I got some great news today. I was selected to be a Ragnar Relay Ambassador for 2013!! You may ask what is a Ragnar? In a nutshell it's a team running event. It is either a team of 6 or 12 people and they run a 200 mlle relay! It really is a great event. For the most part it is a self supported event and there is such a great camaraderie amongst your teammates and other teams! Of course picking the right team to run with is key!
Last year was my very first Ragnar Relay and I was a member of a 6 person team, an ultra team. It was the most difficult thing I have ever done BUT we prevailed and our team came in second place in our division.
Anyhow, this is such an honor to be an Ambassador for such a fun event. I will be promoting the event at various race expos and in races. I will also help future Ragnarians prepare for their Ragnar event. it will be alot of work over the next year but it will be well worth it.
Here is a write up of my first Ragnar Experience this past June..it was brutal and I was in tears at the end...BUT it was worth every single tear shed. :)
Ragnar Relay 2012 – Ultra!!
I’m not even sure where to start with this one. This was probably one of the most difficult running events I have ever participated in. Our teamconsisted of 6 runners each of us running a total of 28-36 miles. I was the second runner, running 33.9 miles total miles (10.1/10.1/13.4). Going into this, I thought that I would be okay since my legs are not incredibly long and I would think of myself as a consistent runner, but boy did this really test my mental fortitude.
Legs 3 and 4 – 10.1 miles: 1:39 (9:52/mile)
Not really much to note on these first two legs as it was pretty early on in the race and I was just so pumped to run. Leg 3 was kind of boring, it was up and down on open roads. It was warm, but nothing like what other runners had to endure in the later legs. Leg 4 was pretty hilly and on trails. The trail was shaded on some parts and completely open on other parts. It warmed up pretty quickly, but luckily once I was at the point that I could not take it any longer, I was finished. ☺
Legs 15 and 16 – 10.1 miles: 1:33 (9:15/mile)
This was my favorite leg to run! It was a night run and I was so excited to run wearing a headlamp and reflective vest. What I did not expect were the amount of hills I had to run. Leg 15 was ALL hills up and down for 5.3 miles. Thankfully it was much cooler out and no sun. This was the first time in the race that I actually passed a lot of runners. ☺ I cruised through exchange 16 and yelled out my number and said I was an ultra runner, and I never heard such a loud roar from everyone at the exchange. Got tons of high fives as I zipped through onto leg 16. I was so happy to feel that leg 16 did not have as many ups and downs. I did slow down a bit on this leg, but still managed to finish with a kick! ☺
Legs 27 and 28 – 13.4 miles: 2:45 (12:18/mile)
One word to describe this run: HUMBLING and HOT! I was looking forward to running this since these were the legs that would cross us over the state line. What I did not expect was how badly my body just couldn’t get moving, despite what my head wanted. By this time, it had already been 24 hours since we started and zero sleep. My teammates and I were getting on each others nerves and I my patience was unraveling, so going into this final leg I really needed to blow of some steam and take advantage of being out of the van. After the first mile of this last leg, I knew it was going to be a struggle. I started walking after 2 miles but thankfully another ultra runner caught up with me and kept me distracted to exchange 28. Once out of that exchange, he took off and I was left back to my run/walk. About 4 miles into this leg, I completely gave up. I was out of water, incredibly tired, incredibly hot, and my feet were done! I sent a message to my group and thankfully they showed up and gave me some Gatorade and some words of encouragement that helped me finish this final leg….I initially was not too happy about this, but after talking to a friend today, she put things into perspective for me, despite having to run/walk for 13.4 miles I still finished.
Overall, I really enjoyed this experience. I learned quite a bit about myself and this really pushed me emotionally, mentally and physically! I am already planning my team for next year, but will more than likely stick to a 12 member team.32 hours later we earned this bad boy! This also doubles up as a bottle opener. :)In other running news, I am a week away from the Chicago Marathon and I'm getting really excited to be a race pacer this year. I've been in touch with my team mates and we are all looking forward to another great race!Tomorrow is our last group long run, 8 miles....Ahhhh that's it....for now!Happy Trails!!
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