brew is a point-to-point 45.3 mile relay from Boulevard Brewery in KC, MO to basically Johnny’s Tavern in Lawrence, KS. The relay consists of 10 legs, each being approximately four miles distance. Relay teams are allowed 2-10 peeps per team. We had 7 (4 girls, 3 boys), which means a few peeps had to run two legs.
Sunday morning was rough. Mother nature was hangry and it rained (real hard) for the first two legs. My teammates were soaked once they finished. Not going to lie, I heard some thunder and saw quite a bit of lightening. Legs 1 and 2 were on the Levee so it got pretty slick! Luckily, it stopped moments before my 1st leg, which was leg #3. Phew.
Wind aside, my leg went pretty smooth but not super speedy – avg. pace 7:59. (Why did I go to Health House the day before a race?) This leg was pretty much flat + paved so my legs really appreciated it. I think at one point the sun even came out, which was super encouraging to see after all that rain.
My 2nd leg was leg #8 so I got in a little rest and a change of clothes before I had to run again. I didn’t mind the rest between legs because I was recovering from a respiratory infection so it was nice to catch my breath. Leg 8 was one big hill and on a dirt (muddy) road – good times! A lot of people were actually walking, which surprised me but I trucked on. This leg was actually kind of speedy for me considering the mountain I climbed – avg. pace 8:24. Overall, I logged about 10 miles that day.
The finish line was really pretty. It overlooked the river on the Levee and was right across the street from Johnny’s Tavern. We cheered on our last racer and then headed over to The Burger Stand at The Casbah. For reals, best burger in Kansas. My eyes were much bigger than my stomach. I ordered the Spicy Shiitake Mushroom burger on GF bread with a side of Cajun Fries and a side of their Bourbon Bacon Cheese Fries – oops! I also proceeded to hoard 5 different kinds of dipping sauces for my fries.
I’m really proud of my team. Everyone pushed themselves in some sort of fashion. A few ran much further than they were comfortable with and some ran faster than they thought they could. Overall, we finished top 35% and finished just shy of 7 hours (official time 6:56:07). Woot #TeamHereForTheBeer.
Here are some tips for anyone wanting to run Brew to Brew next year:
- Pick an early start time. You’re allowed to start between 6am and 9am.
- You need a big ride, something that fits your entire crew because you’re only allowed one car per team.
- The more room you have the better. It gets stuffy and smelly as I am sure you can imagine.
- Have a really good navigator! It’s a little like follow the leader out there. At first we were pretty confused on where to go but eventually as more people were out on the course we figured it out. Exchange points become more and more obvious as you go.
- Bring plenty of water, snacks, gels, Advil etc. because you’ll be out on the road anywhere from 4-8 hours depending on how fast your team is.
- Have a trash bag for trash.
- If it rains you’ll want extra socks, maybe even shoes and towels + umbrellas/ponchos.
- If you’re in party mode, grab some beer, a Frisbee and some speakers.
- Yes, course B has you cross the river by small boat but it was raining so we missed out.
- Have deodorant and a change of clothes for when you’re done!