Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beyond Batten

My friends are hardcore.  I just can't take them anywhere without the awesome just taking over. 

Most recently they formed a team to raise money 
for a little girl named Christiane who is very sick and run a race.
Of course they don't just run a little race.  

Not my friends.  

They run from Mount Bonnell to Enchanted Rock.  

Yeah people thats like 96 miles.

So when running 96 miles you would plan a pretty flat course and make it nice and manageable right?

Nope, not my posse.

My friends sign up for a race where each of them will run at least twice during the 14 hour trek through the night all across the wilds of the Texas Hill Country.  Anywhere from 5 to 10 miles each leg.

I know this ain't Colorado folks, but they call it the Hill Country for a reason.

Paige had the first leg of the race basically running vertically up the steepest hills in Austin.

As she got close to the 2nd leg handoff the energy was buzzing and everyone was so excited that they jumped out of the RV and ran her in.

The RV part is where I came in.  

As you know I don't run.  With friends athletically gifted as mine I am so lucky that they continually find fun ways for me to help and participate.

This time I was dubbed the driver of the 28 foot RV that they rented to carry the runners in stretched out, napping comfort through the night. 

I referred to it affectionately as the Swagga' Waggon

It was even decorated.

The race started at 5pm (the hottest part of the day in Central Texas) and the first leg was the hardest of them.   
I was not surprised when Paige finished the beast of a hill and took a detour into the sprinklers in a nearby yard.

Then Cooch was up for the first of her legs of the race.

That's the Pennybacker Bridge in the background.

Did I mention that everyone on the team was running at least 2 legs.

That means that Paige who ran up that wicked hill in the first leg at 5pm would also be running another 6 miles sometime around 3am.

There was nothing that could keep these girls down

they just kept running

cheering each other on

and thinking of Charlotte, Christiane's Mom, who we cheered for 
as we passed while she ran through the night.

Our team was called Team 2C57

It stands for the 2nd Book of Corinthians chapter 5, verse 7

For we live by faith, not by sight

Batten Disease is robbing the young Christiane of her sight.

Running a race of this length with this many teams (25) and this many runners (250) means you have to be looking out.  

There are runners on the road people.

As the night wore on we all looked forward to the shining light of the transition points.  

Where we would pick up one runner and drop off another

We all got a bit punchy as the night wore on.

The full moon made the night running surprisingly peaceful.  

At least that's what my friends tell me.

And as the sun rose over Enchanted Rock Christiane's elementary school teacher (who was on our team) ran in the last leg, which was her 3rd of the race. 

It was a glorious sunrise that I got to watch with an amazing group of women working together for an amazing cause.

I didn't get a picture of it cause I was driving.

Sorry, you'll just have to take my word for it.

There was a great gospel band that serenaded us through breakfast before we packed up and headed home.

It took us 14 hours to drive the 96 miles.

It didn't take as long to get home afterwards.

I can't remember the last time that I was so tired and happy all rolled up in one.

I can't wait until next year.

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