A few months ago, on a whim, Klari put our names in the lottery for the Cabot Trail relay. She figured it was a crap shoot as to whether or not we made the cut so there was no point in worrying about details (like where to find 17 crazy runners willing to travel to Baddeck Nova Scotia) until we actually got in.
Well, we got in.
Of course we got in.
It sounded so crazy that I knew without a doubt I'd find myself the co-captain of the Mojitos on the Rocks.
Thankfully the East Coast of Canada is my favourite place to be so I can think of worse things than spending the last weekend in May with my camera and a car full of runners.
The Cabot Trail Relay is a little bigger than Simcoe Shores. Instead of 245km, the race is 276.33km (apparently it's the point three three that'll kill ya...). Instead of 24 legs that are between 5-11km each there are 17 legs that range from 12-21km in length. Instead of one nasty uphill leg and one nasty downhill one this race takes runners through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and, to add to the fun, many of the hardest uphills and downhills happening in the middle of the night. Finally, instead of 28 teams (which means roughly 168 runners plus 28 support vehicles on the road) there are 70 teams (which means over 1000 runners plus 70 support vehicles). Any of you driven along the Cabot Trail? There isn't much room to manoeuvre on those hairpin turns. Add a few moose to the mix and it's gonna be tight.
The planning has already begun. Klari has found a place for all of us to stay. She's booked our flights (with a group discount to boot) and we have three vans ready and waiting for us when we arrive. We have 13 runners signed on and we're hoping for a few more. We don't necessarily need 17 runners but many of the legs are so challenging that most runners won't be doing more than one (unlike Simcoe Shores where everyone ran three legs).
My job is to help work out all of the logistics. How to coordinate runners and vehicles. How to ensure that the proper runner gets to the proper start point on time. How to support people on the course. How to coordinate who will be doing our volunteer stint at the water station (I believe we got the 4am shift for that!). Once we get there I will be a driver and will be shuttling runners to their stations and making sure they are ready to run.
And in case anyone was wondering - no, I will NOT be running. We have got ourselves a team of pretty elite runners. They want to win and I am happy to do my part to drive them to victory. But I will not be tying on my Brooks Adrenalines - I know what I'm good at. Keeping a minimum ten minute mile pace on flat ground is not one of my skills - never mind doing it while running up or down a mountain.
Keeping people organized, on time and focused on the job ahead is what I do. So I'll be doing just that at the end of May - at the end of the world. Apparently they don't even have cell phone towers out there and Rogers service is nowhere to be found.