Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Ragnar Relay ADK

If you've ever taken a few minutes on my blog you'll find that I have a super long bucket list.  Among a million other things, one of my goals as to complete a running relay reach (either Ragnar or Reach the Beach).  I hadn't planned on running it this year and had offered to be a volunteer for a local team. After one of their runners backed out, I was invited to join them.

At first I wasn't sure if I could pull it off, it would mean having to take a day off from school within the first month, but after remembering my bucketlist I decided I would go for it and committed to The Herd O' Turtles.

I had met Jen in real life back in August (via blogging/twitter) when we decided to go hiking & I knew Nicki on twitter, but otherwise had not met anyone until our team meeting the week before the race. The night before Ragnar ADK we met at our captains house for a pasta dinner sponsored by Rana Pasta (delicious) and for some van decorating.

The perk of being van 2 was that I went back home, slept and didn't have to leave my house until well after the first runner had started running. 

We arrived at exchange 6 with plenty of time to check into the safety briefing and to spend time tagging other vans with our magnet and taking photos.

Once our van was in action we spent our time cheering on our runners (and everyone else) at various parts on the leg.  We would check in on the runner around the halfway point and then scoot up to the exchange for the next runner to have a chance get ready.

While I am from upstate NY and I spend a lot of time in the ADK, it was awesome to see it as a passenger (thanks to our amazing driver)

At about 3pm, it was my leg time. I had a 4.7 run through the city of Glens Falls, ending just across the street from Davidson's Brewery ( I wish I had packed my growler) 

even though it was only a 4+ mile run - still nice to see!

I felt great on my run.  I knew I was cruising but since I had over 12 hours before my next leg I wasn't too worried.  Sadly I didn't have any "kills" on this run, despite the fact that I felt like I was hauling.  I could only imagine if I were going slower how many people would have caught up to me.

Our next two runners finished off their legs and we met up at Million Dollar Beach in Lake George.  We briefly saw Van 1 at the exchange before heading to dinner and for a quick rest at a hotel we were hot racking with our van one.  

By 11pm we were back on the road and heading north to prepare for our second legs.

The night went from fog to clear and back to fog just in time for my leg.  While I looked at my legs elevation, I clearly hadn't understood what I was looking at.  I was under the impression that there was one small hill and a large downhill.  It wasn't the case.  It was 8.3 miles of hills. In the dark. In fog.  My headlamp was useless against the fog and I struggled to see anything in front of me.  I tripped multiple times, but thankfully never fell.  

I had started my run in a fleece, tank, and tights.  Within 2 miles I had taken the fleece off and was looking forward to ditching it.  At 3 miles I came across my team van parked on the side of the road.  I waited a moment to see if they would hop out.  and when they didn't, I crossed over, opened the door and scared the hell out of everyone who had fallen asleep in the van.  I threw my fleece in, asked for my chew's and water and was off.

I kept decent time considering the conditions and even had my one and only kill for the weekend. 

The next two legs seemed to go by quickly and soon we were at the next major exchange to turn the bracelet back over to van 1.  By now the sun was up & it was turning into a gorgeous morning.  I claimed a spot in the barn and went out to the food truck to order some breakfast.  I ran into my friend Jordan from college and another friend from high school.  We spent some time swapping road stories and catching up before I went to my sleeping bag and slept for about an hour. 

By the time we got up, the fairgrounds had cleared out.  We knew we still had a ways to go until it was our turn to run, but we decided to clean up/pack up and start heading towards the next major exchange. 

turtle pile up

Each time someone finished their last leg, you could see how excited & proud they were,  I was pumped to finally get out there and run again.  This time the weather was significantly different, it had been cloudy and cool on my first run, foggy and cool on my second, and now sunny and warm.  I don't do great in the sun/heat but was able to power through.  The road was beautiful & was nice since I actually knew where I was for a change.  

Despite being tired, my legs being tired, and there still being hills I managed to keep a decent pace.  I did walk twice, once to readjust the water bottle I had and another to enjoy the view.  Considering I didn't walk at all on my other two legs I was okay with it.

Our last two runners went and conquered and after we sent runner 12 out, we joined up with our van one near the finish area.  We didn't have to wait super long before our girl was on her way in & we were done.  

I love my team, they were an amazing group of women who were all incredibly supportive despite just meeting them all within the week.  We had some serious convos, funny ones, and down right delirious and I look forward to seeing these ladies again in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I love your pictures from this! It sounds like you had a great team. Great job on knocking something else off your bucket list!