New time! Ridiculous Relay MITHACAL MILERS XC workout 11/2 at 5:30 PM at the Cornell Botanic Gardens

We’re running up against the loss of daylight, so I’m moving Tuesday’s workout up to 5:30 PM so we have a chance of finishing while it’s light enough to see. With Daylight Saving Time changing next weekend, even 5:30 PM will become untenable, so this will be our last fall workout of the season.

I certainly hope we can do indoor track workouts this winter, but that depends entirely on Cornell allowing it, and honestly, I don’t hold out much hope, nor would I blame them for being cautious.

So let’s go out with some fun—it’s time for another Ridiculous Relay! Here’s the deal. After the warmup, we’ll assemble at the almost-400m loop at the top of the far hill.

We’ll match up the fastest and slowest runner, the next-fastest and next-slowest, and so on, and then assemble pairs of people into four-person teams. Then one set of people from each team will start. Here’s the twist. Within each set, the runners run in opposite directions until they meet (I’ll try to figure out some batons to increase the amusement value), then they turn around and run back the way they came to the start. That way the faster runners run longer and the slower runners run shorter, but they both run for about the same amount of time. The pace should fairly fast—roughly mile race pace. But pace yourself because it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and run too fast early on.

Once the first set of runners both make it back to the start, their team’s second set of runners go, and the first set gets to rest and cheer for their other runners. While all this is happening, the other teams’ runners are doing the same thing. The winning team will get all their runners back first after all sets have done 8 reps.

Join us and embrace the chaos—all are welcome, even if you’ve never come before!

PS: We meet at the parking area in the bowl of the F. R. Newman Arboretum at the Cornell Botanic Gardens. The workouts are free and open to all FLRC members, but everyone must sign an online waiver once for 2021. It’s the same as for the FLRC group runs, so if you’ve signed that one this year, no need to do so again. If you aren’t fully vaccinated, please wear a mask whenever you aren’t running. And get vaccinated!

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I will be there but will not be joining you in the relay. While my calf is feeling fine, I’m still babying it for a race this weekend. Looking forward to seeing everyone!

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Thanks to everyone who showed up for our final workout of the fall! We had 15 people running, but since the Ridiculous Relay works best with teams of four, when a guy named Josh inadvertently ran too close to us as we were setting up, we dragooned him into running too. (Thanks, Josh!) He couldn’t have known he was signing up for what’s essentially an 8 by 400m workout, but he was a good sport and even asked if we had workouts every week.

Happily, @crf1 was able to pick FLRC’s track batons so there was always a handoff when each pair met in the middle made things more fun. @amalia and I perfected a wide handoff where we each extended our arms, completed the handoff, and then pivoted around each other to head back.

Plus, @SueMann came up with lovely innovation by announcing that she needed to take a rep off in the middle, asking @apacheck if he’d run an entire lap on his own. This turned out to add a fascinating bit of game theory, since it allowed Adam to run just a 400m rather than running 600m (300m out and 300m back after the handoff). That moved him and Sue up in the race, increasing the competition, so I’m officially adding to the rules that each team that’s not leading can, optionally, have their faster runner take a solo lap twice during the 8-lap event to make up some lost ground.

Workouts will return at some point, if not indoors, then once the weather is amenable outside again.

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I am going to miss these workouts!

If anyone is looking for a running buddy for any of the FLRC Challenge runs, let me know. I have remaining Thom B., Forest Frolic and Pseudo Skunk Cabbage to finish, but I am game for small group runs for any of them. Thanks to Adam and everyone else who has provided leadership!

Thanks for the kind words, Matt! We’ll have workouts again—normally we’d do indoor track workouts at Barton Hall, but that’s not looking likely this year.

I happen to know that @johnhummel is planning to run the FLRC Challenge trail courses for the first time soon too, so perhaps he’d be up for some company. (And while I don’t know either of you well, from what I do know, I think you’d be good running companions.)