|Proof that I CAN camp!
|Friday night dinner from the food trucks
Friday: We "woke up" around 630 and realized our tent had "taken on water". Luckily it was mostly in the area that we were not sleeping in but some of our bedding was wet and my friend Rachel, who was sleeping by the "door" of the tent had her stuff completely soaked. We used the one towel we had and some paper towels to kind of mop up and sweep out the water that we could as we frantically texted the other half of our team to PLEASE BRING TOWELS in order to help us clean up the rest and have a dry area for them to sleep! Our one friend had a box of old towels that they brought down and saved us from our soggy sleeping situation. Janet and I headed up to the village to get coffee in order to rally before our race started (as she was Runner #1 and I was #2).
|In the coffee line in Ragnar Village - we got some just before they ran out!!
|Bio's hung on our canopy
Friday 10AM - Our race started at 10am. As the captain, I had contacted the race director a month or so beforehand because I was concerned that we would not be able to finish in the allotted time. She assured me that they had things in place so that we could finish and that we would probably get one of the earlier start times. The earliest groups started at 8:30am and some of the faster groups did not start until 6pm!!! I was glad we started at 10am. I had made a print out (laminated of course) of the estimated times I thought we would each be running our loops so that we could roughly plan when we needed to be awake and ready for the the next runner to be in place. It worked out really nicely to have this and we were pretty on track with it within about 45 min.
|Janet (Runner 1) and Me (Runner 2) ready to go do our first loops!
Ragnar 101: The way a Ragnar Relay works is that each person in your 8 person team does one of each loop. You go in order Green (easiest loop), Yellow (moderate) and Red (difficult) so that one of your team members is always running a loop within the allotted 24 hour time period. So Janet started with the Green loop and when she returned she handed the bib (which has a timing chip in it) off to me and I did the Yellow loop. When I returned from the Yellow, I handed off the bib to Rachel who did the Red loop....and so forth...all night long until the next afternoon. Cray!
|My first loop was yellow - you wore a slap bracelet on your wrist that correlated with color of the loop that you were running at the time. (The purple stamp showed that I had watched the safety briefing video.)
|Yellow loop - you can see the marker to the right of the trail that is yellow and tells you the direction you should be running. Everything was very well-marked, even at night!
|Finishing my first loop!
In between running we had chance to chill at the campsite or around Ragnar Village (shopping!). There were several food trucks and all of my meals were so good. For lunch after my first run I had a savory Crepe and salad that was so tasty.
Friday Night: Before my night run (about 930 or 10pm) I was able to hang out in the village around the bonfire and have a s'more...which really hit the spot and was the perfect pick-me-up to have about an hour before my night loop. They had the fixin's (huge mounds of marshmellows, stacks of graham crackers and pre-cut Hershey bars) all ready to go and very organized! So good!
|S'mores give me LIFE!
I was really nervous for my night run and had purposely chosen the green loop to do at night. It was supposed to be the least challenging and shortest of the loops. It was very muddy in parts (but not as bad as the yellow) so there were parts where my entire foot was submerged in mud along the way! Once I was out there and running the trail, I wasn't nervous anymore and really enjoyed it. There were so many night-sounds all around me and every so often I would see another runner (usually passing me) but for the most part it was so peaceful and beautiful. The sound of my breath, the crunch of my feet on the trail amidst sounds of croaking of frogs...the shadows that my headlamp would cast on the ground beside me and the almost-full moon would peek though the trees every now and then. It really was magical. My thoughts were vacillating between "this is so crazy" and "this is so cool" the entire time I was running that night loop. Words cannot fully describe it!
I was able to sleep very little that night also, since as captain I felt responsible for making sure everyone was up and out for the next leg of the race so I ended up waking up anytime another person came back from their loop in order to wake the next runner. I was ready to run my next (and last) loop in the morning way before I needed to be, but I just couldn't relax. I got up at about 445am and greeted Leslie as she came in from her night run. Janet and I got ready for our morning run and hung out together before she began her last loop.
|Janet and I - we looked rested but it's just a great filter on my phone!
|So Epic! #WeAreRagnarians
In summary, it was an EPIC weekend and although I had originally said "never again"...now I'm a "maybe next year"?! Most certainly with my BLURs...hopefully with no rain next time and most definitely GLAMPING with a COT!