The Rag... a play by play


No I'm not talking about 'aunt flo', although I'm sure we could come up with some catchy van decor w/ that! I'm talking about the RAG of nar! The RAGnads. The Ragnar. It has been fun to read my fellow runner's take on the 188 mile race. I need to record my memories and show some picts!

Last year Lenni called me and asked if I would fly out to run this thing. I said sure and planned a relaxing trip to UT to run the Ragnar Relay: Wasatch Back. I flew out to UT and will record the other parts of my trip in a minute. Let's focus on the race. I don't know if I'd even call it that because I think the goal is to just finish! I have no concept of how 'well' we did in 'racing' terms, although I'm sure the people who ran across that finish line first do! Either way it was loads of fun, a totally new experience and worth repeating! What could be better than running, sitting in a truck tanning, laughing, eating and talking with a bunch of people I don't know? Few things compare!

Strangers are what they all were at first. I only really knew Lynette (and was way stoked to spend such concentrated time w/ her). I knew KJ and Kristy as acquaintances mostly, they went to Granger, but are younger than me. I of course know Ang and Nat 'Omer', but they weren't in my truck. BUT, by the end of our adventure we were thick as thieves, or thick as runners... same thing... swass/swatch, cursing, cheering, spitting, crude bodily functions, delirium and devotion!

Lenni and I shopped for some goods as soon as I got to her house Thursday afternoon (17th). We made her large pasta salad and I watched her multitask like a banchie, putting out fires right and left... quite literally... she almost burned her house down! I chatted w/ Mads and carried around Iza and loved every moment. We went out to eat w/ Joey, Taco Time per my request... gotta start the run off right w/ some crisp bean burritos! We don't have them here, they tasted so good! We went back home and got all our stuff ready to go. When Melinda arrived we packed up our things and headed up to Logan.

Lenni read us some rules on our way up. I got to know Melinda a wee bit. Her burly husband lent us his fabulous truck and they pimped it out w/ a sweet mattress. I was a little concerned that we'd all be leaving our butt stench on that, but she didn't seem to mind that. Melinda truly went home with a little piece of each of us!

We found our way to our hotel, after a stop at a smaller hotel we thought might be ours. There we saw the beginnings of the 'decorate you car all crazy' portion of the race. Some were clever and some were just lame. Of course we didn't do anything... but just BE cool! We saw the CTR van, and the viagra van and many in between. It was traveling entertainment either way.

We got to our room and dropped our stuff then checked in with our fellow runners, KJ and her husband Clint (who I kept calling Miles), Kristy and her husband Miles (who I also kept calling Miles!) Kristy was volunteering, bless her, and she got to hang with us most of the time, she was our bakers dozen addition, it was great having her be part of us!

After laughing for a few minutes, and coming up with a morning plan, we separated. We three girls fought over who would be sharing beds and despite my warning of wandering hands Lenni and I spooned all night... she thought I was kidding! She totally regretted it though. She is a 'high maintenance sleeper', perfect conditions needed or no sleep happens! Her ear plug fell out at some point through the night and for some reason my perfectly pitched lullabies, via nose whistling, didn't lull her back to sleep! Sorry! In my defense my poor nose hairs are not used to being so dry! I slept just fine though!

We had a 7:45 start time (they start runners every 15 minutes) and needed to be at the venue an hour early to check in, hear the safety schpill and such. We got up a little after 5 and did some yoga (not me), got ready, cleaned out the systems and met up just before 6 to pack up all our stuff. One photo of us at the beginning of our journey, then we headed to the meager pickings of hotel bfast, then off to our venue.

After hearing the safety stuff I was a little nervous about 'knowing my leg', there were like a million turns on roads I didn't know. I tried to write my route on my arm...

but then just decided to carry my paper w/ me, just in case. I gotta say, it was a little chilly, more than I had expected. I sported the full sweat suit right up until I ran...

I was near the start line and as we waited for the clock to count down they called our team #s and wanted us to do something. I knocked out a little 'I'm 50' from the SNL skit and was ready to start. As we headed out I held back a little because I had no idea where to go. I had my paper though and followed behind some chick. After a few turns, that were clearly marked I felt no need to hang back w/ the others and took off at my own pace. I ran through Logan and up into Providence and Millville. I think it was Providence that I was loving, so pretty! I have the picture stuck in my head. I was doing some passing and feeling pretty good! I finally saw our truck passing me and cheering for me and that was great! I was a little confused on where to pass off at the end of my run. I couldn't tell where the gate was. I wanted to sprint in, but oh well! Glad I saw Miles crossing the street, he directed me! I slapped that bracelet onto Lenni and she took off!

I finished 7.9 miles in 57 minutes, a personal best for me. (7.12 pace)

I keep track of this stuff, just never mind me!

After my run I stretched for a minute then we got in the truck to go cheer on Lenni! I chose the back. I loved it, let the sun pour down on me! I enjoyed visiting w/ KJ and getting to know her a bit. Look at her go! She is the bomb! I jumped out of the truck and ran her up this nasty hill and she about hyper-ventilated, which scared me... not sure what to do when that happens, but she finished strong... I tried to share some tips to avoid that in the future.

And here she is at the hand off to Miles.

There he goes...

We continued on our beautiful drive, we cheered, saw Hyrum Res, took picts, then waited for Miles to come on in. He got a new top and was excited to try it out. His hopes were for little to no nip chafing... the top failed and left the ugly beginnings of sore man nipples! Remember "The Office" episode w/ bleeding nips? We did too! Poor Miles! I sat in the back... still, this time w/ Melinda. She is great and I laughed a bunch w/ her. I do enjoy her company! Somewhere along in here we noticed a growing trend w/ KJ and Clint, they kept misplacing their camera! We had about 20 gadgets up front, but none were the camera! Each time they picked it up and put it down again it was in a different spot, once it was even on the back of the truck, still there as we drove away. Trusty Kristy spotted that before running over it and grabbed it for us! There were some good picts on there, that'd be a beyotch to loose! Designate a spot! Good times!

Miles in action... he totally passed those chicks behind him. Goooooo Miles!

Here is Melinda getting ready to run.

... and mid stride... she had some pretty nice hill-age to run, and about this time it started getting warmer.

At each stop there are pottys and lots of people! We let Miles cool down then got in for more! I think some snacks were distributed and some liquid was downed. We had three cases of water and only went through one I think!

KJ got ready for her leg. She had about the crappiest one there is! There was only one way through and that was the dusty road the runners were on, which means they eat our dust their whole run! Fun! Plus it was uphill, plus it was hot! She did awesome! Clint was our trusty waterboy! He ran across and assisted any of our runners that needed it, and if his wife wanted water instead of gatorade he ran back to fulfill the request, then ran to catch up! Like I said, trusty, going the extra mile!

... and her first taste of dust!

This next exchange was the worst! There was NO space for cars and runners, it was crazy! Clint took off and we followed single file with all the other cars. It took us forever to get out of the canyon, we didn't even seem him until he was almost done! Sorry Clint, we wanted to cheer more (this becomes a theme for the adventure too!) During Clint's leg I got to visit w/ Miles and learn a bit about he and Kristy's family. It was good times. He reminds me a bit of my BIL Scott.

So, Clint was our truck's last runner and he handed off to Darci. That exchange was large-marge, because that is where you hand off to your other team vehicle. There were showers and venues and such, just like they said there would be at these large exchanges. After Clint washed all the dust off we grabbed some free snacks then headed to our truck to drive to the next big exchange where our truck would hand off to us again. We thought we'd be waiting around for a really long time, we were ready to relax and eat. So we drove on and found what we thought was the next exchange... we did see a number 13 somewhere! We parked at a church, down the street from our exchange, got out and hit the restrooms, what? Where are all the rest rooms, and showers... hmmm that's weird. We made do and ate, relaxed. Then our team texted us w/ where they were in the race. They weren't taking as long as we thought they would take (they had a shorter distance to cover in their first legs). We ate and started getting ready. We headed over to where I would start us again, and waited... their last runner had started, shouldn't we see them soon? I saw runners running down the hill, and watched the next runners take off on flat ground. I knew my leg started w/ 1 mile up hill, then went 7.5 down, I don't know why that didn't register... her are Melinda and I waiting for them to call our number (at about .25 miles out someone radios in your #, as you pass them, so your next runner can be ready in the gate).

We got another text, asking where we were. Our team passed the lodge and were coming back? What lodge? (Snowbasin) She should be close to finishing, where is she? More waiting! She is here... where are you? We run across the street to the gate... did you call 580? No. What? Where are you? Exchange 13, then someone said, this is the END of 13! NICE! We were standing at the END of MY leg! Our team was waiting where they should've been... at the beginning! We RAN to the truck and jumped in, chaos! At first we were going to leave the guys, but they all jumped in and we drove the 8.5 miles up the hill! Oh man. I jumped out of the truck and we were off again... I didn't even see the girls face who was on my team! (I really don't know her at all, but my point is there was some craziness!) Once I was on the road I relaxed again... up hill! It really wasn't a big deal, like I said before it's not like an extra few minutes will be the difference between 20 and 21 place! Did I mention there were 1050teams... of 12 each? A lot of people! I'm glad the other part of our team wasn't mad at us!

This was a good run. The uphill was doable. I told Lynette when I agreed to do this I didn't want any big hills because I don't have any to train on out here. But I do have ONE and I do have my treadmill. I think next time I'd like to take on more hills. Most of the run was a pretty good down hill. I haven't trained w/ that either! No uphill= no down hill, and I can't do that on the treadmill. I had some good form, figured it out and did fine, it was a nice change on the muscles.

I ran this leg in 59 minutes (8.5 miles) which is a 6:56 pace

, the downhill helped right? I have to say I have not been as sore in my quads as I was after that leg. They got rocked! I stretched them out, but they felt it!

I handed off to Lenni and we cheered her on. Now we get to put on the manly construction vests, head and butt lamps. I didn't have to wear them at all, dang!

Miles went again and had the lovely sunset run, it started cooling off. People who live in the cities we ran through came out to cheer the runners on. During the day they sprayed us w/ hoses and during the night they just cheered from under their blankets! Speaking of that we cozied up under a blankie and cheered for our team.

Waiting to cheer for Miles...

Melinda was up next. She hit the head prior to her run. Lenni and I thought she was still in there as we saw Miles run past! We panicked and were yelling at the portajohns! I was yelling to Miles that she wasn't there yet... but she was! She was waiting and the exchange was fine!

Back at the truck we were all a little nervous about KJ. She had a bit of heat stroke and was feeling yuck after her run. We talked about each of us taking some of her run, as she walked off dry heaving! Prior to his run Miles had a headache, but said it left as he started running. KJ was hoping for the same feelings! She was determined to run it... and she did!

We drove to a school where Melinda passed to KJ. We checked on her as we passed her and she said she was fine. We got in the truck and I made us dinner as we drove. Same stuff, pasta salad, chicken salad croissants, fruit. It was getting late and we didn't realize, how hungry we were. Lenni and Melind were under a blanket in the back and the dudes were in the front. Miles enjoyed driving Adam's truck! As we were waiting to see KJ we cheered on other runners. This is where Lenni coined 'go runner'! It lost it's shimmer after a minute so she switched to 'sexy runner', 'fast runner', back to 'runner'! Really, she is such a great cheerleader, we'd be mid-sentence and she'd interrupt to cheer for passing runners! Who doesn't need that while running in the dark? I'm sure it helps!

KJ passed to Clint. It was dark and late, maybe around 10pm or so? We felt like we really needed to cheer for Clint because we missed him on his first leg. Too bad it was so freaking dark! We kept cheering on runners, calling his name! A fellow runner responded "no diggity" to our cheers and Lyette was sold! That was the new phrase for the rest of the race! As we waited Miles got a call from Kristy, who was ready to meet up w/ us after her volunteer shift was over. Of course that is when Clint runs past and says ...'is that SoleASSylum'? Lame! We didn't get him again! We tried our best to make up for it and yelled really loud. I'm sure the people who live on the route hate the night runners! We drove up the canyon to the next checkpoint, to hand off to truck 2. It was a slow ride and some runners made it there before their trucks. The last little bit of that run had to have been a beast, dirt, uphill, dark... at least kept company by all the cars next to you!

After Clint passed off we walked back to the truck and waited for Kristy to get to us. We girls snuggled in the back under blankets and laughed at the stinky boys next to us. We tried to rest, TRIED! When Kristy arrived we headed to some rodeo grounds to sleep and wait for truck 2. They had the crappiest times to run, mid day and through the night. Ug! Melind and KJ got in the cab. Miles went w/ Kristy and Lenni and I spooned again in the back of the truck. It was cold! We really spooned and laughed! She said if she didn't sleep we'd all be sorry! She tried, sucks to be a 'high maintenance sleeper' when you're in the back of a truck huh? Too bad :( is what I thought as I drifted off to sleep! Then we had to change positions and I was cold, so I didn't really sleep! When we arrived there were tons of people there, it was like 2am and we decided Lenni, me and Melinda would sleep in the back of the truck. KJ and Clint slept in bags on a tarp on the lawn. Miles and Kristy slept in their car. We busted out the sleeping bags and threw them over us and got plenty warm! Again, I slept fine, enough to get me through. We got up at 4:50 and got a hot breakfast, after running back to get our $, it's not free? We waited to hear from our team. This time we did get to see them before we headed out again! It was good times to hang for a moment and hear their stories. Nat never wants to do this again, the married couple were having a 'great' time... wherever they could (in the truck, portajohns... ), Ang was going to run the RAGNAR, the toughest leg of the race.

I almost made it to the exchange on time! I did one last pee run and waited for Lenni it was the second time I was waiting for her and she'd already taken off! Mel came and found me and told me the runner was waiting. Again I ran over to the gate and once again took off in a frenzy! It was just about 7am.

We are at it again! I took off way too fast for myself. I had trained to 16 miles and ran that a couple of times. It didn't work out for me to go 18 and I really wanted to go 20. I figured I'd be fine, what is 5 more miles? It is a little fatiguing is what it is! My legs were tight! I wanted to bust out those last 5 miles! At about 2 I slowed a little. The whole race I was only passed 3 times and they were all on this leg! Those little dudes were booking! It felt tough as shown in my time!

This leg I ran in 36 minutes (4.8 miles) which is a 7:30 pace.

Not awful, but not great for a 5 mile race pace! When I passed my pals I thought, oh great I must have a bunch left! I was almost done at that point though. I was happy to hear the 'go runner, sexy runner, no diggity' calls! Once I saw the walkie-talkie chick I kicked it in a little and finished strong! I ran from Oakley to Kamas.

Lenni had her bday on June 19, the Saturday of the race. We cheered for her loud and proud. After hearing us all the fellow runners wished her a happy birthday too!

Miles had a pretty tough run ahead of him. He did awsome! How fun to have Kristy there too, cheering him on! There were some tard girls jumping out in the road. I guess the 'scare' tactics didn't work on them.

Little photo op after Miles run. It's sad I can't remember any of the names of these places, I have to look them up, but some reservoir I know I've waterskiied at!

Melinda did great! We got to see a different side of her! It was the white, rear side of her! Loved that moment shared with so many others at that exchange! It was spurred by another team that showed us their noon day moon as well! I was enjoying the sunshine in the back of the truck again, so happy to be done w/ my race, just relaxing in my stink!

 KJ on her way out, and look... the one of the 'speedo' runners. It was during her leg that we tried to figure out when we'd be done w/ the race so families could meet us at the end. Um, we miscalculated!

We 'ended' w/ Clint running his leg, about a quarter mile w/ his rear hanging out!

Yea!!!! We're done! Now, hit the showers and wait for the rest of our team to run! I don't know why I hesitated to shower. I thought I'd rather wait and take a nice long shower at my sisters. I'm so glad I didn't wait, because I would've waited a lot longer than I was thinking. So, we showered, went to Subway, and McD's for Lenni's fries. We then drove to the Canyon's where the finish line was. (You wait for your team and all cross together.) There was a ton of traffic. We cleaned out the truck and headed up to the families that were waiting. My mom came up w/ Bonnie and C&S were running late (perfect!) We kept in contact w/ our team and we were pretty premature in our guesstamate. It's fine, I just felt bad having family wait for so long, and you want to celebrate your completion when you complete, not 4-5 hours after the fact. We waited and shopped, I got a snow shack, we visited with a random dude, got a nice gust of wind that blew some table umbrellas all over, saw my sis and her fam, visited, then went to the finish line (again, we'd gone to wait earlier). We saw our runner coming in, injury and all, and we all ran over the finish line.

Hooray! We did it! Now let's get out of here!

Crossing the finish line

Our whole team

Our truck... love them!

I had a great time! I must say that I feel pretty fortunate w/ the legs I got. I ran early in the morning both mornings and in the evening. Never crazy hours, and never crazy hot! Matt had me phyched about the altitude, but it didn't bug me at all, in fact I felt the air was easier to breathe than the muggy air I've been chewing here at home!

Thanks Ragnar for the great time. Thanks fellow runners for the fabulous memories. I did send a disk to Lenni of all the picts I took. Have her make you a copy, unless she already has, she's speedy like that.

I left w/ Cand &Scott. We drove home and got Cafe Rio for dinner. This now gets into the 'vacation' portion of the trip, which I'll do in a seperate, shorter post!