Sunday, June 21, 2009

Guest Post - RAGNAR, Wasatch Back Relay

Hey, it's me, cyclist's wife. Since the only blogging I do is recipes, the cyclist was kind enough to let me take up a page or two over here. I think he thinks that if I put the experience in writing, I'll stop gabbing his ear off about it. (Haven't stopped talking about it since.) Anyway, I thought my cookies and cakes would feel a little self conscious around this healthy stuff. (I don't think they know that I run).

Our mascot: to all you who have been asking, yes the cyclist designed it, and no it wasn't me who posed.
Heather, Erin, (two of my Sis-in-laws) and Me pre-race
I just got back from the funnest weekend I've ever spent without the cyclist. Eleven incredible women and I ran in the Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay.

The general gist of this relay race: 188 miles, 12 runners, two vans, 36 legs from Logan to Park City. I was in van one, runner three.

Van One at the Start Line
We started out the race on Friday at 10:30 a.m. in Logan. We weren't quite prepared for the heat of the day (we moms generally have to run before the kids are up). As each girl ran, the van would leap frog them. We'd drive about 2 miles ahead and wait with water and cheers. That first leg we poured more water over our runner's bodies than we poured into their mouths.
We ran from Logan, through Providence, Nibley, past the Hyrum Reservoir, up and over Avon Pass and down into the Ogden valley where we passed the wristband off to our second van.
Heather pounding it 7 miles up Avon Pass
While van 2 ran their six legs through the Ogden valley, we went to dinner.
We met back up with our ladies at about 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Snow Basin resort. We donned our reflective vests and headlamps and prepared for our second leg through the night.

We ran through quiet towns (with the exception of my team's excited honking) and ended up at East Canyon at about 1:30 a.m. We were exhausted. We drove the hour and a half to the South Summit High School and crashed on the gym floor.
heading to the high school to "sleep"
I was so worried about sleeping through the next exchange, that I only slept for about 30 minutes (surprising, considering how soft a gym floor is.) We left the high school at 6:30 to meet van two at the Oakley Rodeo Grounds.
We were still exhausted. Mentally, we were tired and our legs felt like lead. We were just glad that we were embarking on our last runs. We knew if we could just make it through these last miles, we could rest. Unfortunately, my last leg was also my hardest and longest. The rest of my van had their easiest runs left.
I started in Francis and ran 8 miles to Jordanelle Reservoir. I had pre-run this course the weekend before, so I knew what I was in for...a nice gentle down hill into a beautiful valley, followed by a three and a half mile climb.
I won't tell you the mantra that was going through my head. It's not really an "out-loud" word.
The cyclist and my girls drove up to cheer me on and help me up the hill.
me and #2
We finished our legs in Heber. We were so relieved. Now van 2 just had to make it to Park City (by way of a 3000 foot climb up and over Guardsman Pass). The run over the pass has been nick-named Ragnar: "in mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits and favored by the gods."
The two ladies from my team (Holli and Hilarie) that ran up that hill fit that description. They were my heroes. Very little of the road was paved and it had been raining on and off all day. They were running straight up a muddy,muddy road. My van followed and we watched in awe.

28 hours after we started, we met up with our last runner and crossed the finish line as a team.
Can you see those clouds?! They let loose about five minutes later. We were soaked. Thanks to the cyclist and girls for sticking it out!
Van One at the Finish Line
We don't look too worse for the wear, unless you consider the fact that we're missing Lindsey. She had to rush home right after she ran her last leg.

Me and the ladies from Van 2 (I wish there was a way to cram all of us into a school bus or something so we could stay together)
Mom Therapy at the FINISH! Check out the socks and those smiles! What an exceptional bunch of women!
hilarie, rian, julia, pilvi, alycia, erin, andee
me, holli amy, heather

I have been on a complete runner's high since the second we finished (actually it started when the whistle blew and Erin led us off). I can't believe that we ran 188 miles without a hitch. No injuries, no major complications. We did lose Heather in the middle of the night (sorry Heath, we know it was hard to take off that wristband when you were so tired ;) ). And some of us saw a lot more of a strange man that we wanted to (word of advice: LOCK THE PORTA-POTTY DOORS). We all stayed on pace and actually finished almost an hour faster than we wanted to. (How does seventh place in the women's open division sound?)
I have never had that much fun on a race in my life.
I think about it almost constantly, I have looked at my pictures a hundred times, and I can't believe that we have to wait a whole year to do it again! Baby steps to June 18th 2010. Thanks ladies! Couldn't have done it without you.


Sara Sargent said...

Very impressive, Megan!!! I am in awe!!!

Heather said...

I'm LOL!! So many great memories! It couldn't have been a better experience. I'm sorry that we lost 5 seconds when I just couldn't get the dang wristband off..haha. I was just so parched and needed water! I def. could have done without seeing a random man, caught in headlights on the jon. I will never forget this race. It really was my ALL TIME FAVORITE. I get giddy every time I think about it. I can't wait to do it again.

Erin Bradley said...

Good post, good times. I try to explain to Miah just how fun and cool it was but he just doesn't get it. Guess that is an experience us girls will just have to relish in. Glad we got to do it together:)