02 August 2011

Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage: Part Two

Once we got word that Jody (runner 12, van 2) was heading into the finish area we headed over to cheer Jason on as he started the second running session for our van.  We chatted a bit with the girls from van 2 and then decided we had better catch up with speedy Jason since he only had a 4.5 mile run.  We finally saw him around mile 3 or so, and by the time we parked and headed to the exchange area poor Maria didn't even have a chance to use the bathroom before she was handed the bracelet and sent on her way!  Jason finished his run in 33 minutes!
Jody from van 2 passing the bracelet to Jason.  Aren't his socks pretty??
Maria heading off for her second run!
Maria did a great job on her run- she was so funny when she passed the bracelet to Chris the first thing she said to me was "NOW can I go to the bathroom??"  At least she only had a 3 mile run!  Our team was doing such a great job we were actually ahead of our predicted pace schedule at this point!  Chris also had a short 3 mile run, then he passed the bracelet to Mandy.  She was starting her run at about 8pm and they were asking runners to start wearing the reflective gear even though the mandatory hours were 8:30pm to 5:30am.  So she was the first of us to get geared up and when Chris arrived she set out for her 4 mile run! 
Waiting for Maria to arrive at exchange 14.  Her beloved honey buckets are in the background!
Maria is happy to be done- Chris is on his way!
Chris passing the bracelet to Mandy- she is ready to go in her night gear!
We stopped a couple of times to check on her- she was having a problem with her calf muscle cramping up.  But she did a great job and soon we headed off to the exchange area where it would be Will's turn.  Will also had a short 3 mile run for his second leg and he was quick again!  I was more prepared this time though, I had pretty much gotten myself ready while Mandy was running. 

Our fearless driver!
My hubby- off like a rocket!
There goes Will!  Oh ya, and speedo guy- he wore those the entire time, even at the beer garden.
By this point it was starting to get dark, and I was hoping that maybe I would be able to complete my run while there was still a smidge of daylight (no such luck).  Suddenly Will was coming into the exchange area and he passed me the bracelet and off I went down the lonely open road, I believe it was around 9:15pm at that point.
Aren't I bright and shiny??
I again decided not to wear headphones- for one, I had a headache.  And for another thing I just felt like I needed to be focused on my surroundings and didn't want to miss any of the experience around me.  This was my most memorable run out of the 3, for lots of reasons.  I opted to carry a flashlight rather than use a headlamp (headache) and the tail light would not hook onto my skirt so it ended up in my ponytail!  I also opted to wear my running jacket- HUGE mistake, boy oh boy was I hot running in that thing! 
Ready to run!
So my run took place as the sun was setting, which was really awesome to watch- who gets to run down a back country road with cows and fields all around while the sky slowly changes colors and day turns to night?  Me, I did, and it was beautiful!  As I was running a van would pass by or be parked along the road and people would cheer me on and sometimes be playing music, which was nice because otherwise it would have been kind of creepy out there all alone!  I also kind of felt like as soon as I took off out of the exchange area they unleashed a male college track team or something- I got passed by about 20 guys like I was just standing still!  But still, it was nice to know I wasn't out there alone- even if I was the slowest darn person out there! 
The exchange- I borrowed this photo from Mandy because I liked the sky in it!
Our van stopped for me twice so I could have some water, and I asked for some Gu Chomps on the second stop- I was kind of hungry and needed just a little extra boost of energy.  I  learned that running with a heavy flashlight is interesting- heavier than a water bottle and I also kept flashing it into my eyes as I brought my arms back and forth.  I think I got a bicep workout in addition to my 6.6 mile run!  The weird thing was that my headache went away the minute I started running, and never came back.  Next time I have a headache I am skipping advil and just going for a run haha!  I think it might have been from doing so much sitting in the van actually, maybe I just needed some fresh air-but who knows? 

Eventually with about 1.5 miles to go I entered the little town of La Conner and there were some cute houses and a little downtown area to run through.  There was a bit of nightlife happening- it was afterall 10pm on a Friday night!  There were some local folks hanging out on the sidewalks and I got a lot of encouragement from them.  What a nice little town!  I was about to go around a corner when these 2 guys from another van pointed up above my head and said "look- there is a bat!" and sure enough there was a small bat flying around my head!  I told them to get it for me!!!  Thankfully the bat did not follow me around the corner!  Creepy.  At least I didn't scream like a little girl! 

After leaving the town area I got a bit lost- the Ragnar sign was confusing to me and there wasn't a soul in sight!  I took my best guess and headed up this extremely hilly, windy road in the pitch black night.  I ran for about 2 minutes up the hill then started second guessing myself when thankfully a van drove by and yelled "you are almost there!"  Thank you van!!!  So I just kept going up, up, up the never ending hill and finally arrived in the exchange chute where Cindi was waiting for me and passed the bracelet back to van 2!  Then I looked around and it was really dark- all I could see was a huge group of people wearing a bunch of reflective gear- how in the world was I going to find Will and the rest of my van???  Luckily they spotted me and then I started looking at my surroundings- it looked like we were in the forest!  I guess it was Pioneer Park in La Conner, WA- but to me it looked like a campground in the woods!  Van 1 was officially on break again- and we were hungry for a real meal!  My run was 6.6 miles in 1:03 for a pace of 9:28 (that makes a half marathon for me so far, in 2:02!).
This is a page out of the Ragmag(our guidebook)- it shows my route and written directions. 
And altitude- love that hill at the end!!!
We headed back towards our hotel and dropped Mandy off (she was more tired than hungry) and went to get a nice warm meal at Denny's!  Don't judge, it was 10:45pm where else were we supposed to eat???  After we ate we headed straight back to the hotel.  I hopped in the shower and by the time I got out Jason and Will were both fast asleep- it was about 12:15am.  Mandy texted me to let me know an approximate time for van 2 to finish up and that we should be leaving the hotel at 2:30am.  Awesome, it was about 12:45am and I set the alarm for 2am.  One hour power nap anyone????

To Be Continued Again!

1 comment:

  1. Hi

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