It’s My Party! Ragnar Relay Las Vegas 2010
Earlier this year, my friend Theresa called me to tell me about this postcard she got in the mail about the Ragnar Relay and thought it would be really fun to get 10 more crazy people together to do this to celebrate her birthday which was a few days before the event in October. I was game, mainly because anything at least 5 months prior to the actual event sounds like a great idea…it’s a lifetime away, right? So, off we went to start recruiting…
For those that aren’t familiar with the Ragnar Relay series. It’s basically 400+ teams of 12 (or less) runners split between 2 van’s, from there, each mini-team of 6 takes turns running predetermined distances from 3-10 miles until the Exchange point where Van #2 and it’s group of 6 runners take over…for the next 196 miles. In the end, each person has 3 legs to complete with total distances between 12 to 20 miles over 36 hours. Sounds fun, right?
We decided to name our team ‘It’s My Party!’ because there were 3 team members with birthdays within a week of the event which took place October 22-23. Theresa had some really cool team tech shirts made and I asked my niece to have her middle school students draw us some pictures for decorations – they came through with flying colors:
I was in Van #1 and our first leg was completely awesome. You’re rested and energized (even though we had a 6am start time), we were sharing the road with a lot of teams and having fun supporting our current runner/walker and cheering on everyone else. After Leg #1 was complete, we went to my brother Mike’s house (who was a last-minute replacement, THANK YOU!) for some Capriotti sandwiches and relaxation before meeting up with Van #2 to start our second leg.
Leg #2 was a cold, dark blur. We were lucky enough to have my sister-in-law run with a few of us who had some pretty remote territory to cover because the teams were pretty spread out by this point and it was dark, spooky and lonely. This is my favorite picture of Rhonda all decked out in glow bracelets (the picture was taken without a flash…she was wearing a safety vest and lights too): After this leg was done at about 2am, we went to my Mom and Step-dad’s house who were kind enough to let us take over their downstairs for a few hours of sleep and showers before heading off to the last exchange point at 8am.
When we reached the exchange area, there weren’t that many teams out on this part of the course. Even with our faster runners, we had some slower paced jog/walkers (myself included) and some injuries that impacted our overall pace. We were in jeopardy of finishing the race in the 12 hours we had left of ‘official time’. After we had the hand-off and sent our next team member Robin on her way, one of the Race Coordinators stopped by to talk to us and the teams that were waiting in the exchange area. He was super nice and confirmed what we already knew about our finishing times, so he gave us some options to consider to ensure that everyone on our team was able to ‘unofficially finish’, have fun and get out of the race what we wanted to…now, it was personal! Once he left to find other teams to talk to, we had a team meeting and took a vote and decided to continue, but doubling up the legs for anyone that still wanted to continue. In the end, I completed my 3 legs, covering 16.4 miles…I was exhausted, proud of our team and full of the knowledge that if (when) I do this again, I can’t do the walk/jog thing, my pace has to be MUCH faster.
Congratulations to our incredible team, you are all some pretty touch cookies! … Van #1 – Me, ‘brother’ Mike, Cara, Rhonda, ‘trainer’ Mike and Robin. Van #2 – Captain Theresa, Britt, Stacey, Jeff, ‘green valley’ Mike and Tony. Finally, Happy Birthday to Theresa, Britt and Cara! See you all next year! =)