Relay for Life

Just spent the weekend hanging out down at Frank Kitts park, doing the Relay for Life. I was part of a work team we put in – the Power Walking Piggies. Yay team!
There were nine of us in the team who walked/ran part of the relay. Of those nine, five of us stayed for the full 20+ hours. And of those five, one of them was me! (Crazy? Yes.) As a result, am now exhausted, bleary-eyed, and sore-muscled. But happy, yes indeed. 🙂
The Relay for Life is an annual event run in various parts of NZ, raising money for the Cancer Society. The Wellington leg of it began at around 3:45pm on Saturday the 28th March, and ended at midday on Sunday the 29th of March – just over 20 hours, all up. During the Relay, at least one member of each team needs to be on the track at all times, doing laps around Frank Kitts park down by the waterfront.
With our team consisting of only 9 people (4 of whom only hung out and walked/ran for 1-3 hours each), the 5 of us who stayed for the duration of the relay ended up doing a fair amount of time on the track. (Not sure how long I did, but my guess is 6-7 hours of going round-‘n’-round the park.) Naturally, this resulted in us getting very little sleep overnight, as we kept switching over, taking turns on the track!
Me being me, I couldn’t content myself with just ambling along. Nope, I had to alternate between walking as fast as I could, and running. Started off doing walk-2/3rds, run-1/3rd, and on my second stretch of being on track moved this up to walk-half, run-half, which lasted more-or-less for the rest of the Relay. Worked quite well – kept me warm in the middle of the night (must say, there is a certain beauty in running along Wellington’s waterfront at half past 3 in the morning under a starry sky, with the harbour stretched out peaceful and still in front of you and music playing in your headphones), got me a pretty decent amount of exercise (most running I’ve done in, well, I have no idea how long!), and satisfied my competitive streak by letting me pass the slower-moving people. 🙂
It was a fun weekend, actually. I was a bit nervous initially, not sure how well I’d cope staying up that long, but all was well! The weather was absolutely stunning – while cold at night, Sunday dawned bright and sunny, and I got to sprawl on the grass with a trashy magazine in between stretches on the track. Got to watch the sky change colour from charcoal to blue, while waiting in line for a cooked breakfast outside. Watched the early birds flying past. Started running with sunglasses on as the sun broke past the horizon and started bouncing off the water in all of it’s last-gasp-of-summer brilliance. (And yet, managed not to get sunburnt. Yay!)
We did pretty well in terms of raising money for the Cancer Society as well – my team has raised nearly $3000 so far, with a bit more probably coming in this week. Of that, people I know have sponsored me a total of $290. (Thanks, lovely people! *hug*) Then of course there were the proceeds of the aforementioned bake sale, and various other fundraising activities we did at work, which contributed to our team’s total. Not a bad effort, I reckons. 🙂
(One other interesting side effect – all this running has made me remember how much I actually like running (the soothing rhythm of feet on ground, outside in the fresh air, solitary yet connected to the world around you, and all that). Am now considering training to do a half-marathon. (Considering. Not 100% committed yet. Although hopefully that will happen – will let the idea float around in my mind for a few days, see if it solidifies to a resolution. Yes yes.))
And, as for the Relay for Life? I am definitely signing up to do it next year!


One response to “Relay for Life

  1. Awesome effort, well done! Just reading about running for that length of time makes me tired 🙂

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