Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ragnar Relay NWP '13. Recap #1

Team # 326 NOM NOM NOM.

Another epic Ragnar Relay! I was so excited to share it with my friends this year. Last year I joined a group I didn't know too well- it was a blast and I'm still in contact with a few of my previous teammates but it was fun to share this year with a few people I already knew. Meet my fantastic team:

  There is just something about a relay. It's so unlike any other kind of race. For one it takes running from a solo sport to a team activity, and it also teaches you to push yourself through 15+ miles on barely any sleep, after sitting in a vehicle for 8+ hours, and all while eating your meals out of a cooler. No really- it's fun, honest!! We met up Thursday night to head to Bellingham for a 1 night stay in luxury accomadations at the Days Inn Bellingham. It was clean and the beds were comfy so really that's all I could ask for. It didn't matter that there was an akward swimming pool in the parking lot or that I had to squats to get my head under the shower head- I'm only 5'5'', I have no idea how anyone taller than me managed. Four of us girls stayed in a room together (Luna, Krissy, Rosanna and myself) and I was a little worried about the whole "four girls sharing a bathroom thing" but it worked out very smoothly. Two took a shower before bed, the other two in the morning and we were not the last ones to meet in the lobby the next morning might I mention (ahem, the rest of you know who you are). A decent continental breakfast was out for us to munch on. I took a bagel for the road and devoured a Costco blueberry muffin- sooo good. Since I was in Van 2 I didn't worry too much about what I was immediately eating as I would have 8+ hours to digest before my leg started.

We headed to the start line and the weather was perfect for running. It was going to be a sunny day but there was a breeze, and since we had a slow team start time of 7:30 the sun wasn't at full power yet :P After all the check-in we all kind of scattered into our van groupings. I think Sara has some last minute preps to make because she headed back to the van and I caught a front line spot at the start line to cheer and take pictures. Those who were hanging out with me had temporary heartattacks when everyone starting lining up at the start and we didn't see Sara come back from the van yet. Then the announcer stated they were running about 3 minutes behind, whew. Sara appeared, we took the above team picture and she fell in line for the start.

My van had nothing to do until we started running at like 1 in the afternoon so we decided to cheer on van 1 for the first few hours. In a relay with 2 vans you spend more time split up than together because when it's your "off" hours you need to concentrate on refueling and catching whatever zzz's you can. We did one quick pit stop for Sara and then found a gas station to camp out at and wait for Luna to run by. Mike met some friends there who admired his mullet and once Luna ran by we drove to a new location to await Ryan. We didn't find Ryan immediately but we did find an absolute shit ton of trucks. I have never seen so many truck in my life- let alone of some back country road. Since we didn't have roadkills to tally yet we started keeping track of how many trucks we could get to blow their horn- 23 was our grand total and we didn't even track the first batch of trucks. As soon as we saw Ryan approaching we got distracted by a white van with flashing lights pulling up behind us. Apparently this was a non-support leg and we weren't even suppose to be out of the truck. We pleaded van 2 ignorance, cheered Ryan as he ran past, and loaded back into the truck to head to our exchange.

By this time it was pretty warm out upper 60's, but not a cloud in the sky. We secured a parking spot, did our safety brief, got all checked in and started lathering on the sunscreen. I think we had all ate our body weight in trailmix and bananas up to this point but decided to break open the cooler and make sandwichs. God Bless Rosanna who thought to bring mayo, cheese and onion- it really made the sandwich so much better. I was fully prepared to just rough it with bread and meat, ahhhh first world problems.

When it finally came to be time for our van to run Tim lined up in the chute to wait for Krissy. When you run a relay communication between the two vans is key, and they had told us she wasn't too far. Tim was itching to go. He was the bullet on our team and took off like a rocket. Leg 7: Tim, Leg 8: Tyler, Leg 9: Mike, Leg 10: James, Leg: 11: Moi, Leg 12: Rosanna.

Tim. Our team's speed demon
Tyler in his toe shoes at the top of a killer hill
Mike. Full disclosure- this pic is from leg 2 oops.
James. Trucking along- love the HUGE smile

Me on my 6.8 mile journey under the BLAZING sun

Passing off to Rosanna
Rosanna of the corn field? LOL

First round of legs complete. Baton passed back to van 1 so we could get a bite to eat in the form of Red Robin. I managed 6.8 miles at a 9:50ish pace. It was HOT, I kept dumping my water over my  head to cool down. I hate carrying water while running and had the van for backup but I did not want my throat to get dry with a mile to go so I succumbed to carrying my hand-held. Anyway, I don't have my exact pace because I let James use the garmin not even thinking that doh, he was the runner right before me. We kept good tally of take-off and return times on an excel spreadsheet so that is all I have to go off of but I'm pretty darn proud of that 9:40-9:50. Also, my elevation graph showed a downhill in the beginning of my leg- guessed I missed that part? It felt 99% flat.

 In the craziness of the day I can only determine we ate after our first leg based on the clothes I was wearing- I guess I was more tired than I thought :)

Our attempt at rest and the "overnight" legs will be re-capped in part 2 tomorrow!

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