Ragnar MIA-KW: Man, that’s a long ride. You can see the first part of my recap there.
I apologize for making this into more than one post, but it’s just to long to make into one post. To many pictures, to many thoughts, way to many hours in a van; it deserves more than one post.
Well, it seems that some of you were anxious to here about how my run during Ragnar went. Sorry for leaving you hanging, I didn’t think anyone would be that interested. So as I said in yesterday’s post, we rented a hotel room for a few hours. Our alarms were set to leave the hotel room at 12am for the one hour drive to the next major transition area.
Exchange 18 took place at a Coral Shores high school. There were vans and people every where. Tents, sleeping bags, I even saw a hammock (that’s pretty creative!). I don’t remember how long we were at the high school before it was our turn but it was just long enough to get all my gear on, pee, and head to the exchange area.
What do you expect me to look like at 2am?
and yes, I’m wearing the water belt backwards – I don’t care, it’s easier to access my phone/gels if it’s in the front.
Run one of two. When I met with the team a week before we were set to leave for Miami, Michelle & I decided that I would run with her during this leg. Ragnar allows runners running at night to have a pacer with them. I would be Michelle’s pacer. I was really excited to be able to get to run at least 10 miles during Ragnar.
Then, on the van ride down to Miami, Kelly, who ran the leg right after Michelle, said she had hoped that I would run her leg with her – 6.2 more miles.
Simple math tells us that I would be running 16 miles….in a row. and that my friends, is my longest run EVER. I told Kelly I would run as much as I could with her, but I could not promise that I would make it the entire 16. I had no idea how my hips or knee would react to such a drastic increase in mileage.
Unfortunately Michelle wasn’t feeling all that well during our run so our pace was a little slower than she wanted. I was just along for the ride, so I had no issues with our pace. I was just happy to be running. I practiced my picture taking/tweeting skills while we ran. Ha Ha!
The temperature was perfect for our run, mid 50’s I would say? The moon was almost full and it was just beautiful. There were a few spots where it was pitch black and all we could see was the light that our head lights were putting off.
Speaking of head lights, one of the ragnar rules is that we for any run after 4:30pm we have to wear a reflective vest, head lamp, and a blinking tail light. In the top right hand picture in the above collage you can see just the blinking light on a runner that was in front of us…and that was all we could see.
After I finished up the 9.9 miles with Michelle we exchanged with Kelly and I was off for my last 6 miles. Thankfully neither Michelle or Kelly are super duper speed demons so I wasn’t totally dying on the run.
On my run with Kelly we had an amazing view! The path was a little more open, the moon was shining so bright and there was a gorgeous reflection off the water.
Somehow I managed to not take pictures for the rest of the legs. I have a few pictures, but not of everyone. Most of our leg 2 was in the dark. Kelly & I finished our run around 5:20, and we handed off to Greg. Greg handed off to Kris, who handed off to Deanna, who ended our runs in the dark. Claude finished up our leg 2 and then we were off to find breakfast.
Hallelujah. I was starving and dying for coffee! By this time we were deep into the Keys and restaurant’s are sparse. Un-crowded restaurants are even more sparse.We drove for what seemed like forever before we found a place that didn’t have 50 Ragnar vans in the parking lot. We sat down and waited…and waited…and then someone came and threw some menus on our table and ran off. We waited a few more minutes and then we left.
A few miles later we decided on The Cracked Egg on Big Pine Key. This place was so cute! It was packed, but the service was still good. I got my coffee quickly, and I had omelet number 2. yum. After breakfast I think we headed to the next major exchange point where van 2 would complete our final leg.
We arrived at Sugar Loaf high school a few hours before van 1 was scheduled to arrive. This meant we had some time to just lounge around and relax. We found a shady spot and chilled out.
We met up with Van 1 at the exchange point and hung out while we waited for runner 6 to come in. At the point the temperature had turned hot. There were ambulances coming in and out of the hospital. When runner 6 came in she said she was throwing up the entire 4 mile run (what a trooper!). Unfortunately, this leg was an unsupported leg, meaning that the van can’t stop and give the runner anything. She was running mainly on bridges with no shoulder.
do not be jealous of my outfit. comfort over style.
The sweaty nutts portion of our team
When runner 6 came in, runner 7 (Kris) was off, and so was van 2. We were officially in our last leg and Key West was only about 20 miles away!
I think the 7 mile bridge was before the high school, I really can’t be sure, since all the Keys pretty much look the same to me. We got stuck on the 7 mile bridge, at a dead stop, because a truck swerved to hit a runner and flipped over !!! So scary!
This happened right at the exchange point. Thankfully the runner was okay, and she got a break from running since she was at her exchange. I don’t know that I could have continued on after almost being hit by a truck.
The heat was horrible and it was definitely taking a toll on everyone. Hard to believe that it’s January and it was probably in the low 80’s on Saturday. A few of our runners said the heat coming off the pavement was almost unbearable.
The traffic during our 3rd leg was not really bad, I don’t think. I’m having a hard time remembering all the details – everything was just a blur of hours spent in a white 15 passenger van.
We made it to Key West, parked, and waited for Claude to hit the finish like around 330ish.
We ran into the Ragnar finish line somewhere around 4pm (I think). I have a video, but none of my editing stuff is working right now so that will be up as soon as my computer decide it likes me again.
So. That’s it. The basics. There are so many memories, and tons of pictures, I could never put them all up on the blog. This post is long enough, and you get a gold star if you actually made it this far.
At some point this week I’ll write a review of the race, maybe a few tips, probably about my actual long run (fuel, how I felt, splits) and then post some pics of my short & sweet time in Key West with the BFF.