Here are Wendy, Elana, Sarah H, Sarah E, and Val, super driver extraordinary, at the safety briefing at exchange 6.
I had a hot 4.2 miles, which I knocked out at around an 11:40 pace. During the duration of this, I paid little attention to my GPS and just ran however I felt most comfortable. It was too hot to run really hard, especially considering how much distance we still had to cover. Here I am handing off to Sarah E. This is the kind of pictures I end up with when I put my husband in charge of the camera. You can't even see Sarah E!
Sarah H had a rough, very hot and humid, completely unshaded leg of nearly six miles.
Sarah H handed off to Wendy (Pink shirt/yellow shorts). At this point, we were just worried about the heat.
About 10 minutes after this was taken, as we were pulling out of the exchange 11 to head down to the speedway (the next major exchange, where we handed back off to van 1), Elana got a text from Wendy that she was down and badly injured. Wendy had been nursing a tibial strain. When we caught up to her, she was on the ground and in major pain. Brad was able to get ready to run the quickest, so he went out while the rest of us focused on getting Wendy into the car and to the hospital. The Race Director for Ragnar was on site within a minute to make sure she wasn't needed. Luckily 4 of the 7 people in our van were nurses. Brad covered four miles while we took Wendy to the hospital. When we left the hospital, it was just Sarah H and I in our previously stuffed Yukon. Everyone else stayed behind with Wendy.
We went to the speedway and picked up Brad. We talked briefly with the folks from Van 1, but we had so much to do--fix our battery, figure out what was up with Wendy, figure out who was coming back and who wasn't. Brad was totally the man of the hour--not only did he pick up 4 extra miles in the horrible heat at the drop of the hat, he then took care of our battery issue.
We were fortunate enough to be able to come back to our house for real homemade dinner (pasta and chicken) and sleep in an actual bed. Except that Brad and Sarah H slept while I tried to figure out our runner situation. At first we thought Wendy was out (which went without saying) and everyone else was coming back, until Wendy was diagnosed with a spiral fracture of her tibia which might require surgery. Elana stayed behind with Wendy, and just like that we were down 2 runners with well over 120 miles left to cover. Needless to say, sleep didn't happen for me!!
The drama didn't end there. Amanda had fire works shot at her during leg 13, while we were dealing with all the craziness of Wendy's injury. It was a very near miss. More insanity for Van 1.
Around 10pm our severely reduced van 2 of Sarah H, Brad and I headed down to the next major exchange. Sarah E stayed behind to stay with Wendy a while longer and to get some rest, promising to meet up with us later at the exchange.
Nothing really prepares you for a Ragnar major exchange. People sleeping EVERYWHERE. On concrete, on grass, on stairs. In cars. It looked a lot like an emergency zone. We parked, and we crashed hard while we waited for Van 1 to tell us they were getting close. They traveled from Homestead, through the Redlands, down the stretch and into Key Largo, before handing off to us at Coral Shores High School. We got the handoff around 1am, and I headed off on 9.9 miles. Amanda joined our van to help make up for our missing runners.
More to come!