Raleigh Relays: Then and Now with Tristin Van Ord

“Racing flats?”

Check.

“App State uniform?”

Check.

“Snacks for the 3 hour bus ride down the mountain?”

Check.

One year ago today I remember making a checklist of all the things I would need to bring in my black and gold duffle bag for the weekend trip to Raleigh Relays at NC State.

 Racing the 10k at Raleigh Relays in 2017

Racing the 10k at Raleigh Relays in 2017

Raleigh Relays was always the pinnacle of the outdoor season for me. The Big Kahuna. The goal race. Even though it was usually one of the first races of the outdoor season, I always found that I was more in shape than I thought after training for indoor season in the High Country.

Every year while I was at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, I would constantly be looking ahead to Raleigh Relays. Being a native Chapel-Hillian, I always looked forward to going back to the Triangle. The 10k was my “thing,” and I was always excited about meeting up with friends and family again at one of the most competitive meets on the East Coast. Even though I would most likely lose count during those brutal 25 laps and contemplate dropping out at some point in the race, I managed to steal a PR every year that I ran.

  Post 10k 2017 with Melissa Dock, ASU Alum, and Former ASU coach Michael Curcio

Post 10k 2017 with Melissa Dock, ASU Alum, and Former ASU coach Michael Curcio

But this year, everything is a little bit different. I’ll be running half the amount of laps, (a measly 12.5,) and there’s been no indoor season to lead up to this moment, (just a half marathon PR and a calf strain). I’ll swap out the black and gold Appalachian “A” for a Raleigh Distance Project bra top, and my Nike flats for a pair of New Balance spikes.

 Barefoot Strides with RDP Teammate Sarah Rapp

Barefoot Strides with RDP Teammate Sarah Rapp

Although I haven’t had an “all-out” race since November, I know that I am in shape and ready to go. Most of the credit goes out to my new coach, Stephen Furst, and my training partners of the Raleigh Distance Project. I don’t know what I would do without these powerful women by my side!

 The CREW!

The CREW!

Even though things look a little bit different, I’ve been having de-ja-vu all week. I’ll be returning to the Raleigh Relays for my outdoor debut just as I have years before, although this time around, I’ll be ready to roll as a local of the City of Oaks.

Want to catch the Raleigh Distance Project in action? Head to the Paul Derr Track on NC States Campus this evening, Friday March 30th. The schedule for our athletes racing is below!

  • Sammy George: 1500m - 5:44PM
  • Tristin Van Ord: 5000m - 7:03PM
  • Sarah Rapp: Pacing 10k - 8:47P