Ya’ll, I just completed my first (and probably final) Ragnar Relay Race a week ago, and let me just say it was a beast! Full of both physical and mental challenges along the way in HOT HOT HOT temperatures, which I was most certainly not accustomed to during training! Running from Miami to Key West was incredibly exhilarating and utterly exhausting all at the same time.
For those that don’t know what exactly a Ragnar is, let me try to explain in a couple sentences. Basically it’s a team of 12 (2 vans of 6 each) who run 200ish miles, with each person running three legs of various distances, and not sleeping for roughly 36 hours. (Disclaimer: I should say, sleeping minimally for 36 hours. We did get a 3 hour cat nap in at 2:40 a.m. on Saturday)
Needless to say you can’t exactly train for this type of event. You can obviously train for the runs, but the lack of sleep and the minimal eating involved is a whole-nother level of CRAZY! And here is the kicker…. people ABSOLUTELY love it! True story.
Being that this was my first Ragnar, I learned quite a bit and had a WONDERFUL team of girls to hang with along the way. The amount of planning that two of our fearless leaders, Margaret and Jenn, tasked themselves with was invaluable and my Ragnar experience would have been awful had it not been for their astute attention to details and helpful guidance! Thank goodness for those two! Here is play-by-play of each leg for your reading pleasure. Enjoy the rundown (get it?!?!) and Ragnar-On peeps! Also, if you ever have a chance to go to Key West…DO IT! Beautiful sights and a relaxing atmosphere! Consider flying though, not running.
Leg #1- 2.9 miles-Miami Fairgrounds area
Starting out I was psyched to get going for the first leg. It was fairly warm, but given the adrenaline I was feeling, I didn’t care too much. My run started at approximately 11:30am-ish and snaked through the streets of Miami, ending at the Fairgrounds. The scenery wasn’t GREAT, but the fact that after my leg we were going to grab lunch, made me run with a fairly quick pace. First leg was over and done with before I knew it!
Leg #2-7.8 miles-Tavernia, FL
My second leg didn’t start until 11:45pm so needless to say I was feeling a little tired and ready to get this leg over with. The sidewalks we were running on were not paved very well, so I had to catch myself a couple times from stumbling. Also, I hadn’t worn a headlamp during any of my training runs (oops!), and that stupid thing wouldn’t stay on my big ol’ head, so that was interesting to say the least. I will however say that I refused to stop and walk during any of my legs, thanks in large part to my BFF, Angela, who talked to me the entire time on the phone for this portion of the race. It helped TONS to keep me distracted and pushing toward the end goal of getting to the next exchange! After I finished, my van drove 30 miles to our mid-race hotel for a quick 3 hour nap and shower. It was by far the best $30 I spent the entire weekend. My head hit the pillow and didn’t move until it was time to wake up at 5:40 a.m.
Leg #3-2.0 miles- Summerland Key, FL
This was my shortest leg but definitely the toughest without a doubt! It started about 1:30 p.m. and was so incredibly hot and humid outside. I had already ran an extra mile with one of our other girls to help her get through her run about an hour prior so I knew I was going to be sweating like a gorilla during my leg. Folks, I was not wrong! I literally shuffle-stepped my way through these final 2 miles, and thankfully again I had someone on the phone, my hubs, keeping me distracted. My legs had obviously had enough, and fatigue had definitely kicked in. At the end of the run, all I could think about was eating a full meal, and that literally got me to the finish with a smile on my face!
‘Til next time-