At 6:40 a.m. on June 8, relay team members lined up as the crowd counted down.
Five… Four… Three… Two… One…
The 39-mile race from the Rexburg Idaho Temple to the Idaho Falls Idaho Temple began, and the remaining team members raced to cars, heading to the first exchange point.
Ashley Tomkinson, a junior studying accounting and team captain of Smooth Snailin’, gathered her team into her gold Toyota Rav4 and drove off to the exchange point.
For Smooth Snailin’, the team came together through various interactions with Tomkinson.
“One time we were at our friend’s house and Ashley asked if I would run after someone backed out,” said Gavin Beus, a freshman studying exercise physiology. “So I ran 6.8 miles.”
Along the route, cars would stop and wait for teammates to offer encouragement as the runners passed.
At one point, the team spilled out of the car in a hurry to cheer for Beus as he passed.
“One of my favorite memories from the relay was when I started running the wrong way from Gavin, trying to offer him watermelon, but he had already passed,” Tomkinson said.
From checkpoint to checkpoint, the clouds slowly rumbled in. By the final 2.8 miles, the sky had turned gray.
6 hours and 11 minutes after the first runner started, Smooth Snailin’ crossed the finish line through a hail storm.
“It’s a neat experience to be able to run with your friends and feel that you are best friends by the end of it,” said Dallin Haycock, a junior studying accounting.
Despite the hail, the team crossed smiling and embracing, knowing that the hard work they had put in was well worth it.
“If you are thinking about running next year,” Haycock said. “Get a group of friends together all train together, and then you can have fun before and after the race.”