Meet the retail racing team of Lincoln Running Company! Lincoln Running Company has been a partner and promoter of Oiselle for as long as I can remember, and we’ve been fangirls of one of it’s owners, Ann Ringlein, just as long. Ann has been a huge influence in women’s running through her own love of the sport, coaching and building the sisterhood with their specialty run shop as the hub. We are not surprised that the gals that run with this team are fast and fun loving. Read below, Hayley’s recount of their recent record setting relay race at Market to Market in Nebraska. Some races you just don't forget...
"76 miles. 19 exchange points. 6, 7, or 8 person teams.1 unforgettable day.” That is the tagline of the Market to Market Nebraska Relay.
For the LRC Racing women’s team, ‘unforgettable’ is right! The race is the largest day-long relay in the nation, which starts in Aksarben Village in Omaha (originally the Old Market) and ends in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket district. One reason why Market to Market was unforgettable for LRC Racing: we broke the women’s team record! The course for Market to Market isn’t always the same year to year (it sometimes has to be rerouted due to construction or weather) so the records are based off average pace per mile, not finishing time. The previous record was a 6:33 pace and we averaged 6:27 per mile. Setting the record isn’t the only reason the day was unforgettable though...
Obviously, the best part of running Market to Market was spending the day with my teammates. I have temporarily relocated to Boston for graduate school and Market to Market was my first time home. Not only did I come in from Boston, but another teammate flew in from California. If you have never spent 8+ hours in a car with 7 other women, you are missing out! While a lot of the conversation focused on running, we chatted about everything from work/school, relationships, current events, and life in general. A few of the girls are new to the team and the race was a great opportunity for everyone to get to know each other. Also, two of my teammates are awesome bakers so eating their treats was, well, a treat.
There was a 15 minute stretch of panic and anxiety – and it was my fault! Since my team had two cars, we were routinely leap frogging each other by sending one car to an exchange point and the other car ahead one exchange point. This was working out great, but then stage 10 happened… My car was directed to get me to exchange point 10 while the other car went to exchange point 9. (It’s important to note that of the three of us in the car, I was the only native Nebraskan and the only one who had run Market to Market before, making me the veteran and obvious navigator.) I navigated us to the exchange point and immediately my gut told me we were in the wrong place. Once I got confirmation that we were in fact in the wrong place -- exchange point 11, my teammates and I sprinted to the car and took off on the fastest route to get to where I needed to be. While my teammates navigated, I hurriedly changed into my racing flats and began worrying that Bridget would beat us to the exchange point resulting in us losing valuable minutes while she waited for me to show up. By the time I could see the exchange point, my heart was racing and adrenaline was coursing through my veins.
As soon as I could, I hopped out of the car and raced over to the exchange point. I looked around and couldn’t find Bridget, so I started asking everyone standing around if they had “seen a really pretty blonde girl with a braid run through.” No one had (but I still wasn’t convinced I hadn’t missed her). About a minute after getting to the exchange point, I saw Bridget a few hundred meters away racing toward me ready to hand off the timing chip. We made it in time; she hadn’t arrived before me! I will say, the stress and anxiety led to a pretty good run, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a pre-race warm-up strategy.
The day was awesome. Records and wins aside, it was a great day to be a runner and an even better day to be part of such an awesome group of women. The next few months will be very exciting for LRC Racing as many of our women (and men) will be testing their fitness and courage at races across the country. Market to Market Nebraska is sure to be just one of many unforgettable days.