Sunday, June 8, 2008

Race Report : Need For Speed Relay Against Domestic Violence

Today was the 3rd annual Need for Speed Relay Against Domestic Violence. As part of the Avon Foundation Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative and its commitment to support and develop domestic violence prevention and intervention programs, the national Helping Children of Domestic Violence grant program was launched in 2006 to assist children who have been exposed to or are victims of domestic violence. The funds raised from the 2008 edition of the Need For Speed Relay Against Domestic Violence will benefit children’s programs at various local organizations, including the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation, the Northern Westchester Shelter - Safe Moms Make Safe Kids, Safe Horizon - Safe Harbor, and Shelter our Sisters - Project Child.

It was great to get out and run today for such an important cause. Our team consisted of 9 runners - Me, Ilana, Kristen, Lauren, Kathy, Dottie, Emmy, Frank and Pam - who would run 1 leg of the 9 leg, 50 mile relay starting at Bear Mountain, NY and finishing in New Rochelle, NY. For starters, our team captain, Pam, was amazing. She organized the entire event for our team, setting up the running schedule, making sure every runner had fluids as they finished a leg, getting runners to and from their start/finish locations, etc.... Simply amazing was the amount of time and effort she put into this for the benefit of the 8 other runners. Many thanks to Pam for a fantastic job and keeping the entire event fun.

Ok, so, on to the relay. My leg was leg #1 which was described as follows : Challenging - 8.4 miles. This leg is on paved roads. After crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge, runners head down the “Goat Trail”, the only portion of the route closed to traffic. Runners make their way through Peekskill, run past a water station and finish at Blue Mountain Reservation. The first 4 miles are hilly. After the “Goat Trail”, the route is generally flat. With the temperature at 85 degrees at the 8:15 AM start...and rising...I found this to be a very difficult run, with steep climbs. I hadn't run in the heat in a long while, and it surely got to me. After trying to stay with the head of our pack and logging a 7:30 first mile, I quickly realized that I was going way too fast and but the brakes on. I ended up with a very respectable time for this leg. The elevation profile looked like this :

I was toasty after finishing the leg and happy to hand the timing chip on to Ilana for leg #2. I drove with Pam to the start of leg #3 where we met up with Kristen. She put in a fantastic performance running the longest leg of the relay (9.3 miles). Kristen and I had plans of running leg #5 (6.8 miles) with Dottie, but the heat was brutal at this point, reaching well into the mid-90s. Since I had the ability to rest during legs 2, 3 and 4, I headed out with Dottie to cover the 6.8 miles. It was in the Noon to 1:00 PM hour, and I am sure you could fry an egg on the pavement. Dottie held up very well, and we plugged through the 6.8 steamy miles. At this point I'd had enough of the heat and headed home.

I would later talk with Emmy. She ran her 5.1 mile leg with ease, but, when she reach Frank for the start of his leg, they learned that the rest of the race had been cancelled due to sever thunderstorm warnings - although later it was explained that the race had been called due to the heat and several runners being sent to the hospital with severe dehydration.

Overall it was a very tough day due to the heat. I enjoyed running in the early AM, but struggled with Dottie in the mid-day sun. The 15+ miles were difficult, perhaps also due not having run any significant mileage over the last week while I was fishing in Canada with my brother and dad. I did get the chance to meet Runner26 at one of the transition points. She had run leg #1 as well, but with an earlier start time. Amazing how many people you can meet through this blogging stuff.

Of course, I took some pictures......


  1. Found your blog via Runner26-kudos to your team for putting up a good fight during the day. Our team too didn't get to finish-it got called right before I was supposed to run my leg...

  2. Nice meeting you today.

    I'd prefer if you'd just refer to me as Runner26. Thanks ;)

  3. Tony - thanks for the cudos. It was a pleasure working with all of you. Thanks for the pictures. They're great. I'm sorry we didn't get to finish but I know we would have done so in style ... the same style that the 7 of you performed in today. Thanks for helping Dottie through her leg!

    NYFLYGIRL - called right before our leg 8 and 9. I was supposed to be 9. Good job anyway. Hope you had fun despite not getting to run.

    All rest easy tonight! :)

  4. R26 - Fixed the post for ya :)

  5. Cancelled race? that's too bad :( You got some good heat training in for BW though :)

  6. great report (and photos) anthony!

    what a bummer having the race cancelled b/c of the heat - shades of chicago all over again :(

    they announced it just as emmy turned into the exchange. after the big letdown just wasn't in the mood to head over to new rochelle.

  7. anthony --your photos are the best thing about the relay. bummer that Frank and Pam didn't get to run their legs. By the time I started -2:38 p.m. -it was 94 or so degrees.
    I was working too hard just running a training pace --Kathy was just awesome ---she flew in to my transition. great job everyone and too bad we couldn't meet up for pam's finish...

  8. Looked like a great event, too bad it was cut short...

  9. You know it's steamy when they have to call a race due to too many hospitalizations. That's too bad, but it shows the race organizers have the runners' interests first and foremost. Glad you got through your miles.