Sunday, November 13, 2011
This is part 2 of the Ragnar TN race report.... Check out what was going on pre race for van 1 here!
First runner up was Mike.
There he is, waiting on taking over the slap bracelet from van 2. His first leg was basically all uphill, but he did his eight miles with awesome speed and I was surprised how fast it was my turn.
My first leg was 5.9 miles of rolling hills. It was chilly that day and also fairly windy, but once you got moving, it actually wasn't bad at all and I pushed down my arm warmers within the first mile. I got passed by a girl in the first couple of minutes of my run and thought to myself: "Here we go again!" But funny enough, I clocked my first at a 8:37 pace. I guess I scared myself a little here, wondering, if I am burning all my matches within the first mile, but actually was feeling pretty good. The leg was a straight shot along a highway with a good amount of traffic, no turns and pretty rolling. The wind always seemed to blow extra hard when I was about to run uphill. I actually walked for a little almost every mile while going uphill and used the time to drink. Even with those short walk breaks, the next couple of miles came in at 9:08 and 9:21. I saw a couple of people in the distance and noticed, that the gaps were getting smaller. I passed a girl close to one of the water stations and then another girl a mile from the exchange zone. The next miles came in at 9:19 and 9:23. The girl was walking when I passed her, but I felt that she was picking it back up again and I just wanted to make sure that I wouldn't be passed back and ran as hard as I was able to at this point. The last 0.9 miles came in at a 8:07 pace. Whose legs was I running with??? I handed the bracelet over to Terry and looked back and then noticed that it wasn't that girl chasing me, but five girls!! For most runners, this is not a big deal, but for me running 5.9 miles at an 9:08 average pace is unheard of and it made me very happy!!!
The next exchange zone was at an elementary school in the middle of nowhere and school was out when we pulled up. It's always fun to change into dry clothes under a towel with the chance of mooning a bunch of elementary schoolers! ;-)
Kelly was up next and her leg had a whole lot of turns in it. So far the Ragnar people did a great job of marking the course, so even with dawn setting, she was able to stay on course no problem.
Bryan was the first one having to run in night run gear (safety vest, head lamp and rear light) and I guess that's also why I didn't get a picture of him handing over to the last runner in van 2. Eric's leg was downhill for the first couple of miles and then a lot of flat country roads. While we traveled to the next exchange zone, we got stuck at a train crossing and we actually saw runners running detours. Fortunately, by the time Eric got to that spot, the train was gone.
While waiting for our last runner to came in, we reunited with van 1 and did a whole lot shenanigans with our safety equipment. Above you see me dancing Y-M-C-A.
After Eric handed back to van 1, they booked it to the next exchange zone, while we went on a quest to find some food.
When we handed back over, we were close to Winchester TN and there, we stopped in a BBQ place.
We do have a pretty bad track record with BBQ and relays, but the place looked good and we didn't have too wait too long for a table. Even without a long waiting time, it still took us a while to get our food in our bellies and back out of the place. Once we were back in the van we had to book it to the next exchange zone that happened to be at a high school. They had a football game there and because of that, there was a ton of traffic. We got directed to the back of the football field and our attempts to sleep were interrupted by the marching band and people cheering. Who in the world is doing 14 touchdowns?? Hmmmm???
We were in constant communication with van 1 and were told, we had 50 minutes until we were back on. The next thing I know, is that we got a text message saying they were stuck in traffic and we should go ahead.... I was awake within seconds, waking up the next runner and heading out to the exchange zone... Were the last van 1 runner was waiting and the first van 2 runner was still back at the van getting ready... Well, in our 4th relay, we finally got that mess up on our track record as well!