Monday, February 25, 2013

Ragnar Del Sol 2013

This last weekend I participated in the AZ Ragnar race, a 202 mile relay race with 12 runners on each team.  One of John's cousins invited me to be on his team months ago.  At first, I was reluctant, especially since the Phx marathon is this coming weekend.  But I'm glad I decided to join and had a great time.

The race started in Wickenburg, then traveled through Cave Creek, Glendale, Phoenix, Anthem, then over to Fountain Hills, then back west to Scottsdale, then down into Tempe and ended up at Tempe Town Lake. 

With 12 runners, each of us had 3 legs of the race to run.  We were divided into 2 vans. John's cousins and uncle were all in Van 1, and I was quite nervous to be in Van 2 with a bunch of strangers who I had never met before. But those strangers quickly became good friends, and we all got along just fine. I was relieved that their standards were similar to mine. (Being in a van with unpleasant people for 36 hours wouldn't be too fun).

Van 1 started the race and ran the first 6 legs of the race from Wickenburg to Cave Creek/Glendale area.  Then I took the baton (actually, we used a slap stick bracelet). Uncle Ralph came in the shoot, took off that bracelet and slapped it onto my arm and I was off.  My first leg was almost 8 miles, most of which was on dirt roads with lots of rolling hills. 

After the runners in my van finished our legs, around 9:30 PM, we crashed at a relatives house in Glendale and caught about a 2 hour nap, took showers, and were back in the van shortly after midnight.  My next run started around 1 AM, 2.8 miles, nice and easy (other than being a bit tired).  One of the teammtes' husbands rode his bike behind all the women on the team during our night runs, which I REALLY appreciated!  It helped me feel safe.

So after the rest of my van did their 2nd runs, it was about 7 AM.  We drove to the next major exchange in Fountain Hills at a high school where we'd start our last runs.  I tried to sleep in the van for about an hour but got really cold, so I went into the gym of the high school where the rest of my team was.   Hundreds of runners were on the floor of the gym, trying to catch a quick nap before their next runs.  It was quite a sight to behold.  And I was impressed with how quiet it was, how respectful everyone was of each other.  I occasionally heard a cell phone alarm go off, then I'd hear the sound of folding up a sleeping bag or letting the air out of a mattress.  One of my teammates lent me his air mattress (thank you, thank you!!), and I curled up with my little blanket and pillow for a quick nap.  It lasted about 1.5 hours, and I never really fell into a deep sleep, but it was nice to lay down and rest a bit. 

My last leg of the race started around 10:30 AM.  Again, Uncle Ralph came through the shoot, they called our team number, he slapped on the sweaty bracelet, and I took off for my last run of the race.  Almost 4 miles, and almost straight up STEEP hills. It about killed me, but that last half a mile it tapered down a bit and I was able to speed up to keep a good general pace. 

After the last runner was handed the bracelet, she ran the last 6 miles of the race towards the finish and the rest of the team joined her to cross the finish line.  Then we sat around, visited, stretched, and "talked shop" about other runs in the future, and had some food.  I got home just in time to see the kids, shower, then attend the adult session of Stake Conference.  Long few days!

I ended up doing well in general, and our team finished about 1.5 hours sooner than we expected.  Other than a small bumper car accident with Van 1, there were no injuries and everyone felt well.

Not sure how our team did overall.  And really, I don't care.  There were about 450 teams all together, each with 12 runners.  Thanks Brent for the invite!!!  It was an awesome experience.

Now I'm trying to mentally prepare for the marathon this coming Saturday.  Already have a few little butterflies flying around in my tummy.  Very excited!

1 comment:

  1. So much fun! I've been dying to talk with you about it, but it's been crazy over here. I got the scoop from mom and dad the other night, so it's pacified me some. :) Anyway...excited for you this weekend, too! Good luck!