Ragnar Relay

Started my relay weekend by meeting Tessa, Jeannie, and Krista at the airport car rental, which is a chore in itself. I don't think they often see people drive in to the car rental. Went to get our car and saw that there was a Toyota Prius in the spot, uh no. Finally got the van issue figured out and we were on our way. Jill (the GPS) directed us down to LaCrosse, good thing since I was the only local and am terrible with directions. Made a stop for lunch and learned of Krista's love of baked goods and desire for a tattoo, although Jeannie never let us stop. Met up with the Elizabeth, Janice and Mickey in LaCrosse headed to the hotel and planned out dinner. I was excited to see an old favorite of mine is still up and running in LaCrosse, so it was an Italian dinner.

We headed back to the hotel to consume wine and beer and wait for the rest of the group to arrive. Elizabeth and I made an attempt to watch the Olympics, but quickly learned that NBC is nonexistent in LaCrosse. Fran, Megan, Ying, Susan, Kristen, Michelle and Joe arrived around 10 with a possum birthday cake and more wine. Finally to sleep at midnight.

After waking up early to send off Van 1 it was back to the hotel to eat and organize the van. Ying consumed more birthday cake, I think I have found someone who eats as much as I do. With Van 2 all decorated and packed, we headed towards the point where we would start but had to stop for more food along the way. I was the final runner in the rotation, so waited all day before my turn. I got to cheer on my team and watch them run through the heat of the day. My first leg was 8.9 miles and started just after 7pm, perfect timing it was cooling down, the sun was setting and it was sprinkling. Then after a mile uphill the downpour with strong headwinds hit me. I still managed to keep my pace and come into transition with an 8mm pace to the sounds of "Happy Birthday" being sung. I passed the bracelet on to Janice and we headed out for a drive.

Time to eat again, and have a beer before getting a little sleep. Elizabeth and I attempted to sleep in the van, Megan on the tennis court and the others on the gym floor. Then came the call, Jeannie was on her way we had to function again. Time to wake everyone up and open the diet Mt. Dew. It was now 2:30am the night running was happening. Elizabeth was up first and ran past many corn fields, she managed to avoid the corn bears and safely make it to transition to Megan. Now onto my second leg. This one I was looking forward to, 3 miles of flat with a nice downhill at the end right before crossing the bridge over the river. Not sure the pace since my Garmin decided to die on me, but I finished in about 22 min.

We hit the hotel for much needed shower, a little sleep and some cuddling with Ying (little did we realize that we had crashed so hard that we were nearly face to face) and more food of course. We hit our final legs and forgot how tired we were, the craziness continued. Elizabeth came in to get her beer that was open and waiting, Megan flashed everyone as she ran uphill (actually she flashed twice during the relay), Ying took a wrong turn (thanks to a volunteer) and added and extra mile + and a tough hill. I was excited to run the final leg of the relay, this one 5.8 miles with a lot of hills and part of it through downtown, got some strange looks as I ran past wedding photos, theater goers, outdoor diners, etc. Kept making each runner ahead of me a target and ended up passing 7 people! Ran about 7:45 pace and we crossed the finish line at 4:15 as a team about 1 hour ahead of schedule. Matt and Morgan were waiting at the finish line and had met the team by the time I had arrived, I guess the SPP shirts gave it away.

Had a great time at Megan's more food, Momo dress up, and a late night considering I was up a 5 am to coach the next morning. Still need sleep today as I am trying to recall the weekend's events I am sure I am missing a lot due to lack of sleep...

All I can say is what a great way to spend my B-Day


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