Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Troy Relay Team to Run for a Cause

In a little more than two weeks twelve runners will take to the streets and trails of the Hudson Valley to compete in the Ragnar Relay Series Woodstock to New York City relay race. You read that correctly, 12 runners, 185 miles through the Catskill Mountains, then cross over the Hudson River, and down the lower Hudson Valley ending in Dobbs Ferry. Insane, right? That’s what I thought!

Troy resident Mark Wojcik is an avid runner/biker/swimmer. He can be seen regularly running or biking in his spandex race wear through Lansingburgh or competing in a 5k, 10k, or triathlon event. He loves this stuff, he’s the team captain. He has built a team of six men (including himself) and six women that share the same level of passion as he does. Joining him are Jim Shaughnessy, Melissa Gordon, Dave Wojcik, Susan Browne, Connor McGrath, John Carboni, Kim Didrich, Amanda Wright, Katie Hodgdon, Kyle Gutbrodt , and Shylah Weber. Together they call themselves Team Beer and Donuts (Team B.A.D) based in Troy, NY.

The event is actually pretty straight forward. Each runner will run three legs during a 24-hour plus relay. Each leg ranges between three to eight miles, and includes running continuously through the night. All teams will also engage in creative sleeping arrangements which can consist of a moving van, a tent, or a ditch on the side of the road. There is no doubt that this race is physically demanding, but since the legs vary in difficulty and length it ensures each runner has the opportunity to find legs that suit their ability. But don’t kid yourself the route takes you through some very challenging terrain. Mark and I drove the route over this past weekend and it took us over 9 hours just to drive the 185 mile trek, now go run it. There are many breathtaking views of the Catskill Mountains over the Mid-Hudson Bridge and through the quaint and charming country towns, the runners only hope is that these views help ease the pain of running the course.

One interesting part about this marathon event is that after you’ve run each of your legs you get to chill out in one of the team’s two transport/support vans for several hours until your next run. This is how the event operates. A runner will be dropped off at the starting point, the van will then drive ahead a few miles, cheer the runner on, and provide them with water, snacks, and plenty of love. That vehicle will then drive ahead to the first exchange point to drop off the second runner and pick up the first runner when that leg is complete. They will repeat this pattern for six legs until they hand off to their second vehicle. This leapfrogging pattern will continue all the way to the finish line.

Currently there are 216 teams registered. That’s 2,592 runners, 432 support vans, hundreds of volunteers… I can’t wait to be a part of this organized chaos. The logistics of pulling together an event like this is amazing. Just organizing the teams operation is challenging. Several local business have signed on to support Team Beer and Donuts, but they are still seeking sponsors and donations, if you’d like to be a part of their teams success please contact Mark Wojcik by email mdcwojcik@nycap.rr.com.

This is sure to be a memorable event and I’m glad to be involved. The event isn’t just for pure and insane fun it’s also to support the Marathon Project. The Marathon Project is an after-school training program that pairs adult mentors with at-risk youth to reduce risk factors such as childhood obesity, school drop-out and substance abuse. The Marathon Project provides opportunities for students to set and achieve goals, explore avenues for character development, improve health, and build positive relationships through mentoring.

Please join me and wishing Team Beer and Donuts the best of luck on May 14-15th.

For more information on Team B.A.D visit their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/teamBAD

For more information on the Ragnar Relay Series visit http://www.ragnarrelay.com/newyork/index.php

1 comment:

  1. I pray that Wojcik won't be wearing his blue Speedo's.