Tag Archives: Ultra Team

Part 2: Kona Ragnar Hawaii

27 Oct

WEDNESDAY: 

The second part of my Hawaiian vacation was about to begin.  The girls arrived and we headed in Kailua for lunch and groceries.  We rented a killer house in Waikoloa Village.

That evening we went to the Marriott Waikoloa Luau.

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I didn’t really know what to expect.  I checked the menu before agreeing on it.  It looked like I would have something to eat.

We enjoyed the sunset, drinks, dinner, and the show.  It wasn’t really what I expected but then I wasn’t even sure what to expect.

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The Ragnar packet pick up was at the same hotel.  We squeaked in right as they were closing.  It was nice to just have that done so we didn’t have to worry about it the next day.

THURSDAY:

We hit up the Waialea beach for some swimming and snorkeling.  It was perfect.

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We used the boogie boards like rafts!

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We went into Kailua to have lunch.  We went to a Mexican restaurant that Dan and I had been eyeing the week before.  Talk about being on Hawaii time.  2 hours that we will never get back.  I showed them around the pier and the Ironman swim start.

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After a long afternoon it was time to hit the grocery store, get home to cook dinner, and get packed up for the relay.

FRIDAY: Day 1 of Ragnar Hawaii

After not getting an earlier start time, like I wanted—another long story, we were stuck with an 8:45 start.  We made our way to Hilo.  It was already sunny and hot.

Jen was our newest addition.  Anne got herself knocked up and was out for Hawaii.  Stephanie and Laura talked Jen into something she would probably regret getting talked into it!! 🙂

We were originally going to do 3-double legs, but they changed a bunch of legs around and there was 2 really long legs in our 3rd set of legs, so we opted to run 2 longer legs and 2 shorter legs like Del Sol.

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With all the changes I ended up with the most amount of miles.  Shit. How did that happen? I feel like that happens every.single.time!!! Enough complaining.  I was off for a long run!!

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Who is ready to start Ragnar Hawaii?!! Not me!!!

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Me(runner 1); Laura (runner 6); Kat(runner 3); Jen(runner 5); Erica (runner4); Stephanie (runner2)

LEG 1: legs 1 and 2: 13.53 miles  11:06/mile 8:45 am

Well I really wanted to try and go out easy.  It was going to be hot and miserable no matter what. Turned out to be hot, miserable, and slow.  It was a hard leg.  There was a lot of uphill.  The van wasn’t meeting me until after the first exchange, which ended up being a huge mistake.  I was so hot.  I wanted to take me shirt off(who am I?)  I had run out of Gatorade by the first exchange.  I did come upon this guy who was washing his car and I had him spray me down.  That was nice but it dried quick!!

Honestly, I wanted to quit so bad.  I wanted to see the girls, have them pick me up, quit this madness, and just go to the beach!! I didn’t want to go on.  I didn’t want to run anymore.  I was in a pretty dark place for being at mile 6 of a 200 mile relay!!

Finally when I saw the girls at about 6.5/7 miles I got more water.  They put more sunscreen on me.  I definitely got a second wind.  They stopped a few more times before the end of the leg.

Leg 1 DONE!! This leg pretty much confirmed that legacy for IMWC was out. No thank you!

We were all pretty miserable on our first legs.  It was hot, windy, it rained, and there was huge elevation gain.  We got a pretty good rhythm of stopping to support with cold water, ice, and sunscreen.  Picture the pit crew of a Nascar race.  We all took the welcomed break.  Except one of Steph’s legs.  She was trying to pass a gal.  We barely got her bottle filled and ice down her sports bra before she was off again!

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LEG 2: leg 13: 9.2 miles 9:31/mile 9:40pm

I thought this leg would be so much better.  It was my night leg.  In the dark.  Always my favorite.  Wrong!! The chart said it was all downhill.  Which isn’t exactly easy.  You pound on your quads.  My toes were totally wrecked from IMWI already. That was not going to help on this leg either.  We also had learned in the last 12 legs that the chart wasn’t exactly correct either.

I experienced everything during this leg.  Headwind, tailwind, cross wind, mostly downhill, but there was some good uphill stretches too.  The one cool thing was the moon was full and it was amazing.

But still a very hard leg.  DONE!

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LEG 3: leg 24: 7.87 miles 10:18/mile 7:21am

Another “downhill” leg.  Now my quads were totally trashed from leg 2 and my toes may fall off at any second.  I was going to start my third leg.  It started off downhill and good.  My legs were not happy but at least there was no wind.  The sun had just rised and was out in full force.  I knew I would need to bottle some of the “cool” 70 degree air because my next leg was going to be at least 90!

I got into a pretty good groove with a pretty good clip and then it started.  Out of nowhere the wind went from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds. I was so sad.  The view was awesome though!

It ended rough and another shitty leg DONE!

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LEG 4: leg 31; 4.4 miles 12:23/mile 1:45pm

This one was a doozy. This one started in the Energy Lab.  Which was kind of cool.  It started in sand. (WTF?) It was an uphill out and onto the Queen K.  HOT, HOT, HOT.  I didn’t even start with a shirt on!

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I just kept telling myself to go SLOW…JUST GET IT DONE…SO CLOSE BUT SO FAR AWAY!

A gal from another ultra team came up to me and we started chatting.  I wanted to walk so bad but I kept with her.  She was running leg 31 and 32 and I felt bad for her!  We chatted which was fun.  We passed another ultra gal.  At about mile 2 I saw the girls and got some more cold water.  My new friend had kept going but I caught her.  We ran and walked a bit more.  She saw her team and I kept moving.  She never caught back up to me.  I definitely powered through.  Run, walk, run…it wasn’t the death march that I thought it would be…but it was finally over.  I handed off to Steph for the last time!!!

Just as fast as it started it was OVER!! We all killed our last legs and finished in 34 hours 36 minutes.  It was good for 1st place in the open women’s ultra division.  We were also 1st of all the ultra women’s teams.  BAM.  We got it done.

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SUNDAY: 

We had a great brunch and last hurrah before taking Erica to the airport.

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Do we all look like we just ran a million miles?

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We went down to the Old Kona Airport Beach.  Not a great beach for relaxing.  There wasn’t much sun either.  We checked out the open air market on All’i drive.  I had more ice cream at Kope Lani, my favorite ice cream shop! Hula Mocha Freeze FTW!!!

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We were all tired, sore, and stiff.  But it was nice to move around in the fresh air.

MONDAY: 

Back to Hilo we went.  We knew there was some waterfalls that we wanted to check out.  It was worth the trip.

We first stopped at Hilo Shark’s Coffee.  Most of us got milkshakes and some got coffee.

Rainbow Falls was awesome.  The sun has to be facing the falls to see the rainbow.  When we got there the sun wasn’t even out. But as we hung out for a bit it came out and so did the rainbow.

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We hit up Pe’epe’e Falls and Wai’ale Falls.

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Akaka Falls was our 4th and final stop.  400 feet down.  Nice little hike too.

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Another great day in paradise.

TUESDAY:  

My last day.  What a sad day that was.  After 12 days in Hawaii, I was getting ready to leave!  Jen left a couple of hours before we did, so we went back to the Energy Lab for one last dip!

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Ragnar Del Sol 2015

25 Feb

Another Ragnar in the books! We accomplished 210 miles in 34 hours and change in the wide open desert! This was almost the same team as Vegas Ragnar but Kara had to work so Kat took her place.

We were taking on the challenge of doing it ultra style. 6 women —> double the legs! When I first suggested this relay months and months ago I noticed the 13.5 mile leg. Well if we were doing double legs that meant that person would have to run 13.5 + the next leg (which I think was 6-7 miles). No one wanted to do 20 miles in one leg so I suggested we do a 4 legs instead of 3 or 6 legs. I came up with a plan that we would run 2 long legs and then 2 shorter legs. We all ran between 33-38 miles.

We arrived in Phoenix: Retrieved our van, had dinner, headed to the pre-party at Roadrunner to get checked in and decorate the van.
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The start line in Wickenburg, AZ:

Stephanie: Runner 3; Anne: Runner 1; Laura: Runner 2; Kat: Runner 4; Erica: Runner 6; Me: Runner 5

Stephanie: Runner 3; Anne: Runner 1; Laura: Runner 2; Kat: Runner 4; Erica: Runner 6; Me: Runner 5

We quickly got running. Anne was off:
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When you are runner 5 on an ultra it is a looooonnng wait until you get to run. I of course was super nervous because it was hot or at least much warmer then I would have liked it to have been!

We were doing great. Anne, Laura, Steph, and Kat had battled their first legs like rock stars. Enjoying the cactus and desert!
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It was finally time for me to run.

Leg 9: 4:30pm: 13.5 miles: 2:23: Average mile 10:28. Here is the profile:
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As you can see it is ALL uphill. Since it was my first leg, I was still fresh. It was more of an incline then an uphill. I think the gain was only 400 ft. But still. It was warm at the beginning. But I was going to stay positive and happy. Just a little half marathon. NBD!!! I also was starving all of a sudden at mile 2. Shit! Only 2 gus on me. Shit! (it ended up being fine)

The miles clicked by pretty fast. There were 4 aid stations because this was a NO support leg. There was a girl in a purple tank top that I thought I could MAYBE catch up too. Sometimes I thought I was getting closer to her and sometimes I thought I was getting further away. I finally caught up to her at the mile 9 aid station. I thought maybe we could talk. She didn’t seem to want to. I literally ran her pace but about 5 feet behind her. At the mile 11 aid station we ran side-by-side for a good mile. In the meantime we passed a guy that was run/walking.

At about mile 12 we caught up to another girl. She said we were looking good. At that point it was almost dark. I lost both the new girl and purple tank girl. I had a mile and a half to keep it together. I passed 4 GUYS walking between mile 12.5 and 13. I was feeling really good but ready to be done!!!

I got a medal. Everyone got a medal who did this leg. It is the longest leg in Ragnar history! FUN!
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Erica ran the anchor position and we started all over again. I felt like once I ran once it went FAST. We tried to get Subway but it was already closed. We were all really sad. I think I took 2 naps! It was already time for me to run again.

Legs 20/21: 4:48am; 10.2 miles; 1:46; Avg mile 10:23; Rolling hills through some farmland.

This leg started a bit rough. Laura and I got out of the van to use the portie potty before I was up. We thought we had lots of time but we couldn’t find the portie potty. They had dropped them off in the wrong spot(wrong parking lot across the school campus). By the time we figured out where they were we had wasted at least 20 minutes. I had decided that I wanted to wear a long sleeve(I had a short sleeve on underneath my jacket). I went back to the van and Kat was already at the exchange. My watch wasn’t on. I finally started to run. I realize my shirt was on backwards. I loose my pony tail holder right off the bat. I couldn’t get my iPod on. I think I hope this run gets better! I also think it is nice and cool how could it be bad!

Well it was good but my knee started to hurt. My foot was hurting. I just kept pushing through! I passed a couple of girls which is always fun! I finished and the sun was going to come up in minute!

This happened while Erica was running:
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We all survived our 2nd legs! Anne was off again just like that! But now the legs were shorter. (except Kat who had a 9 mile no-support leg). The suns out guns out!!!

Sometime in the early morning:
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Leg 28: 11:51am: 4.3 miles; 44:16: average mile 10:19: rolling hills

It was HOT! I was going to stay positive. I felt pretty good but the sun was out and intense. This was a very mentally tough leg. I was fighting. It was hot. I passed 3 girls. Right before I passed each one I thought I am going to chat with them for a minute. Just as I was going for the pass each one of them started to walk. I thought dang it! I also didn’t want to walk just so I could talk to them. Even though I thought about it! 🙂

I was glad that it was a relatively short leg. I had a cold Mt. Dew waiting for me in the cooler! I also had lunch and 3 smallish cookies. Well the cookies didn’t sit well in my stomach. As the hours went by until my next leg I got more and more nervous.

I did get in a nap. Not sure how my sunglasses got that way!
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Leg 35: 4:48pm; 1:01; 5.75 miles: Average mile 10:44; mostly flat; few little rollers

Pretty uneventful. I just wanted to keep running even if it was really slow!! My knee was bothering me and I think that slowed me. The temperature had definitely dropped. It felt pretty good. I was pumped that it wasn’t super hot!!

It was hard to believe we were at the finish line!!
Finish line festival:
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Erica, mom-to-be, rock-star runner, finishing what we started only 34 hours before:
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Ultra NOTs!! FINISHED!! BOOYAH!!
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Paleta’s Betty’s popsicles!! Delicous!! Do we look tired or WHAT?
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Super fun time in the desert!!

The LAST of Ragnar Training!

16 Feb

I am taking on my 4th Ultra relay this coming weekend! I have prepared for each of them a little different. The first one I definitely trained the hardest. I think because I was the most nervous!!! The 2nd/3rd ones were in between triathlon season/recovering from a marathon. This one I was a little more nervous about my foot.
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Once I figured out the foot thing I felt better about running more miles. I can’t believe next weekend is happening next weekend. We signed up for this when we were still in our–finished–Ironman–endorphin–phase. I think most of the team just wanted to put a race on the schedule! I have been wanting to do Del Sol for a while. The weather should be great. I think that it will be a little hot while we are running but shorts and tanks here we come!!

Here is the extended forecast! It was supposed to be in the 70s but now in the 80s! WE.ARE.IN.TROUBLE!
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I have been doing a few doubles the last couple of weeks but I wanted to get in a triple before last weekend: To seal up the training so I can “taper”!!

The plan was to do my split run Thursday morning; hilly run Thursday night; long run Friday morning.

Thursday morning: 3.5 miles to the gym. 1 hour strength work out (including a mile run within). 3.5 miles home. Felt pretty good. My average home was faster than my run there! Booyah!

Thursday night we were already to go for a run. Literally in our clothes and all of our reflective stuff outside doing our dynamic stretching and Bam I got this side ache. Not like a regular side ache but a weird one. After 10 minutes I decided we couldn’t go. Every step hurt. We scrapped the run and I was pissed!! Dan kept reminding me that I had already worked out, it was no biggie!!

I decided I would do the long run Friday morning as planned. I did 11 miles. It started a little rough. But ended good. The sun was out and “warm.” I wanted to wear a short sleeve shirt but decided on a long sleeve because it was going to be hot when I am running next weekend! Suns out guns out!!
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{Very quick side note: Love Channing! Just saw the preview for Magic Mike XL! Holy smokes!}

Friday night we did the hilly run we were supposed to do on Thursday. It was hard but good. I was pumped that I had finished 26 miles in 2 days. Or 34.5 miles in 4 days!!!

ARIZONA here we come!!!

Relay Fever: Ultra Style

4 Apr

Well it is that time of the year when we are trying to decide what relay we want to do. Who we want on our team. What time of the year is going to be best. For some of us the decision is to do an ultra or regular team. If you decide on an ultra, are you going to do 3 long legs or 6 shorter legs?

Holly, Lauren and I are Ragnar ambassadors. We are here to talk about some of our relay experiences especially ULTRAS!!
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I have done 3 ultras. All 3 with Ragnar. (Northwest Passage 2x and Las Vegas 1x) I have done 6 regular(12 person) teams.

I remember after my first ever relay in 2011. We had so much fun and thought the next year we should do it ultra style. We were obviously in that post-race bliss period and decided on something far more stupid than we thought could be possible. It was obvious that we would do 3 long legs. Legs and team name were picked in the van back to Portland the next day!! NWP ’12 Comin’ In Ultra Hot would be there!

I am not sure how we ever decided on 3 legs instead of 6. I think that the biggest reason was the wardrobe. I like to take 3 sets of clothes to wear one on each leg. If we were doing 6 legs that is 6 sets of clothes. That is personally more than I want to pack. Another reason is you run long and then you get a long break. You can actually have a “meal” instead of just a snack going into your 2nd and 3rd runs. You have more down time to take naps because people are running longer so you are not having to stop at every exchange like you normally would.

I remember training really hard for that first ultra. I would run long Thursday night and then long Friday morning. Then I added in a few Friday night runs when it got closer to the race. I remember being nervous too. Just like you would be nervous for your first half marathon or marathon.

The FINISH of my first ultra!

The FINISH of my first ultra!

I think that one was the most prepared for in the 3 I have done! We were all happy that we had done 3 long legs. I will say after doing an ultra team I didn’t really want to do a 12 person team again. I liked how the entire team was in the van. Way less logistics than a 12 person team. We were always on the go. But we had big breaks the way the legs played out with who was running them.

I felt like the 2nd one(NWP ’13) would be better just because I had already done one. Ultra Dicey was a smorgasbord of runners. 2 of us had returned from the year before. We were the “veterans” that “knew” how to do an ultra relay! HA! I did not train like I did the year before. But I was fresh off half-ironman training so I thought I could wing it. I will say it is much harder when you are not totally prepared for it! 🙂 Early on we decided to do 3 long legs as well. I remember being super sore too!!

Rollin' the dice!

Rollin’ the dice!

When I got Ultra Dragging Aces together(Las Vegas ’13) we had a big discussion on the 3 vs 6 legs. It was quickly decided that we would go with 3 legs. The clothes were always the issue!! Secondly the time between legs was greater. More time for our legs to “recover”!!
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I have been super sore after all of them. Now neither that is because I have run 30+ miles inside 30ish hours or being cooped up in a van having run all of those miles or being sleep deprived. Who knows really?!

I think that one of the biggest factors in running a relay is fueling. You need to make sure that you are eating enough to fuel your body for your next run. But you run the risk of stomach problems. With an ultra it is even MORE IMPORTANT to fuel right. You are always on the go and need to be prepared!!

Now you can check out the relay maniacs stories and then you can decide for yourself how many legs you would like to run!

Holly has done 2 of the hardest Ragnar’s (Wasatch Back and Colorado) as a 6 leg ultra. She is taking on Las Vegas this year and I had to be the one to tell her she doesn’t run anywhere near the strip!! She swears by 6 legs. She believes that you can run faster in 6 legs than 3. Go find out what her take on the whole clothes situation is or not!!
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Lauren did her first ultra relay last year. We actually met at exchange 26 at NWP! Yeahyaaa! Her and her team decided that there were a couple of legs that were too long and have constructed a 4 leg plan for this year. She might be on to something here and may never go back to a 12 person team.
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I am more of an endurance runner. I think that is why the 3 legs appeals to me. Long and slow. Someone who runs every day and fast may like the 6 legs that are shorter that can be faster. How many legs would you want to do? If and when you complete an ultra relay you will feel like a BAD-ASS! ESPECIALLY if you do 3 legs and get to run through your first exchange screaming ULTRA…just passing through!!!

I think that doing a 6 leg ultra would be interesting. I would pack double the clothes and see what happens!

Ragnar Las Vegas Re-Cap

10 Nov

None of us were real sure who’s idea this was or when we decided to take on Ragnar Las Vegas as an ultra team! BUT IT HAPPENED! Now that it is all said and done “what happens in Vegas is still sore in Oregon!”

Lets start from the beginning! We got the van decorated! Very important step in the is journey!
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Ultra Dragging Aces taking on Ragnar Las Vegas.

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Runner 6: Laura, Runner 2: Anne, Runner 3: Kara, Runner 1: Erica, Runner 5: Stephanie, Runner 4: Me

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Who knew that it had already snowed! It is only November!!

We started at 8,000 ft at Lee Canyon Ski Resort at 8am! Erica took off for legs 1&2. Just like that we were off and running!
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I wasn’t on the docket until about 1. I started at 1:18pm and it was hot already. My first leg was 12.1 miles–legs 7&8. A lot of uphill in the sun. The majority of the leg was running through neigborhoods and going through stop signs/stop lights. The running was pretty good. It was definitely the weirdest leg–a very “city” run. I felt like it was good for the exception of the 5 lights that I had to stop at!! Total buzzkill!

We got some food and did some more running! All of a sudden we had started our 2nd set of legs. Everyone was doing great and running hard!!

At 9:36pm I started my second leg. 9 miles–legs 19&20. This was definitely my favorite leg. It was dark. I mean dark dark. We were on the eastern side of the city away from all of the lights! I got into a nice groove. I felt really good. It was perfect running weather. Cold! It was so different than my first leg. After I handed off to Steph, I was crossing the highway, and tripped on the median divider. I totally twisted my ankle. I almost fell on my face and I was not even in my Hokas! I was so pissed. (It didn’t effect my running/walking thank goodness but it is still sore!!)

Laura was our ace driver and I did a lot of the navigating. The girls took over and let us rest a few times! 🙂

Here is a good one of us sleep deprived at about 7am Saturday morning.
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It was happening again. I was going to have to run again. The third and finally time at 7:27am for 12.7 miles. Let me show you the elevation for this one:
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I was NERVOUS. Had this been flat I think I would have been fine but it was almost all uphill. The entire leg was on a trail. At first I thought a “trail” like dirt/rocks/gravel trail. It was a paved bike/ped path. It was amazing! The first part was decent. Pace was decent. I thought all I have to do is get through this. I took off my arm warmers when I saw the girls about 4 miles in. It was already getting warm. The sun was out in full force.

The start of the 2nd part was hard. It was much steeper then I thought. At that point I knew it would be a sufferfest to the finish! I got some more water at 6 miles in and told the girls it was going to be a long 6.7 mile deathmarch to the exchange. I was walking and running. I was feeling good and bad. I had multiple dark times. I was trying to dig deep but I had given up and fought and given up and fought! Not a lick of shade. I had run out of water. The leg was a no van support leg! Bull shit!! Ragnar usually has a water stop on longer no van support legs. I just was not that lucky! WTF? It was so hot. The sun was beating down on us! Even when I got a bit of relief and had a downhill my quads hurt so bad (there was not much of that anyway!) 😦

Spoiler alert: I survived. It was not pretty but I made it!

I took my last baby wipe shower and was feeling good!
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Steph was running through the Lake Med rec area. I was so happy to be done!!!

Laura not only was a rock star driver but she had a 15 mile FINAL leg through the desert in the heat of the day with no shade!! We saw this coyote while we were supporting her!!
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We finished in 30:13! ROCK STARS!!! We came in 2nd in the womens ultra division! HOLLA!
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Here is our sweet medals. I got a Deuces Wild medal because I did LV and another Ragnar(NWP).
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We had such a fun time! Our only major complaint was there was multiple legs that were overlapping. Ragnar does a good job with the directional signs though.

4th and final relay of the year!!