For Part 2, click HERE.
I felt so much better after taking a shower at Stillwater Junior High School. I tried to get a little sleep in the van after that, but to no avail. At least I was able to "rest my eyes" in a way.
Around 8:00 a.m. Saturday, we headed towards Exchange 30, located at Tartan Park outside Lake Elmo, MN. Volunteers at the park were serving a pancake breakfast, but I knew that I'd be running soon, so I didn't eat anything. I had eaten something (half a bagel with peanut butter and some fruit) before taking a shower.
|This awesome volunteer played the bagpipes for us at Tartan Park|
|Cheering Gregg on|
Mile 1 - 8:22
I thought I kept hearing gunshots. Turns out, I was running along the southern outskirts of the Oakdale Gun Club. I hope Ragnar staff change the course next year because that was scary!
The sun burned the clouds away and the temperature was getting warmer.
Mile 2 - 8:41
I encountered a hill between miles 2 and 3. It wasn't nearly as steep as the one during my first leg, but I was so mentally and physically drained by this point in the relay, due to no sleep and having run twice already, that I walked more than I wanted to.
Mile 3 - 10:00
After that hill, I just couldn't keep up the pace that I wanted. I took more walk breaks than I usually do. I also regretted my decision to fill my Nathan sprint hand-held with Gatorade instead of water. It wasn't sitting well in my stomach.
By now, the course was more familiar to me, as I had finally reached the portion of it that was the same as last year. An additional 3.2 miles were added on to this leg of the relay.
Mile 4 - 9:02
I saw more vans and teams along the course and they cheered me on as I ran by. This encouragement really helped because I was feeling disappointed that I wasn't running faster.
Mile 5 - 9:52
There were no photos taken of me during this leg of the relay, which I was thankful for. I was tired, I felt like I wasn't running well, and I'm sure my running form was suffering too due to the fatigue.
Mile 6 - 10:11
The next exchange point couldn't come soon enough for me. I tried to kick it into a higher gear for this last part and it seemed to work.
Last .67 miles (according to The Red Dragon) - 8:21 pace
Whew! I was finally done running. 17 miles over the course of three legs! Completing this distance will, I believe, give me some confidence as I train for my first marathon next year.
On to the rest of the team! Everyone in my van seemed to handle the increasing heat better than I did.
|Jim, who ran a total of 20 miles, is still looking strong|
|Dain gives Jim a water refill|
|Jim hands off to Jack at the exchange|
|Shannon, on the left, receives the slap-bracelet baton from her teammate|
|Each teammate sat in the "Sweaty Throne" after they finished their respective legs. Why get ALL the van seats sweaty?|
|Jack looks strong as he makes his way down Shepard Road in St. Paul|
|Jack hands off to Mark B.|
|Seriously, there were so many fun costumes at Ragnar this year!|
|Ragnar participants cheered for "normal" people out for their Saturday runs and bike rides. More cowbell, baby!|
|Shannon and I finally got our picture taken at one of the exchanges. Congrats to you and your team, girl!|
|Mark B. books it towards the exchange chute|
|Another runner got in the way, but the handoff took place|
|Jilena kicks it to the exchange|
|A volunteer got in my way of viewing the handoff to Dain|
We headed to East River Flats, close to the University of Minnesota campus, to wait for Dain. Race village was a sight to behold.
|The "promised land" - as Jim dubbed it - contained the orange finish arch, beer garden, vendor and merch tents, and lots of people!|
|Team "Wonder Women" heads toward the finish|
|Shannon's team (We Like to Move It Move It) prepares to finish Ragnar|
|Dain sprints towards the finish. We had to tell him to slow down so our tired legs could run with him.|
|Mark B. shows off his Ragnar finisher medal|
|Jilena at the finish arch|
|Van 2 photo - what a good-looking crew! Our smiles hide how tired we actually are!|
|Mmm... Toppers pizza and Finnegans beer! Yummy!|
|Pizza and beer ALWAYS taste the best after finishing a Ragnar Relay!|
Here are our results:
Official finish time: 28:32:18
Average pace: 8:47/mile
Overall place: 109/280
Division place: 25/46 (Open Men Regular)
We finished an hour-and-a-half faster than last year.
|The swag: medal, bib number (which took a beating during the relay), and shirt|
Considering the major snafus that occurred just before the race (having to find not one but two substitutes), I am so proud of our team! Yes, future hubs was missed this year, but we couldn't have asked for better substitutes than Mark B. and Jim. We gelled well as a team, and their presence was much appreciated. I hope they consider returning to the Salty Nuts next year. You know that I'll be back next year! :)