Ragnar. Where do I even start? This is going to be lengthy, but there are a lot of pictures to keep you interested 😉 I’ll break it into two parts so it doesn’t take your entire day to read
It was a crazy experience, but so much fun. I was the Captain of the team this year so I have been working on doing all of the organizing for the last 6 months. It’s actually a lot more work than I expected!
My team was called the No Drama Mamas. We were made up of a team of 12 women from my MRTT running group. Now with a team of 12 women and 2 vans, you would think there is bound to be some sort of drama, but I was hoping that our team name would ward off any evil spirits! Luckily for us, it did. I am happy to report there was NO DRAMA!! Yay!
Thursday afternoon I headed out to pick up our 12 passenger van. I’ve got to say I was a bit nervous driving this thing…it was HUGE!
Then I did some packing…
In case you hadn’t heard, the East Coast was getting hit pretty hard with rain, flooding and high winds and Hurrican Joaquin was threatening to make it worse. I must say I was a bit nervous about the entire race. Ragnar said it was game on and they wouldn’t be cancelling. I wasn’t nervous about the rain, but nervous about flash flooding, but I figured Ragnar wouldn’t let the race go in if there were safety issues so I just ended up packing so much shit to be prepared for all possibilities. Let me tell you …..the rain boots was probably the most valuable item in this mess!
That night a few of the girls from my van came over to decorate the van. We were scheduled to leave the area the next morning at 8am (we were Van 2, so Van 1 had already headed up to the start in anticipation of the 0630 starting time). One of the big traditions of Ragnar is decorating your van so we wanted to do it right. We decided to do it with a Snarky Mommy E-Card theme!
I was getting a bit nervous about all of our artwork washing off in the rain, so…..we took clear plastic packing tape and taped over all of our decorations! Worked like a charm!! We did have a few areas that had bubbles under the tape and they didn’t fair so well as rain was able to get underneath the tape, but for the most part it worked!
We got a LOT of compliments on our e-cards.
Day 1 Ragnar DC
The girls arrived to my house, we packed up the van and were off!
We had about a 2 hour drive to Exchange 6 where Van 1 would be handing off to us and we would take over.
We checked in, got our bibs, our safety flags and attended our safety briefing.
Rainboots….so HUGE to have them!! There was mud everywhere all weekend. So easy to wear, take off, wipe down with baby wipe and yay for clean feet!
We met up with Van 1 and got to get our hugs and high fives in for a few minutes before they took off.
After our first runner took off we quickly jumped in the van so we could leap frog her and cheer her on!
I was runner #8, so I was second up in our van. I had taken a look at the maps and elevation profile beforehand, but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what was to come.
Yes, that is almost 1,100 feet of elevation gain in the first 3 miles. This was not a hill, it was a mountain.
I was all smiles before I started…or not…that was the look of… “I think I’m going to puke, I’m not ready to run up a mountain.”
Toughest run of my life and I can’t lie, I walked a LOT of the uphill. Running Ragnar isn’t about the time at all, but there is a little element of competition that kicks in when you see other runners on the course. You want to get as many “road kills” as you can. But check out these splits: 9:10, 13:07, 11:08, 8:27, 7:53, 7:54, 7:52. 6.9 miles total. I think you can tell where the downhill started. I think I may need to run a downhill marathon so I can qualify for Boston!
I love Ragnar’s sense of humor.
Coming into the exchange and SO READY to hand off!
I was soaked to the bone by the time the leg was done as it was a pretty steady light rain the entire run. I quickly got in the van, dried off with a towel and rolled a little. Seriously, this was the most amazing rolling session EVER. After I finished the run, I literally felt like I had been at the gym lifting legs for 2 hours. My legs were jelly. They ached, they burned and I knew that the rest of my legs weren’t going to be pretty, I was going to have to work for them.
I jumped back in the driver’s seat and we continued leap frogging our runners, cheering on other runners and just having a great time.
We finished off our legs and were starving so we hit up a local Red Robin for some yummy food. I have to say the only drama we experienced was at Red Robin. I”m not one to send my food back, it has to be pretty bad for me to do that just as a disclaimer. We were at Red Robin for almost 2 1/2 hours because I kept sending my sandwich back because it was cold. It was supposed to be a hot sandwich but 3 times it came back out cold. I had been in the cold rain all day, all I wanted was a HOT sandwich. Is that too much to ask?? By the 3rd time, I was so pissed, I just ate it because we needed to be on our way. I mean we were there a LONG time….long enough that THIS happened…
After we left Red Robin we headed to the next major exchange. We got there about 2 hours early and all tried to take a little snooze. I don’t know about any of you but I can NOT sleep in a van, so I fiddled around on my phone for a few hours. We got alerted right before we were to start again that Leg 23 got canceled due to some awful conditions on the mountain (probably mud slides and flash flooding I’m assuming). We were given the option that our runner could skip a leg all together or they could buddy up with someone else. She decided to buddy up and get some miles in.
My friend Lisa (who you may remember as my friend that dragged me across the MCM finish line last year) was a complete and total badass I must add. Her legs got cut short a few days before the race and she only had 10 or so miles total (which is crazy because the last runner had a total of 30). She is training for MCM again this year and needed some extra miles, so she ran 3 legs in the middle of the night in the pouring rain, not only to get her miles but so people wouldn’t have to run in the dark by themselves. Now THAT is what you call a true Badass Mother Runner!
Leg #2 for me started around 2:30 in the morning. I don’t have any pictures because it was dark, but it actually was a nice run. We got a little reprieve from the rain and only had some light drizzle! Yay for that. This leg had about 500 feet of elevation gain, with an awesome downhill at the end again. Splits: 9:41, 9:12, 12:15, 10:37, 8:46, 8:36, 8:12. 6.9 miles total.
After I finished and changed, we were off to leap frog again.
Everyone did awesome and was in fairly good spirits considering the circumstances!
The rain really picked up after I finished my leg and poor Lisa ended up running the next two legs, approximately 10 miles in the pouring rain. She was drenched when she finished. I felt so bad for her! After everyone finished we had another break for about 4-5 hours. And I will leave you with that…..
Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!!!The No Drama Mamas found their #InnerWild at #ragnarDC Read all about it! @ragnarrelay via @suzy399 Click To Tweet
Have you ever run in the middle of the night?
Have you ever run a Ragnar?
Have you ever run up a mountain?