RTB Relay Leg 2: The Banana Diaries

Miss my recap of leg 1? Check that out first. :)

We finished our first leg of the Reach the Beach Relay around 9 p.m. and handed back over to van 2. It was fun to see them all at the transition area — one of the things that kind of sucked about the race was that you never really saw the people in the other van that much! We missed them!


Photo credit: Jack at /

After saying goodbye to van 1, my van went in search of food! We found an Italian place nearby that did the job. It was about 9:30 by the time we made it there so we were all starved!


Spaghetti and meatballs FTW

After dinner, we headed to the next transition area to try to get some sleep. When we arrived, the place was bumpin’ — a ton of people in sleeping bags on the grass (which kind of looked like dead body bags in the dark… creepy) and also a lot of people in vans trying to sleep. We opted for van sleeping and all stretched out as best we could on the seats. We “slept” from about 11:30 until 1:30, when the alarm went off — it was Tina’s turn to run again!

We all felt like this:


Before too long, Sarah came racing in as the last runner from van 1, and off Tina went!


Next up was Monica!


Monica had over 8 miles on the docket for this portion of the race and set out into the night looking strong. As soon as we started driving, we realized how dark the roads she was running on were! When we checked in with her shortly after, she told us she was scared and that it would be good if we could stick close to her. For whatever reason during this part of the race there were no other runners in sight for miles — she was all alone out there. Very creepy — I would have been scared, too! So we drove about a quarter mile ahead of her, waited for her to pass us, and repeated. Monica was still pretty scared and not too happy about the fact that she was still out there running in the dark, so we decided it was time for the Banana Suit needed to come back out to play. ;)


Our awesome driver from New Balance, also named Monica but quickly renamed Momica and then later Bananica, took one for the team and put on the banana suit to cheer runner Monica up while out there in the dark. And what do you know — it worked! We finally got her to break a smile. :) I cannot say enough about how awesome driver Monica was — she wore the banana costume ALL night and was tireless in cheering us all on, keeping us organized, getting out to give people water even when the rest of us stayed in the van, etc. We awarded her the MVB (Most Valuable Banana) award for the weekend — she was seriously amazing. Thank you again to New Balance for gifting her to us for the weekend! :)

My favorite part of the evening was when we pulled alongside runner Monica and driver Monica said: “Did you know bananas can drive? …Cause they can.” We were all cracking up!

with banana

The rest of our runner’s legs went smoothly thanks to better lit roads, and before I knew it it was 4:30 a.m. and my turn to run had come!

banana night

I had assumed that I’d be running this leg in at least partial darkness, but by 4:30 the sun was already starting to peek out a little, and by the time I started, the early morning light was beautiful. I wasn’t sure whether to be bummed or relieved that I didn’t end up having to do a night leg!

slap bracelet

I got really lucky with this leg — not only was it a GORGEOUS morning (cold when not running but perfect when you were), but the route took me through some really cute neighborhoods, and there were also a few other runners around for company. I had a little over 4 miles on the docket and they flew by. I was surprised that I didn’t feel totally exhausted given the whole 2 hours of sleep and run the night before thing. It’s amazing what adrenaline can do. :)

slap bracelet3


slap bracelet4

I ended up averaging an 8:21 min/mile pace for the 4ish miles. Faster than I expected because I was trying to keep up with the other runners that were out with me — they were FAST!


Check please!


Around 6:30 a.m., our van handed things back over to van 1 again and we headed to the next transition area to try to get some rest. We spread out anywhere we could — on top of the van, in the van, on the grass…


But we all only ended up resting briefly — it was so nice out, there were a lot of other people around, and it just seemed more fun to hang out. So we did. :)


From left — Theodora, me, Monica, driver extraordinaire Bananica, Tina, Elizabeth, Ashley

Such a fun group. :) Stay tuned for the recap of our last and final leg — and my longest run of the race, 7.26 miles!


  1. 1

    I followed this all on twitter and it made ME wanna run :)

  2. 4

    you all have inspired me to want to run more

  3. 5

    That looks SO fun. I can’t believe you guys hardly got to sleep though, that seems like it would make it super hard. Can’t wait for the rest.

  4. 6

    I am literally LOLing at my desk right now.

    But I always knew bananas could drive.

  5. 7

    Obviously had to come check out the famous Banana-clad-driver! ;) This is so awesome. Kudos, gals!

  6. 8

    You got a great leg time, I love running at sunrise!

  7. 9

    LOVE that banana costume haha.

  8. 10

    That is awesome. I would never have been able to do it in the dark, I would have tripped over everything. So glad you girls had a great time. OMG that spaghetti looks so good. Sure is a lot of it though. Anne, you will be proud of me, as you know, I am 62 and started really seriously walking in 2010, and walk 5 miles per day. Well, guess what? The last 2 miles I have been breaking out into a trot. You can’t really call it running but it is more than walking. Not bad for an old lady.

  9. 12

    Poor Monica! I always assumed there would be other runners around so you wouldn’t be alone at night. I would have freaked but also ran really, really fast!

    Looks like it was a blast!

  10. 13
    Adventurer says

    Looks like a great second leg, except for the portion MOnica had to run. Very well done! Can’t wait for leg 3!

    And how’s the internship going?

  11. 15

    Great post! I’ve loved reading the team’s recaps across various blogs… you all rock!

    FYI: that very first photo in the dark may very well be the best relay team photo ever!

  12. 16

    Seeing a banana by my side would have helped me too ;)

  13. 17

    I really admire and love the support you all gave each other during your race! You all were so positive and encouraging towards each other despite the fact it was a race– it’s heartwarming!

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