Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ragnar Reflections - Part 4 - The Finish Line!

 While those of us in Van 2 were catching up on sleep (and crying tears of joy for our Aspaeris Pivot Shorts, which I will swear by for the rest of my running career, and for Shower Pill which made us stink less than we otherwise would have ), Van 1 was out running some very hard legs in the heat and humidity of Ragnar Keys Day 2.  Amanda started out with a quick 3 miler, but remember that she had picked up extra mileage (and given up lots of sleep) to help make up for our injured runner.  Kristi ran the 7 mile bridge, an unsupported leg (meaning the van couldn't bring her anything) with a few water stations.  It was hot and humid.  Courtney slugged through her 9+ mile leg, also on the bridges.  No shade.  Traffic whizzing by.   The saving grace was rain and breeze. But they had a tough time. Once those miles were done, though, it was "short" legs for the remaining 3 in van 1.   There were many reports of runners struggling with the heat. Many required EMS.  Our team mate, Dawn, who is a P.A., personally assisted two runners who needed medical help.

Here we are (minus Dawn, who was out running her last leg toward us) at the final major exchange.  Left to right--Kristi, Courtney, Jason in the back, Brad, Sarah H, me, Toni, Amanda, and Sarah E.  This team really shows what Ragnar is--team sport.  No way would we have been able to cross the finish without the hard fought effort of everyone on our team. 

I did 4.1 very hot miles.   I won't lie, I walked some of it.  It was so hot that it was about running smart, NOT running fast.  My GPS had died and I was glad--I don't even want to know what my pace was.  But the goal was to stay hydrated and healthy, because I still had a 4th leg to run. I ran past an ambulance who had to come help a runner.  I was thankful to have my phone so I could check in and let Brad know everything was okay.  Some teams "hot dropped" fresh runners, but even 2 down slugged out our miles.I was glad to hand off to Sarah E.

Things flew by.  Traffic was bad, I Sarah E was out for 2.  We dropped off Brad for 2 more and picked Sarah E up.  After Brad I picked up my "bonus" 2.  Sarah H was up next, and then Sarah E went back out, winning the day by slugging out a tough six miler for us to cross the finish.


It took us 38 hours, but we crossed that finish line together.  It was seriously an epic adventure, even though it didn't go as planned.  I won't lie--Ragnar is not for the faint of heart.  Its scary, its nerve wracking and its a logistical nightmare.  It will push you to the edge. 

But it was also incredible.  New friendships forged, new memories made.  And Brad FINALLY may get what all the hype is about with me and running events.  He's hooked.  He's actually going to start contributing here, which is exciting. And it was awesome to share the experience together. 

And, oh, Miss Too Tall, we are so glad you came with us.  Poor Amanda does not dig the Florida humidity.  After this visit she may NEVER come see me again.  Of course I thought that after our 13.1 in March.  She got us amazing sponsors, she covered extra distance.  She rocks.  Some day I will stand on a table when we get a photo taken together so I don't feel so short.

 Amanda also said it best--Ragnar is a runners race.  Open road, no support, running day and night.  Not a ton of swag, just a shirt and medals and assorted Clif products.
But oh, the memories.  The sense of accomplishment.  The friendships.  Brad and I can't wait to do it again--we WILL be back out there in 2014.

We spent a few nights in Key West with a beautiful view, catching up on sleep and food.  Celebrating not only our accomplishment but 10 years of marraige.

I'll say it.  Some of you make fun of me for saying it, but I'll do it anyway.  It was an EPIC adventure.  Most people wouldn't dream of doing something so insane.  I love that sense of accomplishment.   After all, we only live once.  Every single day of it should be an adventure.


  1. Very well said. It was an epic adventure and I was glad to be there with you on your first Ragnar Keys. I also look forward to more adventures from you and Brad. Congrats on celebrating #10 and congrats for winning him over to our "running" ways.

  2. Love ya Amanda!! Glad you were there too, otherwise I probably would have FREAKED OUT!! :-)