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Northface Endurance Challenge Marathon Relay

by Meghann on June 6, 2010

11 Girls. 3 Teams. 5 Hours. 1 Hell of a Marathon Relay. :)

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My first marathon relay was a success! And so much fun! I loved getting to know all the ladies and the 6 miles we each ran were gorgeous! All in all I would say this was a successful race. :)

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The Northface Mid-Atlantic Endurance Challenge took place in beautiful Algonkian Regional Park, Virginia. Not only was there the marathon relay option for today there was also the option of running a 50 miler, 50k, or full marathon. It was fun watching all the different distance runners come in. I felt especially close to the 50kers. ;)

Our teams met at the park just after 10:00am.

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Team Run Bloggers Run

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Me, Ashley, Heather, and Jessica

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Team Run to Eat

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Leslie, Amanda, Gretchen, and Cara

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Team Awesome (who were missing a runner!)

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Brittany, Julia, and Amy

The marathon relay course consisted of a 6 mile loop that each runner completed once.

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Jess was the first runner for out team.

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The first team members got the official send off.

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Then the waiting began.

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The one downside to a marathon relay? All the downtime! From the time the first runner left I had a full three hours to wait around until it was my turn. There was a lot of napping and chatting. :)

And eating.

I had 1/2 of this new bar while the first runner was out.

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This was a new-to me- bar that I wasn’t impressed with. The texture and density was great, but the flavor was awful! Yuck!

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I also had a piece of bagel and orange slices at one point.

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Ashley was our second runner to go.

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Jess came in in record time and had a smooth transition handing the chip to Ashley.

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Runner #3: Heather

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We were definitely starting to get the hang of it by this one. ;)

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I was last

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By the time I left it was after 2:00 and the clouds had begun to roll in. It had actually drizzled just a tad right when I left , but nothing I couldn’t handle. ;)

The race was a pretty simple out and back. The first mile or two took place on a a paved path that took you around a golf course then by a playground and soccer fields. At mile 2 you pass an aid station where the trail starts to narrow and actually become a trail.

The trail loops around to the river and then brings you back the way you came. That point right before and after the turn around is probably the most difficult. That is the part of the race I would actually consider trail running because of the thick trees and dirt. I bet if we would have ran the 50k or 50 miler we would have had more of a taste of the actual trail running, but considering how short the out and back was for the relay, I can see how we were only in the woods for so long.

I would love to run the race again next year, but next time something a little longer. 50 miler anyone?

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I made it back to the finish line in around 50 minutes (maybe more?) and immediately scarfed some skittles Leslie handed me.

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Skittles + End of Race = Not so happy belly. Oh well.

None of us have no clue was the official times were, we were here to have fun and that’s what truly matters. :)

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Cara was describing a snake she saw on the trail.

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After all those snake warnings I think she was the only one that spotted one! :)

We said good bye to our fellow teammates – you ladies rock! – and a few of us headed to Uncle Julio’s for a late lunch.

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We all immediately dug into the chips and salsa presented to our table.

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The vegetable fajitas immediately struck me on the menu. I loved how the dish was served with large chunks of grilled veggies that looked like the had actually been grilled as opposed to sauteed to resemble grilled.

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I think I had 3 fajitas?

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After lunch Ashley and I said our last good byes to the gang and braved the metro to head to our next stop in the DC area.

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Jacquie is putting Ashley and I up for the night in her lovely apartment. She is so cute and a bundle of energy! We were immediately greeted with chocolate chips cookies – I had one – and once showered we were wisked away to Blue Ridge Restaurant in Georgetown for a fabulous light dinner of appetizers.

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I LOVED Blue Ridge! It was an amazing southern restaurant with a modern twist.

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Beer was on my mind.

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I had The Star Hill ‘ The Love’ Wheat Beer.

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It was ok. A little too fruity for my taste. :)

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Instead of bread we were served popcorn.

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Our table split a wonderful array of appetizers.

Carpaccio Country Ham and Herb Biscuit with a honey drizzle and raisins

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This dish was a wonderful twist on my personal favorite biscuit and ham. The honey drizzle was probably the best part, it created the perfect balance of sweet and savory. :)

Chilled Asparagus Soup

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The chilled soup was very refreshing after a day in the sun. I can’t wait for tomatoes to become full in season so I can make Gazapacho soon!

Trio of dips (black eyed hummus, olive tapenade, and goat cheese) with corn bread and homemade crackers

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The dips were great, but pairing them all with the cornbread was a bit much. Not my favorite dish of the evening by any means, but still edible.

Back at Jacquie’s we sampled some new truffles

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And had a cookie sundae with homemade chocolate chip cookies, caramel truffle ice cream, and homemade chocolate sauce.

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Whoa! What a day! Can you believe it’s after 1:00 am?!?! Wayyyy past my bed time!

We’re exploring the city tomorrow. Should be fun!

Good night!!

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 clairedille June 6, 2010 at 6:29 am

Seems like a great race and experience for all of you ladies! Hope you are having fun in the DC area, I’ve never been!

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2 Julie @ Pickley Pear June 6, 2010 at 6:41 am

Fun race! I love your t-shirts. And those veggie fajitas look so tasty and ‘healthy’ too! Great job, you girls kicked butt – what ever your “official” time was!

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3 britchickruns June 6, 2010 at 7:15 am

That all looks so fun! I want to do a marathon relay now :P
And all that food looks wonderful too; I love restaurants where you get popcorn instead of bread; it doesn’t fill you up as much :)
Have a good sleep!

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4 Alison June 6, 2010 at 7:16 am

What a fun race! I’m glad you and your teammates had a good time. Especially since the race started late and and it was SO hot yesterday.
I thought of you all (and the 50k and 50 miler racers, especially) yesterday when I was sweating to death at my daughter’s soccer game. I was a wilted, sweatu mess and I was just standing; I couldn’t imagine how tough it was for all of the runners.
Enjoy the rest of your time in DC!

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5 Jacquie June 6, 2010 at 7:44 am

Congratulations girls for a fabulous race!

Also, yay for you too being here! Day 2 of a great weekend coming up :)

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6 Ash Bear June 6, 2010 at 7:45 am

I look exhausted in those last few pictures! Such a fun day today! :)

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7 healthy ashley June 6, 2010 at 8:02 am

This looks like so much fun!

And I love the lululemon shorts some of the girls were sporting :)

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8 runnerstrials June 6, 2010 at 8:15 am

Congrats on your race! Those shirts are so cute. A marathon relay sounds like so much fun! I agree, the 50m distance is tempting ;)

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9 datenightproject June 6, 2010 at 9:30 am

Way to kick that races butt!! Great Job!

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10 Marissa June 6, 2010 at 9:33 am

Wow, what a day is right! Yeah, a lot of those really dense meal bars taste like chalk to me. Yucky!

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11 runningwithsass June 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

the race looks SO FUN!
OMG I HATE snakes. this is why I refuse to trail run without my husband! congrats on th finish!

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12 caronae June 6, 2010 at 9:55 am

Congrats on another awesome finish — I bet it was so much more fun because of the relay aspect. I would have loved to do it, except for the snake part. I refuse to run on trails where I might see a snake, lol!

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13 dianacheung June 6, 2010 at 10:17 am

What a fun race! I love how it requires team work!! And I love a great girls weekend ending with lotsa yummy treats and food!

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14 Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) June 6, 2010 at 10:23 am

sounds so much fun! I would love to do a relay.

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15 theprocessofhealing June 6, 2010 at 10:34 am

A marathon relay sounds like so so so much fun!!!!

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16 Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries June 6, 2010 at 10:45 am

I would love to do a marathon relay, especially with other bloggers! I’ll have to look into finding one around me. And those truffles look amaaazing :)

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17 Cate June 6, 2010 at 10:48 am

Wow it looks like you had a really great time! It sounds like a fun race. Plus all the food looks delicious! :)

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18 jennyinnewyork June 6, 2010 at 11:03 am

That race looks fun, a little less stressful than other races. You had such a busy day!

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19 fitandfortysomething June 6, 2010 at 11:56 am

what a great recap meghann! i am gonna check out some of the other bloggers-i do love fit chick in the city for sure :)
i love relay races-if you ever need someone for a team maybe out in calif let me know! how fun :)

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20 Kellie June 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I ran the Ragnar relay a couple of months ago. It was a 200 mile relay and you had teams of 11-12. It was really fun and went for about 36hours. You should find one like that in your area, you would love it.

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21 Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) June 6, 2010 at 2:46 pm

That race looks like fun! Congrats :)

Veggie fajitas look sooo good!! YUM

Jenn

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22 Tina June 6, 2010 at 3:05 pm

That sounds like such a fun race to do. I think the relay is the perfect choice for a fun event.

The two delicious meals to top it off look great too.

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23 Alyssa June 6, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Hey Meghann,

I noticed you wear tighter fitting (compression?) shorts a lot on your runs.
I’ve been having a big problem with chafing between the very upper of my thighs anytime I run anything over 3 miles. (I hope this doesn’t mean my thighs are too chubby? I’m 5’6″ and 130-135 so that shouldn’t be the case i hope!!! lol) I was wondering if you think compression shorts would help with this problem? Could you recommend me any good brands of shorts? I’ve been wearing nike tempo shorts and they are just not doing the trick.

Thanks,
Love your blog,
Alyssa

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24 Brynne June 6, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Congrats Meghann! Can’t wait for a gazpacho recipe from you, I’ve been CRAVING it in the heat lately!

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25 Brittany June 6, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Congrats lady! I’m glad you all had a fun time completing the Northface Endurance Challenge.

So sad I wasn’t able to come up and hang out today- next time for sure!! xoxo

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26 Julia June 6, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Hey Meghann!
It was so much fun running with everyone! My friend (who’s also named Julia) is a big fan of your blog, and was originally going to run the race as part of the big group. I think she even emailed you for advice about running on trails (and was super excited to hear back from a real, live blog celebrity)! She wasn’t able to make it, after all, though, and I wound up joining the group — and I’m so glad I did! What a great experience. And I’ve had so much fun checking out everyone’s blogs afterwards. Looking forward to reading more!

Great to meet you,
Julia –> Team Awesome!

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27 Lisa @ bakebikeblog June 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm

What a fanastic race! You ladies all did so well! And I LOVE the matching t-shirts!! Such a great idea!

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28 Katherine: What About Summer? June 6, 2010 at 7:09 pm

popcorn in a restaurant!? that sounds like the most genius idea ever. If I don’t get a job waitressing soon, I’m going right over to that place and demanding a job

I love the idea of a relay run; you girls look great in your outfits and with a healthy post-run glow!

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29 hundredtenpounds June 6, 2010 at 8:11 pm

I love the t-shirts!! So cute!

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30 Lauren @ Team Giles June 6, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Love love love love your “run bloggers run” shirts! AH! so cute. :)

what a fun race

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31 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday June 7, 2010 at 8:47 am

That race looks fun! How come there were only 11 people participating? That seems like a really small turnout.

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32 Heather C June 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Just catching up on all your DC recaps – looks like you guys had a great time at the race! The aid station I was at was only visited by the 50K/50-mile runners – sad day! Love the shirts your team had, too cute :)

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33 missyrayn June 7, 2010 at 2:43 pm

That seems like such a fun race. And to do it with friends seems so enjoyable. The fun of a marathon without all the training.

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