Monday, November 19, 2012

What?! There's More? Night Running during Day 2 Ragnar TN Relay

When I last left off (end of race day 1), we were taking over from van 2 again. It was dark. It was cold. We weren't really sure what was going to happen out there. BUT, we all had our safety gear on. Ragnar takes safety seriously and I thank them for that. We all had our reflective vests on. Definitely gorgeous, if I do say so myself. Runners had to wear headlamps and blinking butt lights. Unfortunately, we don't have many pictures from the next few hours. We got Melissa and Jamie out for their 2nd legs, stopped half way and got to my exchange.

Quite a difference in temperate from the afternoon's wait for leg 1! It was approximately 40*, but the sky was clear and gorgeous. The spotters thankfully had headlamps to try to figure out the team number of the runner coming in, but there were often difficulties in translation. Jamie came down the hill and we completed another handoff.

Unfortunately, my exchange and the next several were in the "Quiet Zone". Ragnar asked us to please be quiet in a few towns and counties as they were in danger of losing their permits. It sure was hard to quietly cheer for our runners, but we did the best we could.

Finally, I was able to warm-up! I took off down, then up, then around the corner. After I turned that corner, complete darkness. I was by myself, again, but once my eyes, ears and brain adjusted to the darkness, I LOVED it! It was so peaceful and quiet. The stars were unbelievable! At one point, I thought I saw a shooting star but figured that I was probably hallucinating. (Later on I did find out that there was a meteor shower, so I DID see it!).

I got passed by a super fast guy and we talked for a few minutes about how gorgeous it was out there. Unfortunately, I got passed again and never saw anyone else. It did make it really nice to see their blinking lights up ahead and know that I wasn't completely alone, though. My legs were actually pretty lonely. Or maybe I wasn't fast enough to see other runners? Nah, I'll go with lonely based on our start time.

The only two things I knew about this leg were that I would be running through a forrest (too bad it was dark!) and running across a lake. Lots more ups and downs. My poor legs liked the up more than the down after the beating I gave them during leg 1 (read about that here). I was so happy to see my van in the middle of my leg! Honestly, I can't remember if I saw them once or twice, but when I finally found the bridge and the lake, they were on the other side. I was partially afraid of the bridge as there were a ton of potholes on it.

Funny know how your brain stops communicating well when you're tired? Try being sleep deprived, tired from a hard effort run earlier and in the middle of another tough run. Yep, my brain could not get thoughts to my mouth. I was very concerned that I get the information to Katie that the bridges were in bad shape. When I saw my team, I yelled to them to tell Katie to be careful on the bridge. "Tell Katie there are.......umm....CRATERS! on the bridge" and I continued up the hill. As I made my way, the word craters just kept rolling around in my mind. Later on in the night, i finally came up with the word potholes and brought it up. Jamie said "we didn't even question the word craters".  However, Katie didn't have a bridge, Greg did. Hopefully he paid attention to the craters. :)

I was very ready for my favorite sign to appear. I could have kissed it! There are no mile markers like a road race. The only thing you see other than unmanned water stops are:
I will be buying the t-shirt at the next Ragnar that we do. Yes, I did just say next.

Overall, a great run. My body can do so much more than I give it credit for. 

While we waited for Greg to come into the exchange, we decided to utilize the paved parking lot. Rolling, ibuprofen, some rest and we'd be up for our 3rd Legs.

This is how we "roll" at 2am...

Leg 2 
6.73 miles 
Total Time: 1:03:02
Avg pace: 9:23
Elevation Gain: 247
Elevation Loss: 2:09

Definitely not as bas as my first leg, but some good up and downs.

** In case you missed them and want to read more about Ragnar, check out these posts:
Getting to TN
Running Down a Mountain
More Day 1 Fun


  1. Wow, your second leg had much more rolls than mine. Funny since it was the same road!
    (BTW, I got my picture by turning my Garmin map to satellite view.)

  2. It was definitely a tough but fun leg after the first one!

  3. Absolutely love the craters story!


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