Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ragnar Relay - Northwest Passage July 21-22, 2012

This is the second time I've run Ragnar Relay, last year was with the Sole Sisters and this year, we changed our name to the C(razy) N(asty) Honey Badgers.  Here's the inspiration for our team name:

Van 2
Here's a summer race report to warm up your winter days.

Ready for my first leg!

Last year I ran leg 7 in van 2. This was the first person to run in van 2. This year I was the 12th runner. I waited for what seemed like forever before I was up for my leg. Sunset would begin on this leg so I was required to wear reflective gear and a headlamp.  10.8 miles and I had a goal of 7:15 to 7:30 miles.  The run was fairly flat and I had maintained a steady sub-7:20 pace until just under 9 miles when I was stuck at a traffic light. I lost my average here and struggled to make up the time until the hand-off. I met Steve DeKoker, my Brooks Running sponsor, before running my first leg.
Leg 1 finished! My only non-Brooks outfit all year.
Needed sparkle and didn't want to alter any of my real racing outfits.

Van 1 was waiting for me and after the hand-off to Kris, we set out to find food!  After some much needed real food, we drove to the van exchange and tried to rest in the parking lot. A constant stream of cars and runners made it difficult to really relax.

2nd leg done!
Much too soon, our van was again on the road again after our first runners made the hand off with van 1. Driving through the night, cheering on our runners and other teams, we finally made it to Whidbey Island. I quietly made my way out of the van as my girls were knocked out all around. Soon I saw Angela running down the road, bracelet slapped on my wrist, and away I went into the upcoming sunrise. My first leg was into sunset and this one was sunrise, meaning I was the only runner required to wear night gear twice.  Wow, I was tired! My pep in my step was missing.  This was a lonely run. I finally found my way to the next hand off and Kris was off and our van could finally go to the hotel room and rest on a real bed!

We split up into a couple rooms and after a quick shower, I snuggled deep in the blankets, expecting to restlessly await our departure. Instead I was being shaken awake that it was time to get ready. I must have fallen asleep literally in the "blink of an eye."  Last year, I didn't sleep at all during the relay.

The other room was fast asleep and we had to rush them to get to our handoff.  Sabrina, leg 7, had a beautiful run ahead of her. This is me running this leg last year:

The day was heating up and when it was time for the final leg of the race, I was in for some serious heat.  It was less than 5 miles but with the heat, some hills and just being exhausted, I found myself not able to keep my pace below a 7:45 average. I threw off my shirt and ran with abandon in my sports bra for much of the leg. With less than a mile to go, Tony Seabolt met me along the road with the team Honeybadger shirt and I slipped it on while running the last uphill.  Crowds were lined up the street and there was my team!  They all started running with me and we made our way under the finish line together! What a relief!

After a short recovery time, shirts exchanged, beer downed, we made our way to the ferry and quickly found out that it's not a good idea to write on paint.  A thoroughly exhausted team made our way home, completely ready to rest and recover. We finished 2nd (almost first!) in our division and received awesome green batons.  I hope I can do this next year, maybe the ULTRA version?

3rd leg! Onward to the finish line.

Phew! Just across the finish line.
Honey Badgers!