Monday, July 23, 2012

Ragnar Northwest Passage - A quick recap

As I mentioned earlier this week I unexpectedly got the opportunity to run my second Ragnar relay this weekend, so with a short time to prepare and pack I was off early Thursday for Washington and what would be a wonderful run with perfect weather. I arrived Thursday afternoon and was met by a friend at the airport while we waited for her husband (who was our van driver) to arrive home after a 20 hour flight home from China. We grabbed to rest of the group, loaded the van and drove up to stay the night near the race start. After a short night of sleep we met van 1 at the start to send them off. I was runner 12 and wouldn't be running for about 10 more hours.

I have added a few pictures but find discussing Ragnar difficult to keep short. So here is my focus on running, but soon to come with be Ragnar in pictures along with some non running aspects of the race…

Leg 1: 10.8 miles (Very Difficult)1:22:56
I got the handoff around 6pm as the rain was finishing and got my first chance to run in cool weather again! 60F and cloudy what a change from the 90F+ and humid. The runner before me took off at a full sprint, and we commented on his speed, wondering aloud if he would continue like that when his teammate informed us he would. My run was rather flat and headed along fields into Bellingham to the high school for our hand off to Van 1. I took off and just wanted to run what felt good but soon I was catching people and making it my goal to run from one to the next until I caught SpeedyMan who wanted to know our pace and commented how he ran too fast. I soon saw my van and handed back my jacket before turning on and spotting the family of goats and horses along the road. I soon crossed over the highway and came to the sign I would love to see “1 Mile to go”, time to push so we can eat dinner. Finally I see our next runner, hand off to her and I am done with Leg 1, yay! Time for dinner and hopefully a little sleep.

Leg 2: 8.9 Miles (Very Difficult) 1:12:55
After many failed attempts at sleep and sporadic naps while others ran I was ready to go again around 5am. Normally running at this time would be simple: wake up and go (especially since I was already dressed in running clothes) but knowing my body only hands about 4-5 miles without food I wasn’t sure. Earlier I ate a little granola and some diet Mt. Dew (the one time when my nasty habit returns). I hit the port-a-potty quick only to be hearing my # and name, I ran out to see my runner waiting. Oops, I was quickly off in full gear, headlamp, blinkies and vest. This time I was running hills and some pretty good ones, yikes! They just kept coming, every time I thought I had seen the last I found another. I soon saw my van and as expected handed off my jacket (I never believed them it really wasn’t cold running in the drizzle and 59F. Running past the military base and along the shoreline and soon turned and saw the “1 mile to go” sign and knew I could give a little more. This time I was the one arriving to a missing runner, she soon appeared and I was done with leg 2. Time for a shower and more failed sleep attempts.

Leg 3: 4.7 Miles (Moderate) 37:00 ?? – no Garmin
The final runner has perks but also I am the last to finish and everyone else is done and relaxing while I still wait. Another few hours of snacking and cheering as the sun came out and brought warmer temps, still wonderful with sunny and 80 with a slight breeze. As I wait I talk with another woman runner who happens to the be 14 weeks pregnant and doing the ultra relay with only a team of 6, wow! I grab the handoff and go to quickly discover my legs are tired as I hit the first of many hills. The hills combined with about 3 miles of slanted road are making for a tough run, I turn into Langley and discover level road but Saturday afternoon crowds and inattentive drivers as a car nearly backs up into me. Another hill but I know the end is near as I pass another van who informs me 1.2 miles to go and soon the “1 mile to go” sign as I reach the top of the hill to a wonderful view of the water. I soon hear the cheering and see my team who all join me to cross together.

My unexpected race turned into a great weekend with running, friends and great scenery. I was never so happy to sleep on a couch Saturday night! Sunday morning before leaving town I had the best brunch at Café Flora (vegetarian restaurant with many gluten free options) as I returned to my normal eating pattern which had so easily gone away with 36 hours in a van, despite planning and good attempts I ate some gluten and dairy as lack of sleep munchies won out over smart food choices, time to get back on track!

4 comments:

  1. Awesome recap!!! So glad you had a great time!!!

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    1. It was so much fun, glad I decided to go :-)

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  2. Nice job! These always sound like such tough relays but yet such great experiences.

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    1. It was so much fun! Tough to run with tired legs and tired body but great to do :-)

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