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Teamwork and 17 Legs: Market to Market Relay

June 2017

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Let's talk about teamwork.

Sometimes it takes an entire team to make it happen, but all of the individual components have merit. Such was the case with the Market to Market Relay (M2M).

This was the fifth year of the M2M in Iowa (there's also one in Nebraska and Ohio). The teams consist of 6-8 runners, and the course is a point-to-point route along the Raccoon River Valley Trail for 76 miles (starting in Jefferson and ending in Des Moines). Each team decides the order of their runners, and each runner has their designated "place in rotation". There are 17 total legs of the relay, and the teams are expected to run those 17 legs in rotation.

This was the fourth year for our team of 6. We started at 8:15am and arrived early in Jefferson so there was time to walk around, get our "baton" (a slap bracelet that we had to pass off to each other at each of the exchange points), and snap a few group pictures under the start line canopy.

Quite often, there wasn't time for the most recent runner to properly stretch or even cool off until after we'd arrive at the next exchange point. So, to stay loose, we did push-ups at each exchange point while waiting for the runner to come in. It made for a fun challenge...to not only to do the allotted 10-15 each time, but also to remember to do them.

Teamwork was the name of the game when one of our team members wasn’t feeling well. Upon consulting the rule book (yes, there's a lengthy book of rules with every possible solution to any possible situation), we made a command decision and everyone pitched in by taking an earlier leg than originally scheduled and Ryan ran an extra leg.

Our self-supported team brought all of our own food, fuel, and hydration. There are numerous volunteers along the route but no aid stations. Luckily, there is plenty of time to eat, re-hydrate, stretch and relax in between the exchange points (especially during longer legs).

The ASI team had the BEST chart to track our team, one of the perks of working for a sign company. A lot of the team vans had painted windows, but our vinyl chart was pretty cool! The real hero of the day was the lone paper towel that managed to stay in place ALL day through numerous "wipings."

Our team finished in 11:35:59...about 10 minutes under our projected finish time! The Market to Market Relay is a very well-organized event and great for team building! A lot of details, planning, and volunteers go into making everything come together on relay day and the ASI team appreciates all of their hard work. We’ll see you again in 2018!

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