This year the event awarded prize money so the competition was more intense. We raced head-to-head against the Run With Us women’s squad. Here’s how it went down.
Our first leg of the race, Naomi, was on top of it. She got to the starting line on time and went off with the gun, knowing her competition was RWU’s Lenore Moreno (2016 Olympic marathon trials top 15 finisher). There was a bit of confusion and Lenore started with the wrong wave, exactly 2 minutes after Naomi. After the first leg Lenore made up the difference and gaped us by almost two minutes, running 33:44 for the women’s course record. Naomi ran very well, a course PR of 37:34, but we were down about 4 minutes. Since RWU started in the wrong wave we were running blind. Still, we kept at it.
Naomi handed off the baton to Maria and she began her chase against RWU’s Rosario. During Maria’s run there was a medical emergency that required runners to stop while a helicopter landed at the ridge. This cost us some more time but Maria managed to match her time from last year of 40:19. We were now down almost 5 minutes and it looked like we were going to have to settle for second place.
Maria handed off the baton to Yanet. Yanet pulled off a Victor from last year where she ran a hard workout the day before the race. She knew we were down big and ran like we had nothing to lose. Once she made it to the ridge at Vista Del Valle, Yanet ran hard all the way to the finish, flying down the hill and nabbing the Strava segment QOM. She cut the RWU lead by 1:26, showing the other team members that we still had some fight in us. At this point we were down 3:04 but we kept charging on.
Yanet came in like a fireball and off went Jen. A little background on Jen: the day before she wanted to run Mt. Disapointment but was unable to register, so she had loads of energy and was itching to race. Since she was denied her race in the San Gabriel mountains she took out her frustration and lit up the Griffith Park hills.
As we waited for the final leg to take off, we hoped Jen could cut a few more seconds off the RWU lead. We expected RWU to come in first and for our anchor to chase and come very close. To everyone’s surprise Jen emerged from the trails first! It was unexpected and so unbelievable. It was crazy! She made up 3 minutes to catch RWU then gapped by another minute! We were finally in the lead at this point, 48 seconds ahead of RWU. True to her nickname Jen broke some dreams on that run.
Jen handed off the baton to our anchor, Audrey. Audrey had run a stellar race last year and this year we expected her to match or better her time from last year. But there were so many variables – we didn’t know who she was racing against from the other team. How fast was their anchor? This was gonna be close. In the end Audrey came through for us again, running a solid effort and increasing our lead by another 40 seconds.
After the race, the RWU coach and athletes congratulated us for the win. We went around to say hi to the other run clubs and overall imprinted our NBB brand on that race. Next year will be tougher but so will we. Congratulations NBB Women – that was an awesome and drama-filled race for the books.