Normally I live on the Port-o-John line until the national anthem starts to play, which if I plan right gives me about 30 seconds to find my way to the starting line in time for the gun. Once the gun fires I’m good to go, unfortunately the waiting before the start also makes me good to go.
Unlike most running races where you have a prerace routine and known starting time, Race the State, as a relay, does not afford you the luxury of knowing exactly when your leg of the race will start. This can cause some anxiety for those who have pre race bathroom jitters as I do. Do your prerace transition area recon and know where the nearest port-o-john is, or if none, do yourself a favor and pack some TP in your kit, it’s much less stressful than looking for the nearest available properly sized leaves…
Once your teammate has come off the SUP it’s your job to remember to transfer the timing chip. Don’t expect your winded and exhausted teammate to remember to take it off and hand it to you. Nothing worse than getting through your run and reaching the Ft Adams transition only to have your relay teammate asking where the chip is. Ugh…
The Run – Strategy
While the nature of the race is an endurance effort, it is critical to pace properly yourself within a small or nonexistent running pack. I never saw another runner the whole 12.3 miles last year after the Sandy Point hill. It takes some practice and mental toughness to run at 100% race effort by yourself and without pacing runners. It’s very easy to let up ever so slightly with no other runners around.
On the other hand you also can’t run looking over your shoulder the whole time. Faster runners undoubtedly will catch you and pass you, do not get into a drag race when it happens. Stay in your zone and ignore them, run your race not theirs.