Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ragnar del Sol 2014

So. The main reason I'd come to AZ this week in February was to run a Ragnar. I never imagined I'd be saying those words. I'm not a runner. Part of my whole - Just Say Yes - birthday thing from the previous year got me into this situation. Once I signed up after cousin Julie asked, I figured that training through the holiday season would be really good for me, but I didn't anticipate a whole job/city/climate/life change in the middle of it. I didn't train as much as I wanted, but Utah has some nice public rec centers that are really cheap.  I did what I could and then I showed up!

Julie and Jesse had run a few of these before and their previous core teams came. It ended up being a great group. Julie and I were in different vans, but I quickly became friends with the folks in Van 2. People flew in from UT, OK, FL, and we all met up Thursday evening to do some food shopping and van decorating. And team dinner! As with my previous LA post from Cher's minivan, it's really fun to take a gang of friends out together in a van. 

Team of a bunch of pharmacy school friends - the Drug Runners.

Van 1 started way early Friday morning, and my group didn't have to show up til mid-morning to register. Since I was the only one who'd lived in AZ, I was the navigator and got us out to the desert, west of Phoenix.

Waiting for runner 6 to come in so my van could take off.

The first scenery was pretty desert-y.

Waiting for Ann to hand her some water.

Getting ready for my leg. It was starting to get hot and I had about 5 miles to run. I was scared.

And these I go with the bracelet.

I mostly ran through a neighborhood, then up a highway.

Passed the torch to Reid, who is a machine. His leg was 13.5 miles, the longest leg of any Ragnar race.

These guys had great costumes, a disco ball, and awesome music blaring from the back.

Waiting for Reid.

He killed that leg like no one's business.

Allison had a nice sunset run.

About to hand off to Van 1 again.

Finished round 1 - two more to go. We went to find food (Pei Wei for me), and then went north of Phoenix to find some sleep. I opted for a gym floor.

Others opted for the van.

After a couple hours of sleep, it was time to run again.

Gearing up for the middle of the night. This run was around 3am near Cave Creek.

Sunrise is coming.

Bleary eyed after round 2, we went to find breakfast in north Scottsdale. Glad I knew the area and could point us to something decent.

We drove over to the next exchange in Fountain Hills. I got to sleep a bit more in another gym, but soon it was midday and time to run again.
Ann started us off for the last legs.

I'm next! Almost done.

Just under 4 miles through a road in east Scottsdale, sun coming out, but not too bad, and I was done!!

Reid was up next, and while he's a machine, it was getting tough. He picked up a leg for an injured Jesse, plus traded for a longer one for someone else. We had to go support as he wound down Scottsdale Road.

Reid to Allison.

Allison to Tara for the 36th and final leg!

We drove to Tempe Town Lake for the finish line. Find My Friends is the best app for knowing when your runner is coming in.

Little sleep, tired legs, but we made it!

Back in the hotel, the machine slept.

Team dinner at Cafe Rio (per Julie's tradition), but I almost fell asleep at the counter. For real.

Gnarly blisters.

It was so much fun, I signed up to do it again. Lots of the same group - Florida Keys 2015, here we come!

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