So here are my final thoughts on this year’s Epic Relay Rocky Mountain Experience. I would do this race again simply because of the course. I get to see parts of Colorado that truthfully I wouldn’t know how to access except “on route” through the Epic Relay. It is a beautiful way to experience this lovely state. But here are my Good, Bad and Ugly opinions about my experience this year.
- Amazing teammates. I was blessed with 5 incredibly talented, smart, tough, thoughtful, and funny ladies to share a van with for 30 hours.
- The course. The Epic course is tough to beat. I have done the Wild West Relay from Ft. Collins to Colorado Springs and the Colorado Relay from Georgetown to Carbondale and this course is just spectacular.
- Good vibe. All the runners were pretty great and fun to be around – the kind you looked for at the finish to share a beer with. It was fun to honk and yell for the runners or be honked and yelled at by the other vans along the course.
- Good swag. I will take a little good stuff over a lot of crap any day. They gave us a good race shirt, a lunch bag filled with sample items that I am actually interested in, and a nice race medal.
- Easy check-in. With a staggered start of every 15 minutes and it is not a huge relay, you get a super fast check-in process. Nice.
- Sweet place for a yoga photo shoot. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m a sucker for a little stop, drop and yoga. And what’s even better is when I can recruit my friends.
- Not enough port-a-potties. I’m not asking for 15 of them at every exchange point, but every exchange point should have a port-a-potty (perhaps 2). EVERY EXCHANGE POINT. This was not an issue last year, so I’m not sure what happened this year, but when you gotta go, you gotta go and it is no fun to have to go in the woods with an audience. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything
- Not enough volunteers. Where were my volunteers at every exchange point? The volunteers at certain exchange points were awesome- I mean who wouldn’t love someone who gives them otter pops? Other volunteers had mullets, some played Candy Crush on their phones, others simply were non existent. Recruit or volun-tell your family and friends, Epic Relay Race Directors, I don’t care. Just get more volunteers.
- Where was the food you promised at all the van exchange points? This was something new they offered this year, however there were only 2 spots where there was food. Probably not an issue for 12-person teams with “time off” during your “inactive” times, but for ultra teams, this was tough. Our teams counted on this. We had no time off and we were counting on eating real food (since we were told there would be food) instead of something from a wrapper. We made a stop in Salida at a grocery store to have hot sandwiches made and it cost us time because poor Jessica came in and was finished with her leg and had to wait on us and our next runner for 15 minutes before we got there. Oops. If you aren’t going to have food, don’t offer it.
- My hair. After wearing it in sweaty braids for as long as I did, it was bound to be a hot mess. And it was. The dark circles and puffy eyes were just bonus. You’re welcome.
The above picture was not the fault of Epic Relays.