Wasatch Back Ragnar Recap

Ragnar’s are just so much fun!  I keep saying I am going to quit running them but yet some how I always end up on a team and I definitely never end up regretting it.  I love the teamwork, camaraderie, new friendships, and all of the chaos that goes on in between.  It is really just all about having a good time, running many miles, and making memories along the way. I love it!

My team “Freaks On A Leash” did not start this year until 12pm and I was not projected to run my first leg until 5pm.  Being the OCD runner that I am I woke up early and got a nice and relaxing 4.5 mi run in before the Ragnar adventures began.  I spent the night at my parents Thursday and their neighborhood along the lake is one of my absolute favorite places to run.  I just couldn’t resist the temptation!

At 8am I met my team and we made the trek up to Logan.  I had such a fun team and cannot emphasize enough how important this is when running Ragnar!  Jorge, Holly, Jake, Stephanie, and Julie all made this little adventure so much fun and it was so fun to get to know all of them better.  Jake was injured but still came along to drive and support.  I was very excited about this because he is just so much fun and it wouldn’t have been the same without him there.

I volunteered to run Jake’s first leg which was 7.6 miles very hard.  I started running this one around 1pm and it was definitely hot out.  Besides the heat this leg was definitely my favorite of the race.  The scenery was absolutely gorgeous and it finished in my Dad’s hometown of Hyrum.  My Dad is always taking me to Hyrum and showing me around so I felt right at home running into the city where my Dad grew up.  I averaged a 7:19 pace for this leg and loved every second of it!

My second leg started at 4:20pm (we had already gained 30 min) and was a steep downhill run down Avon pass.  It was on a rocky dirt trail and seemed incredibly dangerous.  I never run with sunglasses but decided to wear my shades to try and keep the dirt out of my contacts.  I considered wearing a neck brace, shin & arm guards, and a helmet but we didn’t have any so the sunglasses would have to do! I somehow survived the 6.3 miles without sustaining any major injuries.  I felt like a flailing sea creature floating down the steep mountain without being able to control my legs.  It was out of control yo!  Anyway I paced a 6:57, my head was still attached to my body, and surprisingly my fastest miles were once I got back to the pavement and it was flat!  I passed off to van 2 and round one was complete.

After this leg we were able to steal as many free samples as humanly possible, relax, get massages from our awesome captain, eat some well deserved grub, and walk around talking to everyone we knew.  I like to talk….there I said it!  I ran into lots of familiar faces and before I knew it it was time for round 2.

My third leg was 8.2 miles very hard.  I started running at 1am.  This leg was basically straight uphill the entire way but I was excited because I was still feeling the power of the 5-hour energy I took earlier in the day and I just love running at night in the Summer.  My crazy friend Julie decided to join me for this leg.  Boy I bet our van was PUMPED to get 2 full hours without the two of us talking non-stop.  Anyway Julie was completely toast after running sub-7 min miles in her first leg and talking nonstop since the race started. ha!  So we just took it nice and easy and enjoyed the cool mountain air.  I was so glad Julie was with me because without her I’m sure I would have tried to fly up the mountain and totally burnt out before I reached the top.  We paced a 8:45 and I sprinted into that exchange like it was no bodies business only to see about 100 unfamiliar faces glaring at me.  My team was no where to be found!  Had I known they were going to ditch me I would have just walked up the mountain like everyone else seemed to be doing. haha!  We finally got ahold of the other van and after about 45 minutes of exchange confusion they were off.

After this leg apparently you are supposed to sleep or something…….yeah that didn’t happen.  I think I slept for 15 seconds total but it was all good.  Sleep is overrated anyway.  We hung out in the van and I tried to mentally prepare myself for my final 2.5 stretch.  😉  Holly started with her hardest leg of the race and then “Super Mom Stephanie” took off on her 12.5 mile adventure.  Girl is hardcore because she ran this race ultra and finished with 33.5 miles.  After Steph finished Jorge ran his toughest leg of the race, and then handed off to Julie.  It took Julie about 5 minutes and 3 seconds to run her 3 miles and then I was off. 

My final leg of the race started at 11:30am after the rest of my van was done running.  The thought of running 2.5 miles seemed hysterical at first but once I got my little booty moving I was sure glad I only had to go for less than 20 minutes.  I paced 6:46 for this leg and it felt like I was running 800’s the entire time.  It was hard!

And that was the end of the race for me.  I had an incredibly important Birthday party to get to and a freakishly awesome monkey costume to get into for the jungle Party!

Ragnar Thoughts/Analysis:

  • I had a freaking blast!
  • I ran much faster than I had anticipated.  Coming off of a marathon a week ago I had planned to just take it easy and avoid running fast.  But I realized this is much easier said than done.  I am competitive and I really just enjoy running faster and pushing myself.  I do not think I necessarily regret this decision nor do I feel like I was ever pushing myself too hard.  My running felt controlled and just like hard tempo workouts.  But I do think it was admittedly stupid to run a marathon/Ragnar back to back and I am thankful that my body held up so well.
  • Meeting new people and running with a new to me team was so much fun and I am so thankful for the lasting friendships I made.
  • I am sad I had to miss crossing the finish line with my team but being at my Nephews 2nd Birthday party was where I was supposed to be and I had more fun at the party than the kids.

Alright I will shut up now!  Tell me what you think about Ragnar?

There are a lot of mixed reviews/opinions about such events and I think it is fun and interesting to hear everyones opinion.