Run Now Relay: Get Your Big Boy Pants On And Run

By this point, I think our team was finished with our leg and looking for our accommodations somewhere in New Jersey.

"Accommodations" for this journey ranged everywhere from actual hotels to the floor of a church to the bunk beds inside the giant transfer trailer truck that traveled almost the entire time with us and served as our Command Center. (I say almost the entire time because the truck ended up breaking down a few different places and it took a week for it to finally make it back to Tennessee. #dedication)

And it didn't matter a whole lot where you were sleeping anyway because you would likely only have about 4 hours to do so before rolling out again. There was many times our members would check in and check out of a hotel the same day, sometimes passing their keys off to the flights that came in behind them.

(But the hotels' staff were so awesome and many times they'd clean the room in between flights and serve us food even at our odd hours. I love nice people!)

But back to the group messages.

Since the relay is vehicles leap frogging each other, you really didn't even see a lot of the teams in person. We'd see group messages like this:

Or you'd see what other teammates posted on Facebook or see them on some news station. We'd be in Jersey and see photos from another flight in Philly, or we'd be trying to sleep while the group texts would go off between the flights out on the route. It was a constant, confusing churn of Relayers all over the East Coast. You'd see simultaneous posts from various flights like these:

And occasionally you'd get real-time videos of running conditions or sarcastic remarks (all in good fun) from runners who ended up running in sleet, or right next to semi-trucks:

Or both, like Corey:
"Oh look! There goes one now! What an inspiration!"

 (I wish I could post the whole video but hopefully you get the gist from the GIF above.This was Corey musing about how "inspirational" it was for him to be running in the middle of the night in freezing temps on a busy highway with no shoulder. Here you see him turn his head around just in time to witness yet another semi nearly mowing him down.)

And just when Corey thought he'd seen it all....he ended up running DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE JERSEY TURNPIKE. Below is part of his video which shows you his position in the middle of raging traffic, while reminding us all "Safety first guys!" Of course we think it's know, now that we know he didn't perish....

At some point, one of the vehicles broke down right as their runner was being questioned by police as to why they were trying to run on an interstate. That runner's cell phone battery died right at that exact moment, and I'm not even sure how they ended up rescuing him. Meanwhile, other flights were planning where they'd eat lunch....

We'd get messages about runners switching vans, or progress updates on where the iPad was that our van passed around. (We borrowed it from the flight before us and the only way to get it back to them was to pass it to the next flight, who would pass it to the next, until the thing made it's way all the way back around. And it worked. Just another crazy part of the logistical adventure this was!)

At some point Matt R. had posted something about being sleep deprived because he slept on a tiny couch or something so Matt C. in another flight decided to mock him for whining. The problem was, it was the middle of the night and Matt C.'s flight was trying to sleep, so the resulting "message" ended up being a text of a video of Matt C.'s voice whispering in pitch black and all I can remember hearing was him telling Matt R. to:

"Get your big boy pants on and run!"

Which is really what we all had to tell ourselves at some point or another.

Whether it was temps: 
I snapped this in Delaware, but some of the team had to run in 80 degrees as well

Lack of sleep:
Another ridiculous time I had to set my alarm for

dreaded night runs:

Or run-ins with the police:

This team definitely had it's share of obstacles that required Big Boy Pants to overcome.

It was also during this disorienting journey that I came to realize why celebrities start using cocaine...

On top of all the route tracking, running, and sleep/food off-scheduleness, the team was constantly churning out media interviews to get the word out as much as possible about our cause. So you'd get done with a sweaty run, or just wake up from a 2 hour night's sleep, to find a group message asking who was able to run downstairs or run downtown to be interviewed. I can't imagine what it's like for famous rock stars who live that kind of schedule every day, but I can say I'm not surprised that they start using hard drugs to stay awake. Wow.

So back to us in New Jersey. After finding our hotel, we do a quick interview with a local channel -
My first slow -motion run on television. Eat your heart out, Baywatch.
Then get ready for a little sleep. But I had been trying to get another shirt since mine were sweaty by then, and the shirts were all in the "Command Center" (our tractor trailer) which I'd yet to see. Finally the truck gets to our hotel and we are in the same place at the same time, so I take the opportunity to get the shirt. Here's my first view of this thing:

Looks real friendly in the dark, abandoned parking lot, right?

I open the door and start to climb my way into the trailer right when the driver - who I'd never met - comes up behind me.

And that's when I peed my pants.

Just kidding! But it did scare me, and probably him too.

But someone else on the team did pee her pants, which earned her the nickname "PeeWee." Find out why I was nearly nicknamed "Stalker Bait" in the next post...