I sure hope I can fit everything in to one post for this race.  I mean, this race goes for 24 hrs!


The basics: I was part of a 9 person relay team which consisted of my fellow Run Toledo Ambassadors and Glass City Ambassadors (which I used to be!)… and Alan! 🙂  The race started at 10:00 am Sunday morning and ended 10:00 am Monday morning (Labor day).   In true Willford fashion, we were late getting our camp set up, so we missed the starting gun!!  No worries, we were not the first runners of our team.  This is our base camp.  The tents and camps went all along half of the lake!


The Olander park lake has a 1.1 mile paved trail around it, which is the race course.  Yes, the course is 1.1 miles long!  You go round, and round the lake.


The lake is actually quite scenic, with ducks.  We camped in the wooded area, and the other end of the park has a beach.  Great news – half of the course is shaded!   Bad news – half of the course is sunny!  This is an important point… because the “feels like temperature” was 94 degrees when we started the race!  Yikes.  Within a short period of time, we had a huge supply of stinky, sweaty running clothes!


The plan was for each of our team members to run 3 times around, which was about a 5K.  Goal was a *fast* 5K.  That would leave us about 3.5 hours of recovery time between runs.  Totally doable!  Only issue was, the first lap was pretty good.  By lap 2, you might still be feeling pretty good too.  Buy by lap 3, the heat and humidity had pretty much wiped you out!  The weather was brutal!!  I was so happy that we were only running three laps because that was plenty in one session.  Some other teams were running a whole hour at a time.  I would have died for sure.  This is what my Strava feed looked like for the race…


I told our team captain that I would probably do a 9:00 min mile, so that’s what he used for our schedule calculation.  When it was my turn, I strapped on the timing chip, and was ready to go!


These were my running times:

11:10 am – avg pace 8:57.   Not sure how I pulled this off because it was 84 degrees outside (feels like 94).  Things were starting out good!


3:42 pm – avg pace 9:27.  The temps had now climbed to 88 degrees!  The first two miles were on pace at 9:02 each, but the last mile consisted of a lot of walking… 10:08 pace.  Ugh, this was a rough (although the icee pops were a godsend!).


8:52 pm – avg pace 9:01.  You’d think the 79 degrees would feel cooler.  Nope, still really sweaty humid!  Now we needed headlamps.  I forgot mine on the first lap and had to steal one from Alan as he waited “on deck” for me.

10:00 pm – after Alan and I ran, we had a delicious pasta dinner.


1:39 am – avg pace 9:15.  I had to wake up to run this, and I guess running in the dark messed my pace a bit.  The dark runs were a bit magical.  The route was lit up with glow sticks and lanterns.  So quiet and peaceful.


6:16 am – avg pace 9:00 – back on track!!  I sure looked pretty great in the morning after 4 hrs of sleep for the night. 🙂  No, I hadn’t washed my face, brushed my teeth, brushed my hair or anything since I started.  That makeup is from pre-race!  Beautiful!  LOL


7:14 am – avg pace 9:11   Bonus mileage!  Alan needed to hand off to the next runner, but she wasn’t there yet.  I was actually standing there eating a donut when the opportunity happened. I’m on it!! I grabbed the timing chip and did another lap until she got there.  I didn’t want Alan to do more miles than he needed to because he has to run the Erie Marathon next weekend!


9:48 am –  The race was almost over!!  1.36 miles, 9:06 and 8:29 for the final partial mile!  That was my fastest pace.  I was pretty excited (sleep deprived??) to do that final push for the team.


We still had a few more minutes to go, so I offered to run the last laps until the horn was sounded.  I got to place the “marker” down on the ground to indicate how far our team had run.  Less than 2 mins to go in this picture…


The distance marker went down!  Woah, look at my hair.  LOL!!


My individual mileage: 19.1 miles. [I know, only 19.1 miles.  Why not 20?  I didn’t add up my mileage until I got home.  Doh!!  I totally would have run 20 miles had I known!]  Our team mileage was 138.6 miles – good enough for 2nd place out of 11 teams!  Here’s my team.  We worked together quite well!

Olander RTA team picture

I made use of the massage therapists they had at the event.  Joani (who I have seen in the past), really worked the “angries” out of my hamstrings and got me in top shape to run that last lap!  Thank you Joani!  Even on Tuesday I have been feeling really good.  She rocks!


This event was also an “ultra” event.  There were 83 people who were accumulating miles all on their own during the 24 hours.  In fact, two people on our team were also running as individuals and accumulating miles for us when it was their turn to run for our team.  Other people were on teams, but also just ran around during their “off time” to get miles outside of the race.  The course was not closed to these people and I know of several of my friends who managed to run 50 miles (and more!) during this event.  The top male (and overall winner) ran 120 miles individually, and the female ran 110 miles.  In the brutal heat.  WOW!!!  This is a great shot of the top females after the race… and my team in the top corner.  As you can see, Alan has already changed into his “I’m not running anymore” outfit, complete with “Running Sucks” t-shirt.  LOL!

Olander winners

To (finally) finish up – I was a bit nervous about this event because I was unsure what to expect.  I was very happy to discover it’s not boring at all to run around that lake for 1.1 miles!  You get to see all of the campers every mile, an aid station is never far away, and you won’t get lost!  People are cheering you on, and you never feel like you’re alone because there is always someone out on the course near by.  Of course it did take me two days to make up for my lack of sleep, but hey, that’s a small price to pay for the good times we had!

Kudos to you if you’ve made it to the end of this.  Hopefully you’re enjoyed my pictures 🙂


Q:  Have you ever run a short race course like this?  Did you like it?

Q:  Did you have the brutal heat in your area over Labor day??

Q:  What would be your “dream food” at the aid station?

Like I said, an Icee pop was the best thing EVER in that heat!!

8 thoughts on “Olander 24 Hour Ultra and Relay”
  1. Wow I think I would actually LIKE THIS!! But…. only if there were showers! Did you get to shower? 19.1 miles… awesome job, Lisa! Your team did so well! Of course Alan is running Erie. Tell him to take a break after that, okay!? 🙂 Glad you had fun. 🙂
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Stuffed Pepper CasseroleMy Profile

    1. I did notice that a lot of people (relay runners) looked pretty good. I later learned that they went home and showered!! Since this park is not out in the boonies, it’s close to where the local runners live. I could have done that. It’s interesting because you could arrange it so your teammates don’t even need to show up until a certain time (let’s say they had to go to work or something), or could leave after they were done running. No need to stay the whole time. Of course they would miss out on the fun back at camp though 🙂 The relay option is really quite flexible when the race is all located within 1.5 miles!

  2. That was such a fun event! Glad I was able to join your team, next year I’ll wait until I’m totally injury free before signing up!

  3. Wow, I’ve never seen an event like this before. I’m not into Ragnar races but I do enjoy the commradery of relay races but I don’t know if I could last that many hours. Kudos to you and your team!

    I would actually enjoy running around the lake at night too!

    1. I was really concerned about the lack of sleep. I am not a happy camper when I’m tired! It didn’t bother me that much until after we got home. I swear that was the longest day ever!!

  4. This sounds really great! Most relays/ultras intimidate me but this sounds doable since its only 1.1 mile loops. Although I would worry about it getting boring! And I think the hardest part would be staying awake for that long. Congrats and great job to you and your team!
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…Month in Review: August 2018My Profile

    1. I really thought every one in that event in the past years were crazy. 1.1 miles does sound boring! But, it really wasn’t – at least not for the times we ran around. It was good to see people all of the time and interact with everyone. It’s hard to believe it was last weekend – 90+ degrees then, and now it’s only 60 degrees. Crazy!!

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