Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Ragnar Relay Was a Blast!

I mentioned last week that one of the Team Bear and Donuts members couldn't run the Ragnar Relay this past weekend and I took her spot.  My legs of the race were the shortest of everyones and I was very happy about it because I haven't run more than 7.5 miles since about February.  So, my goal was to have some good runs and have fun.  Here's the short of it:  the race was great, the team members are new friends, the volunteers are awesome, and sleeping in a van is not my favorite.

We all piled into the van at 6 a.m. and took off for Woodstock, NY.  I didn't know anyone in the van so it was like being the new kid at school.  It didn't take long to find some common ground (other than running, that is):  football!  We all know how I love football.  When we got to the start we checked in, I had to do a little paperwork to be on the team and then it was time.  I was running leg #4, 16, and 28 so I had some time before running.
The starting line

 the van
Finally it was my turn to run.  I handed my camera off to a teammate and got ready.  I had seen the map of where I was running, but I didn't even have a clue as to where we were so I did what I could.  I also don't train on hills and boy were there hills.  Run #1:  2.7 miles, total elevation gain:  266 feet, total elevation loss:  291 feet, net change:  -25 feet.  The elevation gain started at .5 mi and ended about a mile later.  I started at 10:17 a.m. under cloudy skies and who knows what temp.
 proof that I stretch
 Oh my...there's a video camera rolling!
 I'm off.  Garmin on one wrist.  Orange Ragnar Relay official wrist baton on the other wrist.

  • Mile 1:  11:20 min mile
  • Mile 2:  9:53 min mile
  • Mile 3:  9:04 min mile (really .71 mi in 6:23.83)
I finished and was happy to be done!
    Every six miles there was a major exchange.  Van 1 and van 2 met up and I finally saw Amanda.  It was a bummer we were in different vans, but we made due by txting back and forth.  

     Suzy and Amanda

    I ate some great perogies at a little church where they didn't speak English to each other, but were treating the runners great.  Homemade perogies are delicious!  Once we all ate we went to the next major exchange and rested in the grass for a while.  I don't think I actually slept, but I did rest as much as possible because leg two was coming up quickly.

    My second run was 5.8 miles and started just after the sun set.  We had to wear extra reflective gear (vest, head lamp and butt blinker).  I was in town for this run and part of it was on a nice bike trail.  There was a baseball game going on (the kids looked to be in late elementary school) and I really wanted to stop and watch because it was warm and muggy.  This leg was primarily flat, except the pesky hill at mile 4.75 and the hill to the chute (which was unexpected).  
    • Mile 1:  9:43 min mile starting at 7:52 p.m.
    • Mile 2:  9:31 min mile
    • Mile 3:  10:30 min mile
    • Mile 4:  10:00 min mile
    • Mile 5:  10:47 min mile
    • Mile 6:  11:47 min mile (really .89 mi in 10:39 min)

     So happy to be done with two runs
    Things got interesting when everyone in van 1 finished with our second runs.  A high priority was to find some food.  We stopped at the Metro 84 Diner and it was the slowest diner I've ever been to.  I may have been tired and hungry, but waiting ~45 minutes for diner food was a bit long.  We went to the next major exchange (with a few driving direction mishaps along the way).  I managed to get a little sleep in the car before my run, but sleeping in a moving minivan doesn't equate to the best couple hours of sleep I've ever had.

    My last run was a nice easy 3.1 miles with only a few hills.  It was still before 7 a.m. so I had to wear all the night gear, but I was lucky because I was running while the sun was rising!  It was cool with a nice breeze to boot.  My run started at 5:25 a.m.

    • Mile 1:  9:43 min mi
    • Mile 2:  9:46 min mi
    • Mile 3:  9:52 min mi
    • 0.1 mi:  1:23 min
    Since the sun was coming up so I ran with my camera.  I decided to take a few pictures along the way and it wasn't until the last mile that it was light enough for me to take pictures.  

    the best sign on the course!
     a nice running route
     all decked out ready for the finish line

    The team planned great and rented a hotel room at the next major exchange!  I took a hot shower and put on clean clothes; it was amazing.  I napped for a little while, ate a huge Belgian waffle and then we headed to the finish line.  I don't know how long we were there, but when our final racer was coming up to the finish line we got to join him and we all ran across the finish line together!

     a table of medals
     5.7 ounces of fun running
     Amanda and I showing off the new bling

    I can't wait to see the video that is being compiled.  I can only imagine it will be a keeper!  When I get any info on how the team did as a whole I'll post about it.  My takeaway from this experience:  if I ever have the opportunity to do another Ragnar Relay I won't even think twice about it - I'm in!!


    Darlene said...

    Sounds like so much fun!

    shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

    That sounds like so much fun! I would looove to do something like that. I enjoy adventure type racing. The challenge makes things sooo fun!


    Melissa said...

    Suzy that is awesome. I am so proud of you for running this last minute!

    ajh said...

    Congratulations! The relay I do is 100 miles and there are 6 of us - still 3 leg each - so no sleeping in the van. We are done by then. Glad you liked it so much.

    Karen R said...

    What a blast! And I think you are brave to run it at the last minute! Very cool :)

    And I love the RR "bling"!

    Julie said...

    Hi Suzy,
    Oh, I am so thrilled that you had a blast! I have been getting their postcards in the mail and have often thought of doing it too! I loved your race report and really enjoyed the fantastic pictures:) Congrats to you!!

    Jon (was) in Michigan said...

    That really is a fabulous race. I'm loving the very cool medals they gave out. Nice job!

    Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

    Congrats on finishing the relay! That sounds like so much fun! :)

    saundra said...

    Congrats on a great relay! Likes and sounds like loads of fun!

    Bethany + Ryan said...

    you guys did a GREAT job! looks like you had a blast! congrats!

    onelittletrigirl said...

    so fun! I love your photos. I want to do a Ragnar (or something like it) so so so so bad!!!!

    LMC said...

    Congratulations to you and the team! You guys did a great job and had fun at it too. Perfect! Rest up and have a great week.

    Molly said...

    I can tell by the way you're grinning in each photo that you had a great time! Very cool race report, congrats!!!

    J said...

    Sounds like an awesome time! So lucky you got to run it!! Great job!

    Badgergirl said...

    Sounds like a great experience! Glad you got a chance to run it. Nice job!