For my 3rd Ragnar I was once again Runner 12, meaning I was the last runner to start and run. We drove down to meet Van 1 at the first major exchange with a van full of food and running gear!
Leg 1 Very Hard: 6.2 miles 45:56 (7:25 avg pace) Pretty sad that this is a 10K PR on a course like this, guess this is what happens when the last 10K I ran was in 2007!
I began running around 6:30p in bright sun and was not thrilled to see my leg was partially on a gravel, dust covered road. I even ran in sunglasses to keep my eyes clear of the flying dirt but yikes I could tell my lungs were not happy! I started out a good pace and the first 2 miles were easy and flat: 7:15, 7:20, then came the uphills on gravel yikes! This got tough but I kept running: 8:45, 8:50 (yep my lack of hill training showed!). But check out the map and Mile 5! 6:30, 6:40. I pass the One Mile to Go sign and try to pass the guy in front of me to make 15 passes. Success and there is my next runner. I pass the bracelet on and they are off.
We are now the off van until about 12:30am and head to find food. I was thrilled to find a small diner in the middle of nowhere that served gluten free food, everyone enjoyed there pasta while I had the best GF veggie sandwich with sweet potatoes (yep they get me every time!). We got to the next major exchange, cleaned up a little and tried to sleep but instead failed at that and talked instead. Soon we got the text saying runner 6 was headed our way…I continued to try for sleep as the others in my van ran but it wasn’t happening. At about 2am we ran through a college town as the kids stumbled home from bars giving us all strange looks. Around 5:30am I was up again.
Leg 2 Hard: 4.4 miles (I took a detour to make 5.0 miles!) 40:42 (8:09 avg pace)
The weather was so much nicer: 50F and slight wind! Long sleeves and shorts were perfect. I started running my rolling hill stretch and soon got to watch the sun rise. I turned from my extreme downhill and was soon running across the river crossing into Minnesota. But I knew this meant repeating the same hill on the other side! After the steep hill I turned and was quickly reminded of the continuous hill I had to run. Around mile 4 I saw a sign and in my sleep deprived mode turned only to be told by the 3rd van to pass me that I had to turn around, this was the van turn only! A little extra credit I guess. I got back on track and was soon seeing the end. A slight downhill and the bracelet was passed J
We were once again off to the next big exchange in hopes of some coffee and sleep. We got there and decided that it was now daytime and sleep was not happening for a few of us. We headed on a mission to find food and once again a great meal: roasted veggies and potatoes with scrambled eggs and salsa and side of fruit. Of course there was plenty of coffee!
The heat grew and the conversations got a little crazier as the collective lack of sleep and caffeine overload caught up. We finally heard from Van 1 and soon we were off again…
Leg 3 Moderate: 4.8 miles 34:40 (7:14 avg pace)
It was hot and 3:30pm, I was feeling the lack of sleep but knew I had to keep running. Unfortunately there is one area in the cities where I hate running and this is it! No clue why, maybe because it is part of many races, a place I trained many times, who knows but I avoid it. About 2 miles in I turned and ran along the river, the path I swear was moving under my feet, yep tired! I just kept going passing runners and happy to know I was still moving. Soon I could see the finish in the distance. I see O off the side and High 5! Soon we were all crossing the finish together…and done!
How the heck did I manage that on no sleep? Each year the sleep gets less but somehow I manage better. I wonder what future Ragnars will bring…