Our Race Leader (Ken S.) Speaks Again…

The man, the myth, the legend...take me to your leader!

The man, the myth, the legend...take me to your leader!

…if you can’t tell my goal is to make Ken out to be like Yoda on ‘Star Wars’ or Jack Bauer on ’24’ – as in “THE MAN, THE MYTH, THE LEGEND!”  I don’t want to build it up too much but this guy, his wife and the community that supports him really do an amazing job with this race.  Here are some more great details:

Important Exchange Zone Food-related commentary:

  • Alex and I vote heavily for planning ahead at EZ 12 and ordering a Mellow Mushroom Pie for when we pass through Blowing Rock (I request 2 slices get stowed for after my “G-father” leg)
  • EZ 18 has homemade sandwiches from the Volunteer Fire Department ($5/sandwich).  I put us down for 1 per runner.
  • EZ 24 will have loaded baked potatoes (grown locally and dug just for the race!) for $3/potato I put us down for 1 per runner.
  • EZ 24 (sounds like a shoddy Chevy from the mid-90s) will also offer ice and bottled water if needed.
  • EZ 30 will serve pancakes, bacon and sausage – I put us down for 6 interested (figured we would get a to-go box for “the Goat” runner).

Rules:

  1. Know ALL of the rules – (see this link if you aren’t sure you know all of the rules)
  2. No Pets, No IPods, No Van Shadowing, No RVs, No Trailers, and No Support Vehicles/Team Cars on the Blue Ridge Parkway EVER.
  3. REFLECTIVE VESTS:  are required to be worn by every person who is out of their vehicle during the night (7:30pm-7:30am) – basically, everyone needs to bring their own vest.
  4. Don’t argue or dispute any rules or answers provided by officials.  Their word is the word.
  5. Pay the vehicle entry fee on the way into Grayson Highlands SP ($2/car) regardless if manned or not.
  6. Ken doesn’t say it but he should – don’t put up with runners or runner teams being jerks – too many people worked to hard to put this on to do that…

Maps:

The Course (my commentary in italics):

1. The course will be signed with 18 x 24 yellow signs with large black letters.  The signs will have either “BRR” or “RELAY” with a directional arrow.  Most of the signs will be posted on the Left, since we are required to run on the left.  However, if the Leg Notes read “Run on the right” the signs will be posted on the Right.

2. Night signs will have reflective tape around the border.  The entire boarder of the sign will not be wrapped in a square because the tape would interfere with the lettering.  (it is likely at some point you will start hallucinating these signs during your run)

3.  Our lead vehicle will be marking every turn with a sign approximately 45 minutes in front of the lead team.  However, signs will be posted 7 hours ahead of the last team.  Runners need to know their legs.  Some teams prepare laminated cue sheets for the runners to carry.

4. A cue sheet of the entire course is attached. (Our man JMart (aka “Sweaty” or “The River”) is all over these runner cheat sheets for us).

5. “EXCHANGE ZONE” signs will be posted approximately ¼ (one quarter) of a mile before the actual exchange zone.  These signs are intended to alert the runners and support vehicles of the approaching exchange zone.  The exchange zone does NOT start at the sign. (the distance of “1/4 mile” is approximate – don’t take your pace and divide by 4 to see how much longer until you are there – at no point during this event is “runner math” ever advised).

6. Exchange zones at night will have a flashing light as a beacon.

7. QUIET HOURS: 7:30pm – 7:30am are Quiet Hours.  Even though we’re awake, the people in the communities through which we’re running are sleeping.  Please respect that we’re guests on their home turf.  Please speak in hushed voices.  Please refrain from yelling for your runners, loud music, and horn blowing.  (new rule – likely a good one given the ‘gun to runner’ ratio is not likely in our favor out there).

8.  Please review legs long before the Relay.  If your leg has a long stretch of one road, estimate your pace, check your watch, and run.  Course signs will NOT be posted every mile.  Leg 20 is an example.  Once you are running on Hanging Rock Rd. , follow the white line on the road side or keep your eye on the center lines and remain on Hanging Rock Rd. until the exchange zone.  (in all seriousness – you WILL get a new nickname if you can’t manage to stay on the course.)

9. “CAUTION RUNNER” signs will be posted in two locations: 1) on roads with traffic and narrow shoulders to alert approaching traffic and 2) at intersections where runners make a turn.  In the second case, the signs will be posted off of course to alert traffic approaching the intersection.

10.  Relay Officials will be wearing really cool light blue and lime green reflective vests for all exchange zones (day and night).

11. EZ 23 at Snow Creek Storage will not have restrooms or porta-johns. (Alex – we will have TP in the van if this is your leg…sorry).

12.  Legs that include running on the Blue Ridge Parkway require runners to wear a reflective vest, day or night: Legs 11, 12, and 35.

The BRR is taking up most of my mind’s free space…I can’t wait.

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