Sorry this has taken so long for me to write about…. it has been a super busy week.
We left off in the park in Stockholm, WI.
According to Ragnar rules starting at 6:45pm everyone outside of the van has to wear reflective vests and the person running has to wear a head lamp and a blinky light on the back of the vest. Joanna was up first to start our second set of legs.
While Joanna was getting into her zone, and we were waiting for Stuart to come in Mom decided to put some purple hair chalk into Dad’s hair.
Shortly after that Stuart came in and Joanna started her run. We headed off to find a spot to park and cheer her on.
Her leg was a rough one because there was a couple tricky spots that had construction and the highway was down to one lane. We stopped at a lookout shortly past the construction zones to wait for Joanna to pass.
We had some comedy from the flirt, Mark, while we waited for Joanna.
Apparently I was the only one paying attention when this picture was taken 🙂
When Joanna ran by us she was pretty shook up and all we head was that she hurt her knee…. Mom asked if she needed her to finish but Joanna said she could finish.
She was running pretty good so we headed to the exchange so Mark could get ready to run his leg. She came into the exchange very strong and then collapsed when she was done running. Herm (our driver) and I carried her to our van so she could give her knee a rest. We wrapped it and got ice and then headed on her way. Luckily I was pretty much ready to run so we didn’t need to be at the exchange to terribly early. We did not have time to stop and cheer on Mark though.
We got to the exchange and I quickly went to the port-a-potty and was ready to go. Mark came in and I started on my way.
I was really excited for this run because it was nice and cool and it was 3.4 miles all pretty much downhill. It was dark out and a pretty weird feeling. There was no one around me…. I was just running along in the dark listening to music. I could hear the bugs buzzing over my headphones. I turned onto a gravel road that had trees on both sides. My van passed me on that road and I told them it was scary as shit 🙂 Of course my mom freaked out a little so they stuck close to me on that road. Once I got used to running in pitch black it really wasn’t bad at all. I actually started to really enjoy it. Then I turned onto the highway and I could see blinky butts up ahead of me. I just followed the people up ahead and got into a zone. I really felt like I was flying because I was running downhill. This 3.4 miles was some of the best miles I’ve ever ran. I’ve had runners highs before but this was so much more amazing. I was kind of sad when I came into the exchange and handed off to dad.
Dad ran his leg and then handed off to mom. Mom was freaked about running in the dark so we leap frogged with her. We would drive slowly ahead, wait for her to pass and then drive slowly ahead again. She did really well on her run. Then she handed off to Jane. We did the same for Jane and then headed to the Ellsworth, WI High School (I believe) to meet our other van and wait for Jane to come in.
When she came in we headed to the van and went back to Woodbury. We had about 4 hours while the other van ran their 6 legs. Sorry no photos….. to dark 🙂
Luckily we are all from Woodbury, MN so we went back to my parents house and got a couple hours of sleep and a shower. When I woke up I was not feeling good. I think it was a combo of lack of sleep, skipping dinner and nerves. We headed to the Stillwater, MN junior high to wait for van 2 to come in. I took advantage of a cup of hot chocolate hoping the sugar would help with the lack of eating.
We were a little worried if joanna would be up to running her last leg. Mom packed extra running clothes just incase she needed to run for Joanna. Luckily Joanna just had a nasty bruise and no sprains so she was able to run. She ran a great last leg and then handed off to Mark.
I was super nervous for the run at the exchange. I think it was just because it was my last run. It was just a baby run 3.1 miles. Once I started running the nerves went away but then I regretted not eating and not stretching. This run was one of the hardest ever. Luckily my van stopped shortly after I started to cheer me on. I saw my mom way up ahead and yelled at her to get the shot blocks. She franticly ran back to the van and according to Mark freaked out yelling SHOT BLOCKS ALEX NEEDS SHOT BLOCKS. I guess people were pretty confused by her craziness. She was able to find a couple shot blocks and gave them to me before I passed by them.
I ran along a really nice path that was in and out of trees. This should of been a great run but I let my mind get the best of me and it was a terrible run for me. There definitely was a lot of walking. When I turned to head towards the exchange the ultimate challenge was right in front of me, a massive hill 😦 I tried my best to run/walk up it and was so relieved when I handed off the slap band to dad.
There may have been a couple grateful tears when I finished. It definitely was an emotional journey and so overwhelming to be able to say that I finished my 3 legs of the race.
Now poor dad had a ROUGH last leg. His was straight up hill in Afton, MN. He knew the hill from last year so he started off great. We stopped halfway up the hill and mom gave him some new water. She also had to run along with him for a little while so she could open his shot blocks for him 🙂 The shot block thing became something for us to laugh about lots.
Poor dad had no idea that instead of heading up his gradual uphill they changed the course and he had to turn and go up a massively steep hill!!!! We all felt for him when we passed by the hill. Running through Afton, MN is no easy task. Lots of hills. His leg ended at the Afton state park.
Herm (driver) and Theresa (safety person)
We enjoyed taking some pictures while we waited for dad to come in.
Dad was so happy to hand off to mom. I almost could hear him saying F*** F*** F*** as he came in 🙂 He was definitely saying it during his run. He needed a moment after coming in to settle down 🙂 Rough last leg but he was now done. We got changed and marked of our last legs on the van.
Mom kicked butt on her run and came in strong.
Now our final runner was on her way and we were all thrilled. Theresa and I were especially excited because Jane had a little prank planned for mom. As we passed Jane on our way to Cottage Grove High School she yelled at the van “Sherri, Shot Blocks!” Mom immediately freaked out and yelled for shot blocks. I quickly told her no that Jane was pranking her and that she didn’t really need them. It was hilarious to watch mom freak out.
Jane came in strong to finish off Van 1’s running.
Jane even gave Linda, Van 2’s first runner a nice sweaty hug. And Linda was on her way. Jane got cleaned up and we were all super excited to be done!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!
We stopped a few times for Linda to give her water and squirt her with the squirt guns. She really needed it. She had a horrible uphill on her third run and it was very hot. She came in strong and handed off to Chris.
Chris had a baby 3 mile run as his final leg so he booked it. We rushed to the next exchange to ensure Paul was ready to run before Chris got in.
When Chris came in Mom and I had to drench him with the squirt guns because he got my good during my first leg 🙂
Paul headed off and van 1 was on a mission to find a gas station for a diet coke. When you drink nothing but water and sport drinks in the heat you really crave a pop. Luckily there was a gas station on our way to the next exchange!!
Yay for diet coke and muscle milk for Mark.
Once our thirst was clenched we headed to the next exchange. Paul handed off the Warren.
When we got to the next exchange Stuart got ready to run.
And we all lined up to cheer Warren on as he came in.
And Stuart was off….
YAY for Warren, he did a great job finishing his hot run!
Stuart was our second to last runner…… we headed to the last exchange so Nancy could get ready to finish the race for us.
Nancy was off….. we had to quickly head to the finish to park in the ramp and watch for Nancy so we could all run through the finish line together.
In she came and we got the joy of running through the finish line as a team.
Here is a link to a You Tube video of our finish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wdwMhqCA2s&feature=youtu.be
Finish team photo:
For finishing Ragnar we got to eat pizza and have a free beer!!!
Cheers to beer and pizza….. and finishing the 2013 Great River Ragnar Relay!!!
Our awesome drivers and safety people
Finishing Ragnar is an amazing accomplishment….. I have to quote another blogger who wrote about his Ragnar experience.
“We’re crazies, weirdoes, fools who spend money to torture our bodies and minds and then return with nothing but a medal and a T-shirt. To an outsider I can understand why it may appear that way, but having gone through it, I now understand. Ragnar fundamentally changed who I am as a runner and as an athlete.” The words of Mark McGinty
I could not say it any better then Mark McGinty. Ragnar truly did change me as a runner. Even though my third leg was so terrible my second leg made it all worth it. No one will truly understand the feeling unless they have gone through it 🙂
I will definitely be doing Ragnar next year and I hope to have longer legs next year.
Any fun Ragnar stories???
Who wants to run it next year?????