As I was saying in my previous post, we drove to the starting line in nervous and excited silence. When we arrived, we did our safety check with the Ragnar team and before we knew it our 10am start time arrived. The starting line for Ragnar was unlike any race that I have been to. It is quite low key because they taper the start times according to your predicted finish time, so the slower you think your team will be, the earlier your start time is. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of people having a good time – teams were dressed up, music, and a tent with Ragnar shirts, hats and accessories for sale – but just not the chaos you might experience at, let’s say, a large marathon. I liked it, becasue I was really able to relax and not think of the huge running endeavor in front of me.
I was runner number one and starting the race. My first leg was 7.7 miles long and considered “Very Hard.” I wasn’t too worried except for the heat and exposure. This leg started uphill and climbed up through the Bonneville Shoreline Trail with incredible views of the valley. Aside from some neck pain and a mild headache, I felt good on this run.
Time: 7.7 miles in 1:11, average pace 9:15.
I handed off to the amazing Holly Roberts, this woman can run! I never saw her give anything less than 100% on every run, even when she was sleepless and out of gas. She pushed to the max every time.
The next Legs would be run by these beauties… to read about their legs and much more exciting recaps, click on the links below…
After their runs, I was up again for my second round, Leg 7 – 4.7 miles considered very easy. This one was easy, it went through a quiet neighborhood and a small town and was over in a flash. It was hot, and my headache was beginning to really hurt. When I got back in the van Meghan gave me a “to-go” packet of Barlean’s Fish oil to take (I would take one after each run and stay migraine free the rest of the relay). If it were not for Barlean’s, things might have turned out horrible for me. High quality fish oil has been shown to reduce inflamation and increase energy and endurance, I am so grateful that Meghan had them with her!
Time: 4.7 miles in 39:20, average pace 8:17.
My third run, Leg 13 (8.2 miles and considered “Very Difficult”), started at a major exchange at the base of Snowbasin ski resort. I went straight up the mountain for about one mile and then it connected onto the highway and straight downhill for the next 6 miles. This was the first leg where we needed to wear headlamps and reflective vests as it was getting late, around 7pm. It had cooled off and I felt great on this run. The intense downhill pounding left my knees feeling wobbly but overall this run was one of my best.
Time: 8.2 miles 1:10, average pace 8:36.
I tried to get some sleep around 10pm, but honestly it was more like closing my eyes, as it was tough to sleep through the noise and transition of each runner. Our driver Ned, was incredible, keeping us on time to each exchange, despite the lack of sleep. He’s a complete stud!
I started my fourth run, Leg 19, at 11pm and it had gone from hot in the day time to temps that dropped into the 30′s at night. I was shivering, waiting for Vieve to come, and happy to begin my run (only 3.7 miles and considered “Moderate”). They lie, it was straight up hill! LOL I was really hoping my night run would be more enjoyable.. a flat and easy, but it was still amazing to be running through a mountain pass in complete darkness. This was one of the highlights for me. I loved that feeling of not being able to see that much in front of you, just trusting and taking the steps and listening to my breath.
Time: 3.7 miles 38:38, average pace 10:34.
My fifth run, Leg 25, started at 7am was 5 miles and rated “Moderate.” I was pretty tired and hungry by this time. I really don’t remember too much about this run! What the? I think it was through a residential area, but it I can’t recall. Oh my! #RagnarFog
Time: 5 miles 44:26, average pace 9:01.
My sixth and final run, Leg 31, was 4 miles and considered “Easy.” Yeah! It was hot, I was delirious, but the excitement of us getting closer to the end made this one incredible! It was flat and went through a beautiful residential area, I even stopped to take a few pictures.
Time: 4 Miles 36:00, average pace 8:52.
I was so excited to finish and drink a big, fat, icy cold Cherry Limeade Nuun!
My team mates finished their very difficult legs… you must head over to their sites and read about, the incredible fight that Holly gave on her last run, “What the hill?”, “Ragnar Hill”, the almost horrible ending, when this runner got punched in the face by a very rude guy, and the final leg into the Ragnar finish line.
We crossed the finish line in 30:02:00 and WON the women’s open ultra division!
Not only did we win, we also came in 9th overall in the women’s open 12 member teams. That means we beat teams that had 12 runners on them! We were thrilled! It was the most amazing race!
I have never experienced running as a team. I became so close to my team mates in the short amont of time we spent together. I feel as though we went through a life changing event. It could have been a negative experience with personalities clashing at 12 midnight, but that never happened. We worked together and ran our hearts out.
I know I’ve only known them for a few short weeks, but I can confidently say that I love and would do anything for these 5 women. We are forever bonded by running 30 sleepless hours, over three mountain passes, at altitude with very little food. I would have never thought the simple act of running could open so many doors. Getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things, is the only way to live. If you follow your passion, anything is possible!
A huge thank you to Nuun Hydration who sponsored and hydrated our team, without you none of this would have happened.
Have you ever run a relay? a Ragnar?