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Posted 11/1/2016

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By Marie Darling
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Public Affairs


A U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory team recently ran a relay from the White Mountains to the coast of New Hampshire, covering a distance of approximately 200 miles.

The team, participating in the Reebok Ragnar Reach The Beach Relay, battled sore legs and sleep deprivation running 203 miles, covering the distance in 27 hours, 42 minutes finishing 60th out of a total 475 teams participating.

These relay events take place across the U.S. to benefit local New Hampshire communities, state parks, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.

“The team did really well considering most of us hadn’t run a relay like this before and that we were short a couple of runners,” said Arnold Song, a CRREL research mechanical engineer and relay team leader. “A full team is 12 runners and we had basically only nine, since one person was only able to finish a leg before stopping due to sickness. So, the whole team ran about 20 miles each.”

Song, a runner since high school, usually opts for shorter distance races and had never participated in an endurance event like the relay before.

“This was a really fun team-building experience and it is for a good cause,” said Song.

On the other hand, Zoe Courville, a CRREL research mechanical engineer and a relay team member, has experience participating in this type of relay event before and has even run marathons.

“This was the seventh time I've done the Reach the Beach relay, but my first time with co-workers from CRREL,” said Courville. “This was the best team I've ever run with in terms of cooperation and staying positive and upbeat. I had a really good time getting to know some of our new CRREL folks. We laughed a lot, despite basically not sleeping during the 27 hours it took to run and all of us having to run pretty far.”

The relay is totally different from running a marathon – I've run 4 – because of the social aspect of it. A marathon is very mental, but it is mostly talking yourself into being able to finish. The relay had a mental aspect to it because we all were so tired and were all hurting, but you had a whole team cheering you through it. I definitely ran harder than I would have on my own for the sake of the team and not wanting to let them down – or looking bad in front of your co-workers!”

When all was said and done, the team had run from Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, (near Mount Washington) and finished along the Atlantic coastline at Hampton Beach State Park, New Hampshire, having built a tired, but close team, and raising funds for a very good cause.

crrel ERDC Reach the Beach USACE