Somehow I ended up doing 2 Ragnars in June. The Chicago race with team Mixed Nuts flew by thanks to Jessica, the most organized team captain and Sally, our fun loving, supportive Van 1 driver. My first Ragnar experience was exactly what I thought it'd be: the fun of a no sleeping sleepover combined with some excellent running.
I'd spent the week leading up to the Ragnar with Meghann and enjoyed getting to know her better. Sarah and Katie drove over from Southfield so I could see them before they go to Okinawa. Lunch at The Purple Pig, shopping at the Water Tower and manicures were just what we needed. Seeing an American Girl collection based on the 1970s made me feel ancient though. Very surreal to see your own era captured in doll clothes and accessories next to dolls from the Civil War and American Revolution.
The Madison to Chicago Ragnar was a beautiful route. All 3 of my legs were on bike paths, my favorite running surface. I loved having so much time with Lauren and totally enjoyed everyone on the team. Christian, the team captain's 15 year old nephew, was so much like Maddie that I spent a lot of the time thinking how fun Utah would be. He was quite, super polite, didn't eat much and always answered in one word sentences. Just like Maddie!
Since the routes were so flat I decided to try for a good pace on each leg. 7:19, 7:14 and 7:22 were definitely not going to happen in Utah so I was very happy. 5 kills on the first leg and 14 kills on the last one added to my sense of satisfaction.
Here's a brief slideshow of my Madison experience:
|Make a free digital slideshow|
I flew back to Madison less than a week after leaving Chicago to attend the Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Conference. Mike picked me up at the Salt Lake City airport at 8:30 pm on Wednesday so we could be in Logan at 6:30 am to check in and attend the safety briefing for the Wasatch Back Ragnar. A huge shout out to Rachael who worked 2 volunteer shifts for Team TBD, despite being pregnant with twins. Plus she endured house guests for an extra day when Matthew threw up the morning we were scheduled to go home. I'll be paying her back in babysitting when those babbies arrive.
In addition to holding down the fort while I was gone so much, Mike created the best part of my show girl costume for the race. I got tons of compliments on it as I killed other runners. (You kill someone during a Ragnar by passing them during your leg.)
Only 10 of the 12 people for our Wasatch Back team were able to make it to race day. Van 2 had plenty of space but had to dig deep to cover all the legs. Eddie, Kym, Karen and Joanna were amazing, each taking an extra leg in addition to the hard legs they already had. Mike, Allison and I pitched in with some extra short legs. When Van 2 was exhausted, Maddie volunteered to take the hardest leg of all and she crushed it. She had 20 kills for her 3 legs, 9 of them on the Ragnar leg! Here's the description of her final leg:
This is it. The leg that started it all and brought “RAGNAR” to life. By far the most challenging leg on this course and any of the entire Ragnar Relay Series. 1700 feet of elevation climb in just 4 miles takes you to almost 8900 feet above sea level. The rest of your team will thank you for tackling this beast! Don’t feel bad if your run turns into more of a hike, most do!
I'd been really worried about the tough elevation changes and the fact that my last leg was hard with rolling hills. Plus the race bible and the captain's meeting where they give you guidance on the route kept talking about "honey buckets" on the course. I knew the race would be more rural than Chicago but I thought it must be seriously extreme if they use buckets instead of port a potties. What a relief to see that Honey Bucket was the supplier of port a potties and it wasn't a chamber pot type of set up for 200 miles!
I'll be adding to the slide show below when I get Karen's pix but here's what I had access to so you can get an idea of the fun we had during our Wasatch Back experience. We're already planning for Vegas. Saints to Sinners, here we come!
|Customize a free picture slideshow|