Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Wasatch Back Ragnar 2017 - Team "A Few Ups and and Some Downs"


I mean come on...if you had the chance to run through this, wouldn't you?!

Back in 2013 I heard about a Pacific North West Ragnar team (The Kittin Mittins) that was looking for a runner at the last minute and jumped at the chance!
The Kittin Mittins 2013!

I had a fantastic time, even though I didn't know any of the runners (I brought a book in case they were weird- they weren't) and that was how I met Lisa.
Fast forward 4 years and this will be my 3rd long distance relay with Lisa .
I ran the Hood to Coast Relay (The Dirty Dozen) with Lisa in 2014.

When she contacted me about running the Wasatch Back Ragnar I jumped at the chance.


A Few Ups and Some Downs 2017!

The race starts in Logan UT at the Utah State University track. We were Van #1 so we started the whole thing off!

Me, Israel, Matt, John,Pamala, Melissa

(for those unfamiliar, there are two vans of 6 runners and we leap frog so that each runner, runs a total of 3 times over 36 hours. Or less...it just depends on how fast you run.)

Our line up was John, Me, Israel, Matt, Melissa and then Pamala hands off to the first runner of Van #2

My first leg was 10 miles.

In the back of my mind I knew the altitude would be a factor, but it always amazes me how MUCH of a difference altitude makes! I was breathing hard, my heart rate was up and my legs felt so tired...I looked down at my watch and saw that I was half a mile into the run. Time to buckle in for the ride:)

My race nickname was "Peanut" as in Circus Peanut due to the color of my tank.

Here is an example of what my selfies look like...but look at those mountains!

The car thermometer said it was 65 degrees, but we all agreed there was no way that was accurate. It felt HOT out there! When you run through the desert there aren't many trees for shade.

BUT when you run through the desert that people have settle in, you have irrigation ditches.

It felt amazing and I regret nothing!

Yes. I did. I dunked myself in an irrigation ditch. It was a clean one though. They had lined it with river rocks and it was too inviting to pass up. Plus, I was starting to overheat and I was only 4.5 miles into my first leg. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Oh, and I made a wrong turn, but a really nice van from another team stopped and shouted me down so I could get back on course.

Leg #2

I started my leg at 9pmish. I was all dolled up in my reflective gear that hasn't seen the light of day for a couple of months. I had a few technical difficulties with my back lamp, so when John came running in and handed me the sweaty slap bracelet "baton" I was just standing there while my team mates tried to attach something working to my back. We forgot to tell John that though, so he couldn't figure out why I wasn't running:)

2 fast flat miles!

2 puny miles! Fast and flat....almost not worth putting my shoes on for;)

Those are always really fun for the runner who just finished and the people in the van as they try and race their runner to the next exchange. I wanted to be a team player so I gave them some extra time by missing my turn again. I got a block past my turn when a nice man doing some yard work pointed my mistake out. Seriously. It takes a village to raise me.

Everybody in Van #1!

It seriously looked like The Sound of Music

After grabbing dinner at the only eatery still open within 30 minutes of us, we crashed at a local school for some much needed sleep. John and Israel decided to sleep in the van, Matt had a pup tent to himself and Melissa, Pamala and I located the best spot in the building...The wrestling mat room. It's worth the time to find. Trust me. The extra cushioning on the floor makes so much difference. I also think that the mats mute some of the noise of people moving around that can really make it difficult to sleep during these stops. I brought ear plugs. They were amazing.

The next morning we had some difficultly getting to where we needed to be for the next exchange because the school where we slept wasn't where the exchange was. The exchange was in the middle of nowhere and the GPS coordinates they gave were about a half a mile off.

Matt, John and I

Lisa was waiting to hand the baton off, for about 5 minutes. Making someone tired and hungry wait for you at 4:30 in the morning is a good way to annoy them. She was a good sport about it though. It helped that she knew she was going to be able to get a shower and a nap in the near future. She and Matt live near the next big exchange, so it was even going to be in her own bed.

It was about 5:30am when it was time for my final leg of 4.9 miles

It was also 35 degrees. It's a strange feeling to be sweating AND have cold hands.
It was really pretty though. The route followed an old railroad track that has been converted into an unpaved greenway trail. I got to watch the sunrise over the mountains while I ran and you really can't beat that, can you?  


Sunrise on the mountains!

What the back of the medals look like.
When you put them all together they have a phrase printed on the back.


Bonnie said...

You have become a seriously good story teller ;) thanks for sharing the fun!

Terra said...

If only you knew all the things I wanted to say but didn't...:) Honestly though, I really have to fight the urge to ramble about all the little details and get off topic:)