Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Race Report: 2011 Ragnar Relay Tennessee, Part 4

This is part 4 of my lengthy Ragnar TN race report. To read previous installments please click here, here and here.

This time we were ready to go when van 1 pulled in for the final handover. Mike headed out for his final leg as it was dawning, but there was thick fog hanging over TN that morning. While the course was well marked and the markers had blinky lights on top of them, the fog made it hard to navigate and Mike took a little detour... He just loves running so much, that he wanted to run a little more! ;-)

While I was waiting for Mike to come into the exchange zone, I had three small brownies and called it breakfast... Seriously, I had the stomach of steel for this relay.... Didn't want to press my luck though and didn't have the 4th brownie that I really still wanted! ;-)

Mike handed over to me and here I was on the road again for my final 5.2 miles of running. While the brownies settled well in my stomach, the monster hill in mile 1 sucked!!! And the downhill on the other side was so steep that you really couldn't open up completely either. Why to I always seem to have silly hard hills in my last leg of a relay?? (I just re-read that blog myself and it's funny how things have changed since our very first relay....) After going up and down that silly big hill (power walking some of it), the rest of the leg was pretty rolling, twisting and turning through back roads and quiet neighborhoods. I ran through fog and through bright sunshine, the TN weather just really couldn't make up it's mind that morning. Around mile 4, I felt myself running out of steam... Should have had that 4th brownie, but just tried to hold it together for the rest of the leg. I rolled into the next exchange zone with an average pace of 9:50. I was hoping for sub 10 pace, so I am very pleased with this run as well.

Terry still had his sweatpants on, when I got close to the transition area, so I surpised a little with my speed again! ;-) Due to the fog, they also extended the night running hours, so I also had to hand over my head lamp to him. His last leg was close to 9 miles and I sure didn't envy him for that.

Since the fog just didn't want to go away, Kelly also had to head out with a head lamp for her final leg even tought it was already around 10am at this point.

Do you notice something? Whenever I am not running and it's not dark, there are pictures being made! ;-) Unfortunately, that way there are not a ton of pictures of me... Gotta do something about that:

The sun finally decided to make a permanent appearance, but still kind of chilly...

Kelly was plowing through her leg that was hillier than any of us have expected... But, she got to run through some really nice neigborhoods with some really pretty houses. Once Brian was on the road, we made a quick pit stop at a gas station to get some junk food and drink and pump gas before headed out again to not miss him at the next exchange zone. His leg was also very hilly and the sun was out in full force and if you were running, it got kinda hot.

As soon as our last runner was on the road, we booked it to downtown Nashville to the finish area. Van 1 was already partying like rock stars and we wanted to make sure not to miss Eric.

The finish area was right next to the Hard Rock Cafe, right by the river.

Alex has this habit of photo bombing the girl's shots!

Eventually, Eric turned the final corner and we wanted to run over the finish line together... But he was RACING and had total tunnel vision battling out with a bunch of dudes in the last couple of yards! That's the spirit! ;-)

As it turns out, he got lost somehow and probably ran an extra mile. With all the people on the sidewalks in downtown Nashville, I guess it's easy to miss one of the markers and maybe some joksters also move them... Who knows. We made it to the finish and did better than any of us would have thought.


Next up: Post race pig out and race review! Stay tuned!

I wish all of you Happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the time with your family and friends!

1 comment:

  1. sounds like all of your legs went really well! hooray for speed! hope you had a good thanksgiving, tv and all :)