Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ragnar Tennessee Relay, More of Day 1

My first leg may have been over, but we still had a LONG way to go. Literally.

Best Running Friends sporting the Ragnar Logo.
First, we had received our temporary tattoos from our Swag Bag and we had all applied them during Melissa's leg. I've never gotten a real tattoo and probably never will as I do not like needles, BUT, it was fun to have one for a few days. Meanwhile, with the vans parked, Kate, Greg and Richard were "tagging" all the vans. We didn't realize that this was something you were supposed to do and we got really upset after the start that "Gabe" joined our van while we weren't around (a name added to our van).

I just realized that this is my third post about my Ragnar experience, but did not really explain Ragnar for those of you that don't know. Amanda had seen/heard that Ragnar Relay is a party in a van with a side of running. Perfect description. This was taken from their website:

Ragnar is the overnight running relay race that makes testing your limits a team sport. A team is made up of 6-12 individuals; each individual runs 3 legs. The legs of the race vary in difficulty and distance, from 3-8 miles, allowing elite and novice runners to run together. Over 2 days and 1 night, teams run across 200 miles of the country’s most scenic terrain. Pair that with crazy costumes, inside jokes, a great finish line party and unforgettable stories. Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it Ragnar.

Couldn't get enough of the beautiful views.
Exchange 4
So when we left off in my second post in The Ragnar Series (Day 1, the first part) I had made it down the mountain and Kate had taken off on her leg. We started on our way and met up with her about half way to cheer for her. Cheering and supporting our runners (and the other runners, too) I think was just as much fun as the actual running part. This was my first team experience with running and I LOVED it! We got to the next exchange for Greg to warm-up and Kurt (our most fantastic driver) had rigged up a pseudo changing room for us to use to get out of our sweaty running clothes. We had taken baby wipes since it would be many miles and hours between showers.

Side note: if you ever do a relay like this, use a driver! It was AWESOME to have a dedicated driver so we could relax between runs. And Kurt? So helpful and supportive. He made sure we had what we needed before, during, and after our runs. I'd use him for a driver anytime! We were super lucky as a team to be able to find a dedicated driver for each van, and it just so happened that they are married. Thanks Kurt and Mary for hauling us crazies all over BFE Tennessee all weekend. Plus there and back.

"Van Support" brought new meaning to us as we filled waters, took extra clothes, etc. Originally, we thought van support would be cheering. So, while we were cheering for Greg,  I could tell he was trying to get rid of something.... yep, he handed off his Heart Rate Monitor. No need for that in the mountains of TN, I can only imagine how much it was yelling at him about his level of exertion! Those "rolling hills" we saw on the elevation charts were NOT the rolling hills we were expecting! We yelled and cheered and acted like lunatics a little more, then loaded up into the van to head to the next exchange.

Exchange 6, the hand-off between vans 1 & 2
We got George Jorge Richard out on his way and headed to Exchange 6, otherwise known as hand off to van 2 so they could (finally) start running. I was lucky as one of the first runners as I didn't have to wait around all day like runners 7-12 did. Do you know how hard it is for runners to wait for their turn to run?! After the exchange was our down-time to eat, rest and head toward Exchange 12, the next Van exchange.

Jamie sporting the flags. They were mandatory to cross the road
and we had a lot of fun with them.




Now, during these past 36 hours that we have all been together, we have (obviously) gotten to know each other a lot more. We've shared stories, jokes and had a lot of inside jokes. I'd love to share it all, but honestly, if you weren't there, you probably wouldn't understand and/or appreciate half of it. Thanks to technology, much of it was already shared via "The Twitter" and Facebook. And let's face it, some things are just MUCH funnier at 2am.

Our van found a mexican restaurant for chips and salsa plus everyone else had dinner. I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my sensitive stomach thinking that Mexican, no sleep and a longer run would not mix well. After we made our way to Exchange 12, we tried to sleep. Honest, we did. But, it was relatively early in the evening (around 7:00pm or so if my memory is right) and we were honestly still hyped up from the experience. Greg was the smart one (yeah, yeah, I admitted it)....he left the van and headed into the gym for some sleep. We decided to try stretching out in the van to sleep. I MAY have slept for about five minutes....

We were getting punchy...Melissa climbed into the back to sleep on the cooler...the guys parked next to us were sleeping on their roof...feet were going where they should not go...madness, I tell you, madness!

Melissa sleeping on a cooler. "I swear it's comfy"


It was finally time for the van exchange again. We met up with the van 2 runners, and Melissa headed out for her night time leg. Wow, it got COLD! I was starting to get nervous about my next leg, but happy to get out and cheer for Melissa coming into the exchange. My legs were still feeling sore after my sprint down the mountain and knew that the "rolling hills" would be more rolling than the rolling hills that I usually run in flat Ohio.

The waiting was done....time to run!

9 comments:

  1. I really am enjoying how you are writing these! Can't wait to read the next chapter! Awesome!

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    1. Thanks, Laurie! So hard to NOT write everything. But, I try to keep the posts PG.... I do have nieces that can read! :)

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  2. I love the flag pic! And I'm totally reliving this as I read. When do we start packing for the next one?!

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    1. Packing commences...in 9 months? and the flags, LOVE the flags :)

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  3. Loving the recap! I just signed up for my first Ragnar next year on Cape Cod and can't wait!

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    1. I would LOVE to run Cape Cod, too bad it's so far! You'll have a great time. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have about a Ragnar Relay, too.

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  4. Being in Van 2 really stinks! I was in van 2 for TWO Ragnars and it was hard, the first Ragnar was a little easier because we had a driver, the second Ragnar no drive - A LOT more stress! Always opt for a driver! Loving the recaps!!!

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    1. Thanks, Deanna! We LOVED having 2 dedicated drivers and will definitely do that again. Being in van 1, you wait at the end, Van2, wait at the beginning. Lots of waiting!

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  5. I can't believe I somehow missed the follow up chapters! Enjoying catching up on them.

    I agree that with relays a dedicated driver is definitely the way to go!

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