Hey everyone! Sooooo July 20-21st I participated in one of the most amazing events on the planet- RAGNAR!! I live across the water from Seattle so of course I ran NW Passage!! Let me start off by saying this was the most well organized and fun race I have ever ran. I am SO EXCITED to participate in it next year, I'm already planning! If you dont know anything about Ragnar it's not just a show up, pay a fee, and run type of race. This is a 200 mile, 24+ hour relay!
I thought about doing Ragnar last year but couldn't find 11 other friends. So I decided to join a team of strangers, I had put a post on a fb board of a running group I have met up with a few times and a girl responded that they needed 4 more runners so I met her, talked about it a little and essentially handed over my money. Of course I saw her about 3 more times before the actual event but still essentially strangers.
So the morning of the race we had to meet at her house at 5 am to load up the van - ok I say van but we didn't want to dish out even more money (race cost $100) so we used her dads Ford F-150 truck for 6 of us to live in. The other half of our team was meeting up in Seattle and we would be meeting them at the start line.
See Ragnar you essentially are leap-frogging for the whole race. The team of 12 is split between 2 "Vans" and runners 1-6 doing their legs, then pass off to the 2nd van, runners 7-12. This continues for 3 turns/36 legs. We started at 10 am with runner 1 who did 6 miles I believe, she passed off to 2, 2 to 3 etc....I was runner 5. My first leg was 5.8 miles and I completed it with a pace of 9:27 (woot woot) I was super happy with that!
Recieving the baton from Nicole, runner 4
Coming into exchange 6 to pass off to the next runner on our team
Passing off to runner 6, Jodus
If you are on my fb or dailymile account you probably know that I was running with knee pain, so I was a little nervous about if I was even going to be able to complete the event. To finish under my estimated pace (10:15) was exciting for me! So we drove ahead to cheer Jodus, Runner 6 on and then headed to the major exchange to pass off to Van 2. Once we passed off we had about 5 hours to kill, so we decided to get something to eat. We had bagels, bananas etc in the truck with us but we all wanted a MEAL!
Then the whole chaos started again, we recieved the baton back from Van 2 at exchange 12 and drove on to cheer for our 1st runner again. The unique thing about these legs were that it was starting to get dark. I had never run overnight before so I was a bit nervous, I believe I started my 2nd leg at 11 pm (5 miles). Headlamps, reflective vests, and butt blinkies (as we called them) were required. At some points on the run I could barely see other runners, they would be like 3/4 of a mile ahead ( I never looked behind), but it still felt safe. There were so many vans from other teams driving by every few minutes offering encouraging words that I never really felt "alone" out there.
Ready for my night leg
From here on out we didn't take many pictures, we were getting pretty tired :) But the night run was so exhilirating, my favorite and I finished around a 9:40 pace. After we all ran and passed off to van 2 again we had another 5 hours. This time we decided to sleep. Along the route several high schools had opened their gyms for runners to use the locker rooms, gymnasium and lunch areas....We rolled out our sleeping bags and by the time we got all set up we had about 2 hours to sleep then we had to get up, eat, and have our 1st runner ready to run their 3rd and final leg! Keep in mind we still hadn't showered...when we get to each exchange you have a choice....eat, sleep or shower. The shower lines are normally a good 40 minute wait so you don't have time to do all 3. And an important note to those of you thinking of doing this in the future...bring ear plugs! I normally have a hard time falling asleep around other people but after the activites of the day I was exhausted and happy to sleep on a gym floor. Only problem is that there were several hundred other people doing the same thing....which meant people were walking around taking bathroom trips, snoring, turning over....listening to music etc....one of my wonderful teammates had extra ear plugs for me and then I passed right out! Best 2 hrs of sleep on a hard wood floor I've ever had! :)
My 3rd and final leg was tough for me. My knee pain was flaring up pretty badily because I had a lot of hills to tackle on my route. It was right by the water and very pretty but I felt sooo slow and it was kind of dissapointing...I think I finished this leg at a 10:20 average pace. Right on schedule I guess. Oh and it was 4.5 miles, I was sooo happy that I had a leg with descending distances. Some people had long legs 6-8 miles for their last run and that was rough on them.
We met up at the next exchanged and passed off to van 2 again for their final legs. We finally had time to shower! It was amazing and felt so good! So after our showers we headed to the finish line. We waited for the last runner to come around the bend and then all ran through the finish line together. Again, AMAZING! I'm officially addicted to Ragnar. I felt so mentally strong this whole race, and its so encouraging to be surrounded by regular people AND hardcore atheletes tackeling 200 miles with their teams.
People would stop us along the routes and ask what the race was about....when we would tell them it was so fun to watch their eyebrows race and get this looks of amazement....either that or they thought we were crazy!
Team None of the Above. Completed Ragnar NW in about 29 hrs!
Here is a link to my youtube channel where I created a video if you're interested in seeing more pictures of what Ragnar is about...
Also, on a different note, my mom found more pictures of me when I was over weight and I added them to my SP. One at the beginning of my pics....two at the end....
Finally, a special thanks to my hubby for watching our girls and letting me do this. It was awesome to come home to my oldest daughter (3) asking me if I got a medal and telling me she wants to race with me in the future :)
Happy Sunday everyone!