Wednesday, November 21, 2012

the ragnar las vegas race report part 1.

man oh man am i behind! its been a crazy few weeks with no sign of slowing down anytime soon, but its kind of fun to be so busy:) so lets back up so i can finally tell you all about ragnar! in case you forgot heres the deal: you and 11 friends split up into 2 vans of 6 runners each to cover a distance of 200 miles in a relay sense starting in mt charleston and ending in lake las vegas! each person runs 3 legs and as soon as your leg is finished you hop back in the van while the next runner takes off, almost like a leap frog thing. theres not much sleep (we'll get to that), a constant funky smell, and you are closer to your vanmates in 30 hours than you are with most friends in months!
i have been wanting to do one for a few years but was a little chicken to sign up. when this year rolled around i was determined to find a team, luckily my friend sandy had an extra spot on her team which i quickly took. we met a few times as a team to determine a name and coordinate vans, etc. they seemed like a great group of girls and we were all in it for the fun, thank goodness!

november rolled around quickly and it was thursday night before fast. somehow i have had quite a few friends run one of these lately so i had lots of tips and tricks to keep in mind. (take a look at megans awesome list if you need!!) the best one out there for packing...put each outfit in an individual ziploc bag. #1 its easy to grab in a duffle bag. #2 it keeps from stinking up everything else in the bag and van. #3 things get hectic in the van and when your trying to sort out what belongs to who, baggies make iteasier. so i packed everything up and headed to bed way too late thursday night for an incredibly early alarm friday of 415a to get to the meeting spot.

i was in van 1 and runner #1 so we met at a major exchange in town so we could all carpool up the mountain to the start line. the weather had been absolutely beautiful all week until thrusday night when the wind started and the temperature dropped 20* overnight. this was going to be interesting. we quickly set to packing in food and decorating the suburban one of our girls had borrowed from a friend. it was already chilly and we knew the trek up the mountain would be interesting
the start line was at the las vegas ski and snowboard resort about an hour away. we left a little later then we probably should have which meant we got up there a little late. as we were climbing up the clouds seemed to get lower and lower and rain at the bottom. that meant at the top it was probably snowing, great. finally reaching the resort we checked in, got our safety brief, and made lots of new friends as we huddled together in the 27* weather, with 40 mph winds, snow, and a little bit of hail! finally it was time to start so we headed out to the start line after getting a little warm in the car.
the bananas! told you we made friends haha.
really?! 27*.

my 1st leg was just over 7 miles straight down the hill getting down about 2000 feet total before passing off to fanny. it was friggin cold, i was literally wearing 4 shirts, a scarf, a wrap around my ears, and gloves before finally getting warm. the downhill was great for time and i seemed to get out of the snow pretty quickly but that wind, dang. it was gusting so hard you had to really be paying attention or it would literally blow you over.

the 7 miles went really quickly, i think most of it was because i was so excited about finally participating. i found my team a few times and they cheered like crazy every time i ran by. soon i passed by the 1 mile to go sign and was ready to pass off to the next person. i saw fanny just up ahead jumping around with michele and slapped the bracelet on to send her on her way! i was feeling really good and finished the 6.95 miles (apparently it was just short of the 7) in 56:49 making it an 8:10 pace! after passing on i wasnt exactly sure what to do. stretch? am i hungry? can i just hop back in the van? i decided on the last one and we were off to meet fanny a ways down. the hunger didnt come till later and man it came hard core!
yay, 1st one complete!

we continued on down the mountain. picking up fanny, dropping off yumi. picked up yumi, dropped off cindy. it was about this time the hunger hit! finally back to the valley we picked up cindy, dropped off sandy. soon enough it was time to drop off our last runner-michele and meet our teammates in van 2 at the major exchange. up to this point we were just meeting our runners on the side of the road with a few porta potties and people there. the major exchanges are the fun ones where all the teams meet and they have more things going on. i should have taken my money so i could buy my ragnar sweatshirt there but wasnt thinking that fast.
some people come up with the coolest names!

once we finally grabbed michele we were all starving and decided on a local pizza/pasta place to refuel. it was about 1230p/1p at this time. the sucky part about being runner 1 is that you have to wait a really long time to eat, like 4-5 hours. i snacked along the way on bananas, trail mix, etc but its different then waiting a little bit after a run and then eating soon. we stuffed our faces and were glad to be out of the van for a bit. everyone was getting along really well and i was so glad our team was so easy going.

we headed out to our next stop at the jw marriot where we would pick up for the next set of legs. this was also a major exchange and we thought there would be a place we could dip our feet in, but it was more of just hang out on the grass and wait for the runners instead. we spent sometime in the casino wandering around mostly because it was warm and we could use real bathrooms haha. i mean, im all about a porta potties in need but a real bathroom is a better idea to change in! outside i ran into a few girls from my runner group i hadnt seen in awhile and soon it was about time for us to keep a look out for layna. we had heard quite a bit from the other team, thank goodness for cell phones, that she should be there right about 530p. now with the night legs you had to wear a headlamp, vest, and some sort of light on the back to be safe. all runners also had to have on a vest anytime they were outside the vechicle whether running or not. nighttime hours for us were 345p-630a since it was dark so early in november.

the actually runner exchange was kinda a total mess. there were just too many teams in a very small area. right on time layna came in and i was off again. this leg was a little shorter at 6.18 miles but it was straight uphill snaking through summerlin into the 30mph wind. not. fun. this one was by far my least favorite leg. luckily when i was startin to lose it a little bit my teammates found me to cheer me on! im not sure how they did since it was so dark, but thank goodness. and as i got to the end (or what i thought was the end at least) a girl from another team came up behind me and told me i was keeping a great pace and was good to follow! i was so excited:)
wow its dark!
 i crossed the exchange and gladly passed off the bracelet to fanny! the girls had stopped at the dunkin donuts in the parking lot and i gladly accepted the munchkins they had. it was cold and i was super over the wind. the next parts took us up through red rock and it was getting darker and darker plus colder and colder the later it got. i was sooo super glad to be finished haha. my 2nd leg time equaled out to 1:01:39 with a 9:58 pace. not the greatest one, but i was so happy to be done. the hunger started up again and so did the tiredness. finally we dropped off michele to take care of the last leg and end at the m where the next van could pick up. they had an out and back for their overnight leg to jean and back. i was super relieved to not have that leg, its straight out in the desert, yikes.
my cute teammates with donuts!
gotta huddle to stay warm:)
michele came back in right on timeand we gladly peaced out to somewhere warm and hopefully to sleep soon! it was just about 11p and wished the other girls luck as they took off. we had already established that after handing off to the other van we could just grab food to go somewhere and then head to micheles house to sleep since it was so close to the exchange. all of us were wearing fast and starting to probably get a little cranky. plus not everyone was heading out of the van everytime to cheer each other on, it was definitely time for some sleep. check back for all about the final leg and the finish line stuff!!
good luck ladies!
its time for van 1 to sleep:)


Paulette said...

Whoo yay Ragnar! Love the relays. Great photos!

Megan said...

Love this so far! I can't wait to read more... hurry up! :)

Nicole @ The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie said...

Yay! Loving the recap so far - it sounds like a totaly BLAST!! Your first leg was smokin too! Nice job!

I've always been interested in Ragnar but a little nervous to sign up, but I'm on an all girls AZ team this year - and now that I'm reading your recap I'm super pumped!

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