We met for a fabulous carb-loading-pasta dinner and decorated our vans. We were team Shaka Laka and hence, had a tropical theme. my favorite was the shark attacking a runner. It was a Shakattack! Clever, I know.
I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 3:30am. We had to finish packing and be to Logan for our 6:00am start time. The weather was beautiful and the energy at the start of the race was incredible. Ragnar is no small race and the anticipation for this show to get on the road was palpable!
Our first legs:
Natalie rocked her first leg and our van cruised through our first set of runners...until they got to me. My first leg was 8 miles. Uphill. Unpaved. I did ok for the first 4.5 miles and then I more or less tanked. My leg had been bothering me and I found myself not exactly prepared for the trail run (turns out I might have some mild sciatica, nothing too problematic). It is amazing how much easier that blessed pavement is than dust and rocks! And believe me, the dust was insane. It was almost impossible to stay hydrated.
I started running through every mantra I have ever had. "Be patient. You got this.", "You can do hard things." , and my new favorite that we made up before I started running, "Hills are friends AND food! Eat this hill!" (Get it? it's like Nemo!) So yeah, I said those a lot and I had the voice of my good friend, The Blur, in my head as I kept saying to that mountain, "I OWN YOU!"
|I think I can, I think I can, I think I can|
In the end it was really just the picture of being done and in the van with a cool cup of chocolate milk that got me through. But I did it! I beat that mountain. Yes, Avon Pass, I OWN YOU!
The First Exchange:
At the first exchange we tried to get some rest on a weedy hill in a parking lot. There were SO MANY people there! The crowds were wild. Sometimes it amazes me that there are so many people out there who think it is fun to run all night long on no sleep and granola bars.
|So many people! So many potties!|
Van 1 had the greatest times to run. We ran in the beautiful morning and then in the evening when things were cooling down. My second run was 4.8 miles through some small towns with some gorgeous scenery. I tell you, Utah is one of the prettiest places on the face of the planet. My run was a little rough, my leg was giving me trouble and I may or may not have prayed that LMFAO would come on my ipod toward the end of my run to help me power through the finish...and guess what?! Just as I was coming up to the exchange I heard, "Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!" BAM! Prayers are answered, sometimes even with LMFAO!
|America, the beautiful!|
The Second Exchange:
Free hot chocolate! Sleep! Heaven! And I saw one of my favorite vans of the trip:
|David Bowie + Tom Selleck = YES!|
Our Last Legs:
We were up at 5:00am and off to conquer our last portion of this race. I would say that we all had really good runs, especially when you consider that we were reaching our totals of 15, 17 or 18 miles in the last 30 hours. My last run was certainly my best. My leg wasn't bothering me too much and I got to run from Midway to Heber - again, a GORGEOUS run!
The Finish Line:
Because we were van 1 we got to the finish area hours ahead of van 2. We used the time for some serious R and R. We waited in the sun for massages (YES!) and then rested in the shade as long as we could. It was the middle of the day and very hot! We did not envy van 2 in the least. They were total rock stars for finishing the race out in the heat of the day while we rested and got pampered!
When the time came, we gathered all of our things and went to meet our last runner as he came in. We all joined in and ran across the finish line together.