threeculbersons

Ragnar Relay Recap

In Running, Tennessee on November 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I’ve tried 3 or 4 times now to write (or blog) about my Ragnar experience. I still can’t find all the right words to describe this past weekend, but EPIC is a good one to start with.

Team “I Thought This Was a 5k”

I can’t really tell you who had the original idea, I don’t remember. I just remember getting a phone call from Chris (fellow team runner) that he had booked a flight to Tennessee for Ragnar and thus begin this adventure. Along with telling me I had to organize it. I didn’t mind, I was happy to do it.

I knew it would be hard trying to find 12 people in Tennessee to run with us, we had 6 total that at least knew someone. The other 6 were complete strangers. Once I registered our team, it didn’t take long at all to fill the runner slots.

Our very random, but awesome relay team at the start line in Chattanooga.

I started off Leg 1 with an 8 miler out of Coollidge Park in Chattanooga. The scenery was gorgeous and I felt like I ran strong but conservative. I had no idea how I would feel as the relay progressed and couldn’t risk wearing my legs out first thing. I stayed with my target pace though, so I was satisfied.

Getting ready to start…

Van 1.

Van 2.

This trip wouldn’t have been possible without our two amazing drivers. Lindsay Fullen (van 1) and David Daniels (van 2). They navigated us 200 miles with little to no sleep, endured us yelling at them (when they ran red lights or didn’t have their headlights on), and never once complained about how bad we all smelled.

Back to the relay – I passed off to Jenny who started her 1600ft climb out of Chattanooga and rocked it. We stopped to cheer her on several times, each time she had a smile on her face and just kept knocking out each mile. Then it was on to Kelly who flew down the other side of said mountain and passed off to Marc. Marc to Michael, then Michael to Jayney (who by the way was running her second ever race).

Kelly, Jenny, & Jayney

Meanwhile, van 2 was killing time waiting on us to finish. Jayney passed off to runner 7, Chris, who started the second leg of the relay. He had an extremely tough climb as well.

I was passed the baton again around 7pm (??) to start my second leg. By this time, it was completely dark and I just wanted this run over with. For some reason, it was my least favorite leg, even though it was the shortest (or what I thought would be the shortest). After passing off to Jenny, I literally ate 3 donuts, 1 bagel, some trail mix/cranberries and downed a bottle of water. Little did I know, I’d be running again very shortly.

Jayney started feeling bad, feverish and sore throat. It wasn’t long before I knew, she wouldn’t be able to run her second leg. I don’t remember much, except telling her I would take this one for her and for her to get some sleep. Those donuts were a bad idea.

I have to say, I learned more about perseverance from Jayney then any marathon training run could ever teach. She stuck it out with us for the next 15-16 hours so we could finish the race. She was extremely sick, stuck in the back of a van that smelled (I’m sure) terrible, and never ONCE did she complain about it. We would find out later after she was admitted to the hospital, she had strep. She was our MVP for sure. So Jayney, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for allowing us to finish.

I would end up running her last two legs, it was the least I could do.

Last exchange for van 1. Running my (Jayney’s) final leg. 4.5 miles of rolling hills in HOT Franklin, TN.

Hearing my teammates cheering was amazing. I love each one of them!!

If Chris didn’t have to start his final leg, I would’ve hugged him. I was so happy to be done running and headed for the finish line in Nashville.

Also another shout out to our awesome teammate Kelly, who allowed sweaty runners in to her home to shower and clean up. That was the most glorious shower. You’re the best!

Van 1 at the finish line. Minus one sick Jayney…

Chris Daniels brought it home for us in Nashville, finishing our 200 mile relay. We set out to accomplish one goal and we came together and did it. We may not have been the fastest, but we each ran our personal best. The camaraderie between endurance runners is one like no other.

Finish line shot.

So, while epic sums up how this experience was for me. Fellow teammate, Sho, said it perfectly… “Thursday, I met up with over a dozen strangers. Saturday, I went back home saying goodbye to over a dozen friends. That was one heck of a trip/race.”

All I have to say to that is…’Sho nuff’.

Thank you Lindsay, David, Joel, Sarah, Jenny, Kelly, Marc, Michael, Jayney, Chris & Chris, Sho, & Spencer (and their families for sharing them) for an incredible weekend of unforgettable memories. This has been the highlight of my year and quite possibly my life. No other race will ever compare, and I wouldn’t want to share the memories with anybody else.

Joel, me, & Sarah – thanks for being crazy enough to say yes!

Me and Holman – I’m glad we can share another “sport” together. Softball being the first… 😉

Ragnarian.

Chris and I. Thanks for suggesting we do this!

Until next year…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Excellent post. Thank you so much for letting me run with your team this year! What a great group and new set of friends!

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