My First Ragnar Relay
Before this weekend, Ragnar was nothing but a window decal I would see on the backs of cars displayed proudly. I've always been curious about the butterfly-like logo and what it was exactly, but never enough to research it on my own. Now I know.
A few months ago a client and friend at the studio I teach at invited me to be on her Ragnar relay team. I was both honored and scared that she thought I was a stronger runner than I am. I was ecstatic to be included and I even ended up roping in my boyfriend and another strong running couple I know before I even knew exactly what I was getting into.
The next few months flew by and before I knew it, it was go-time. I had trained a lot previous to our travels through Costa Rica, but not much between then and race day. The night before, we had the most amazing pre-race dinner where we hung out, carb-loaded and went over all of the race logistics. If you are reading this and don't know what the hell I'm talking about, Ragnar is a 200ish mile relay race completed by groups of 12 people, each completing three legs of the race. The race starts around 7:30am on Friday and is completed through the night, into the next afternoon. To give you perspective, my legs began at 3:30pm Friday, 1:15am Saturday morning and finished with another around 11am Saturday. Our particular course was the Northwest Passage - from Blaine, WA to Langley, WA. You can check out the course here.
Friday afternoon was when my half of the group took over at our first exchange in Bellingham, WA. My first leg was a hot one and my nerves got the best of me for about the first 3 miles of my 5.4 total mileage, but I finished. It was 100% exhilarating and nerve-racking to receive the baton-bracelet from my teammate and 100% satisfying to pass it on to the next. My second run was through downtown Anacortes, WA in the middle of the night, so it was cool, but also dark. It's a good thing I'm pretty familiar with the town because you could hardly see anything or where you were going. It was a short leg and I ran it much faster, giving me the confidence boost I needed for my last and longest leg of the race. My third and final run was around 11, so I knew I was in for another hot and sweaty jaunt. This one brought the hills too. Right off the bat I had to climb out of Bush Point Beach and then journeyed over two more bad boys before making my way towards the next exchange. I had finished.
When you're not running, you're in the van with your four other teammates either recovering from your run, cheering on your teammate that's running their leg of the race, eating, or trying to sleep. There wasn't very much sleep by the way. I crashed after the first half of our group took over for the second time for about 45 minutes and it was on to the next exchange. Before our group would take over for the last time, we stopped over at Coopeville High School where we all got in about 2 hours of sleep.
Everyone together crossed the finish line with our final runner and we celebrated our huge feat we had just accomplished. I haven't done anything as team-oriented as the Ragnar Relay since I played sports in school. Everyone on my team was strong, funny, kind, encouraging, and supportive. We bonded over the entire experience, laughed our asses off, and became stronger athletes. Our team completed the race in 30 hours and 11 minutes, coming in at 26th place out of 153 total teams.
Day one we were looking at each other asking why we agreed to do this crazy thing and just 15 minutes after we crossed the finished we were already talking about next year. I can't wait to run Ragnar again and PR all of my personal times. I'm still not sure the car decal will make it on my back window, but I now understand the true accomplishment that it is.
I promise to keep you updated on Ragnar 2019.