My Next Race

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay Recap!

Ok, so from my previous post, you found out how I got to be the driver of one of the vans for my company's team for the Ragnar Relay.

I showed up Friday morning to get ready to leave and the Suburban that was promised to us hadn't showed up yet. That's not a good sign. I found out the Suburban was my co-worker Carolina's boyfriend's parents. When they went to bring the "burb" to us, they noticed antifreeze leaking from it, so they took it to the mechanic and thought they just needed to replace the hose. They put the car up on the lift and found out it needed a completely new radiator! Eeeeek! So far, the Ragnar Relay wasn't starting out too good for us. So, instead of having 1 suburban for 7 people, we ended up with 2 compact cars:

Because we had to cram everything in to 2 compact cars, I was told my sleeping bag was too big and there wouldn't be enough room, so I left my sleeping bag and pillow behind. I was fine with that because I thought if all else fails I could ball up my sweatshirt and use that as a pillow and crash on one of the benches in the "burb" if it was too cold outside.

So, we pile in to the two cars and head up to Logan. Good thing I decided to drive because I was the only person that knew how to get up to Logan, let alone getting up to Utah State University! Haha!

We finally made it up to Logan and we're still trying to stay in contact with the owners of the "burb" so we can hopefully not have two compact cars the entire race.

The race started and we decided that the first 3 runners and I would stay in the Ford Fiesta and met up with the other 3 runners at Exchange 3 and hopefully by then we will have the "burb".

By the time we get to exchange 3, we're making good time, but we still don't have the "burb". I switch cars and go with runners 4, 5 & 6 in the Toyota Corolla and while the first 3 runners take off to Snow Basin where runner 1 will be running next.

Still we don't have the suburban. We've basically given up on the suburban. Come to find out, they got the radiator fixed and were headed up to Logan to bring it to us and it kept overheating. There was something majorly mechanically wrong with the suburban. So, we ended up using 2 compact cars as our Van #1 in the race. It wasn't too comfortable, but it worked.

One of the next runs was for runner 5 to run up Avon Pass. Natalie was runner # 5. I'd never been to Avon Pass, I had just heard about it. It was 7 miles uphill. Ugh! It was a rough run, but Natalie did awesome with it!

While we were waiting at the top of Avon Pass for Natalie though, I saw Chrystel Christenson and she was getting ready to run down Avon Pass. I saw a bunch of other people too. One guy I saw, he was AMAZING! He was with and he did the whole race wearing snowshoes!!!

Surprisingly our little car did pretty well going up Avon Pass. Coming down Avon Pass was a different story. Haha! I swear we bottomed out so many times, I couldn't tell you a count. It was a very bumpy ride. I felt bad because there was a whole line of cars behind us trying to get down the Pass and trying to get their runners water.

Because we had to go so slow down Avon Pass, we fell behind with our time. Van #2 kept calling us asking us where we were, but because we were on the Pass, we had NO cell phone reception. They were very glad to see us at the major exchange.

So, we finally got to Eden/Huntsville area and passed off to Brenda who was runner #1 in Van #2. After Brenda took off and we were headed back to our car, a guy came up to us and apologized for passing us on Avon Pass, but he was in a hurry to get to his runner to give his runner water. Lol. I thought it was nice of him. I told him I don't blame him for passing us I was just going so slow because of our car.

While we were in Huntsville I got a call from Jonathan, who was one of the runners in car #1. They were at Snow Basin and Eric's knee was hurting him and he wasn't sure if he'd be able to run his second and third legs. By the time we get to Snow Basin, he will make a decision and if he doesn't think he can run it, I will run his second and third legs for him.

So, we got directions on how to get to Snow Basin and headed off. We got to drive past Pineview Reservoir. I'd never been there or seen it. It is beautiful. Here are a couple of pictures of Pineview and of Avon Pass.

Cute little sheep on Avon Pass:

Gorgeous view coming down Avon pass:

Pineview Reservoir:

We got to Snow Basin & met up with Eric, Maria and Jonathan. Eric has somehow sprained his IT Band (in his knee) and can't run the rest of his legs, so I am now running the rest of his legs. I felt bad that Eric got hurt and couldn't run, but I was kind of excited to be an actual runner at Ragnar too. Eric kind of turned sour though once he got hurt. My first run will be starting at Snow Basin when Sylvia comes in.

All I could think was thank God I dressed appropriately. As I was getting dressed that morning I thought that since I was just driving I would wear jeans and a pair of Keds shoes, but then I decided I'd be more comfortable in my workout capri's and my running shoes. I was just wearing a t-shirt and a sports bra too; however, not the best sports bra, but it did it's job!

I wasn't planning on eating dinner at Snow Basin, but I decided I better carb up, so I bought a plate of pasta and chowed down on that. It cost me $15 and SO wasn't worth it money wise, but it did it's job as far as carbs went.

About 10:30 p.m. Sylvia came running in and I took off. I was super nervous because I didn't know where I was running, I just knew I was running 8.3 miles and there were gonna be some serious hills. Thank God Natalie let me borrow her music, or I'd be in a world of hurt.

I started out running on a dirt trail (not my favorite) and then I came to some snow and a volunteer. He said to run across the snow (about 6 inches deep) until I come to the road and then head off on the road. It was 10:30 p.m. and the only light I had was the headlamp on my forehead. I had NO clue where I was going. I couldn't see a freakin' road!!! So, I'm running across the snow and can't see a road anywhere. I can just hear water. I look behind me and see two other runners coming. I decided to wait for them and we explored and finally found the road.

Once I got to the road and started running, I was ok. There were some serious hills, but I knew that for every hill I had to run up, I had a hill I got to run down! Yay!

I felt like I had been running forever and then finally I saw the sign that said "1 mile to go"! I LOVED that sign! Surprisingly I wasn't winded or anything. Right around 12:12 a.m., I came running in to the exchange. It was just at the intersection somewhere. I know there was a gas station on the side of the road, but I'm not sure where we were. It wasn't my best time, but for not being prepared to run, I thought I did pretty good.

I passed off to Jonathan who only had to run like 3 miles or so and then Jonathan passed off to Maria who didn't have to run very far either. Maria ran in to Morgan.

Once Maria got done running, we pulled out the GPS and found directions to Kamas. It was over an hour away, but it was super close to our next big exchange where I would have to run again. We drove to Kamas and slept in South Summit High School.

Well, some people slept. I sure didn't. Why? I was cold, my socks were wet from running through the snow, and I didn't have a sleeping bag or pillow. I would've taken off my sweatshirt and used that as a pillow, but I was cold. :( I had to take off my socks to let them dry out a little bit, so I was running around barefoot. I would've put different socks on, but I didn't pack any because I didn't think I'd be running! I was wearing a sweaty shirt and I couldn't take that off either because I didn't pack anything because I didn't think I'd be running! :)

It was kind of cool staying at South Summit High School though because that is where my friend Kendrick went to high school. It was a very small high school. I couldn't believe how small the cafeteria was or how small the common area was. It was teeny.

We fell asleep in the gym of the high school. I wanted to take a picture of how many people were sleeping in there, but a flash would've gone off and that probably would've pissed off a lot of people, so I didn't. The next morning, I took a picture of the people sleeping in the halls though:

We ate breakfast and headed off to where our next exchange would be. It was at the Oakley Rodeo Grounds. I would be running 4.9 miles in to Kamas. On the map it looked like it would be a fairly flat run.

This is where I got kind of pissed. When it came time for the exchange, none of my teammates were there from van #1 to cheer me on. At all the other exchanges, I didn't always want to get out of the car. I was uncomfortable, I was tired, I was hungry, it was hot, etc., but I got out of the car and cheered everyone on at the exchange. The only people that were at the exchange when Sylvia came in and I left were 2 people from Sylvia's van. They cheered me on, but that was it.

That was a rough run. First off, I had NO music to listen to. Listening to music while I run helps me keep my cadence and it helps keep my mind from wandering and wondering how long until this run is over. Plus, I was running in to the wind. For some reason I had a really hard time with my breathing on this run and I couldn't keep my cadence for the life of me.

Plus, the run was all uphill!!! It wasn't a steep hill, it was a gradual uphill the entire way. I would rather have one quick steep hill than a long gradual uphill. I think one long uphill is alot harder. Plus, it was hot. I was disappointed in myself because I ended up stopping to walk twice. :( Oh well, it's over. Not much I can do about it.

I finally got to the exchange and was glad I was done. It was a hard run for me. I ended up running a total of 13.1 miles total. My teammates were there to greet me, but it didn't seem like they had too many words of encouragement for me. I had said that I was disappointed in myself for having to stop and walk, but nobody said anything to me. Thank God it was a major exchange point and there were HUGE jugs of cold water for me to down.

We ended up sticking together (the two cars) the rest of the day. It didn't seem to take us too long to finish our runs. We did fall behind though. As we were waiting for Maria to run in to the exchange up by Jordanelle, one of the race people came to us and let us know that we could have van #2 start now if they wanted, so we opted for that. By the time Erik (runner #6, and yes, we had 2 Erik's in our group) finished his 3.1 mile run in Heber, there was only 1 runner left and behind us and they were behind us by 15 minutes.

Once Erik finished his run, we all drove to Park City to have dinner and wait for van #2 to finish. We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant and then headed over to Park City High School for the finish.

Eric said he didn't want us to park at Park City High School where the finish line was because there was going to be too many people and it would be hard to find a parking spot. So, we left our cars at the Mexican restaurant we ate it, which wasn't too far away.

We got done with dinner and walked over to the high school. As we're walking over to the high school, we see Eric drive by in his car and move his car over to the high school!!! What the crap?!?! He didn't want to park there in the first place.

So, I ended up walking back to the Mexican restaurant and moving Carolina's car closer to the high school.

By this time, I was really getting pissed because I was catching on to Eric and he was going to take credit for running all 3 legs and everything was going to be his way or the highway. :( I thought it would be nice to at least get a t-shirt for being a runner, but I got nothing.

I was getting more mad by the second. I was going to buy my own shirt, but I saw that they were $30! I wasn't going to spend $30 on a shirt that I felt I should've either got for free for running in the race.

It was kind of funny because while I was debating whether to leave or not, I got a text from Sylvia in Van #2 and she said that their van overheated and died coming down Guardsman's Pass (a helluva hill that David had to run up). I asked if we needed to drive up and rescue the team, but she said she was going to hitch a ride with another team down Guardsman's pass to the last exchange so they wouldn't fall behind.

I finally got pissed and called my dad and told him to come get me. I got my stuff (not very much) from Carolina's car, gave her the car keys and left.

Come to find out, Eric crossed the finish line and everybody got the feeling that he was taking credit for all of his runs!!! That's just not right. It's not morally or ethically right.

Now, it's not that I want credit or proof for running the 13.1 miles. I know I ran them, my family knows I ran them and so do my friends.

I think the thing I'm most upset about is that I didn't get a finishers medal and I didn't get a t-shirt. I don't even have any pictures of me running in the race. This race is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I just want some "souvenirs" from the race. I'm not going to get that. Instead, Eric has a t-shirt and a finishers medal.

I find it interesting that when I got home, my dad took me to my work to pick up my car, but before I went home, I walked down the street to my favorite bar to say hi to them really quick. When I left the bar and walked back to my car, everybody else was finally getting back from the Ragnar.

My boss, Sylvia, asked me what was wrong and I told her and everybody in her van said "yeah, you should've got the finishers medal". I just think nobody said anything to Eric because they felt like they couldn't.

Oh well, I'll get over it. In the meantime, I'm trying to put together my own team for the Ragnar next year and when I do the Epic Relay later this year, I'll make sure I'm not in Eric's van.

Otherwise, it was a great race. It is a very well organized race. I hope I get to do it next year. I really want to do it next year. It is one of the hardest races I've ever done, but so mentally and physically rewarding.

I feel like I can now say "I've done the Wasatch Back, I can do anything now!"

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