I’m pretty open about the fact that my “race calendar” is basically non-existent with the exception of Chattanooga Half Ironman in May. I have just been so consumed with training for that I haven’t had much capacity to think beyond it. BUT on occasion an opportunity presents itself that makes me take a second or two to consider adding to the chaos.
That happened yesterday.
Backstory…I’m from a Southern Illinois. If you’re in the midwest, you basically thing everything south of Chicago is considered SoIl but there’s WAY more to the state. I’m from the Marion/Herrin/Carbondale area waayyy down. As a kid I wasn’t a fan of growing up in such a little community everyone knows everyone. As a teen, that’s not exactly optimal.
I wasn’t a runner when I lived there. Running didn’t come till after college. I was an athlete but running was only something you did as conditioning for volleyball or softball.
BUT even though I didn’t run I knew about this really cool event that was pretty unique to the area.
River to River Relay
This relay has been going on for 30 years…way before relays were cool. The only relay that’s older is Hood to Coast (by 5 years). As I’ve gotten into running, I’ve watched this event take place thinking that one day, I would run it. Heck, it’s in my own back yard! But every year something comes up and it falls off the list besides, it’s not like I ever put a team together so my strategy has always been look for a team that needs a fill in.
Well, I’m super pumped to say that all the stars aligned and I’m running River to River this year! On April 22nd, I’ll be joining a team of perfect strangers (with the exception of one high school friend) to run this day long, 80 mile course!
Why is it called River to River? Well, as the name suggests, the Mississippi and Ohio river come together in the southern part of Illinois. This race runs through the Shawnee National forest from one river to the other!
I’m so excited! I ran my first relay when I did Hood to Coast 5 years ago with Nuun. It was a pretty amazing experience and ever since I’ve wanted to run another relay.
But, as is the case with me, life has never presented another opportunity until now.
Luckily it fits nicely into my existing training schedule or so says my coach. So that’s awesome! I’m grateful to my husband for covering all the kid events so that I get to have this experience.
I’m really excited about adding a race with so much sentimental connection. As I’m getting older, I’m finding that I racing isn’t about quantity for me anymore it’s about quality. It’s about who I can run with, what regions can I explore, where does the race take me.
I’m perfectly OK with having a smaller race calendar but having these types of races to look forward to makes all the difference. So that little town I found myself running away from as a kid, I’m running back to and around and around and around and I can’t wait!