Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ragnar Relay-SoCal 2011

In December of 2010 as we were in Calif celebrating Christmas with our family we were talking and the subject of running was brought up. My sister Heather that is just younger than me has been participating in 1/2 marathons and has run the Ragnar relay 2x's. She was getting a team together and she, my other two sisters, Amy and Sara, John, Amy's husband, nephew Chase and others were all going to run the Ragnar in Southern California in April 2011. They asked if I wanted to do it also. I used to run but it has been many years since I have done this. I do walk and work out regularly but running is whole different thing. I naively agreed and began my training. I started with short distances and built up from there. April quickly approached and my goal was to do the relay and live to tell the tale. About a week before the race someone else on the team dropped out and so Taylor decided to take their place. Oh, the advantage of youth.

The Ragnar relay is a 12 man relay that covers about 200 miles. There are two vehicles for the team with 6 team members in each. Each team member runs 3 different legs of the race. You start with #1, proceed through each one and then start all over doing this 3 times. The lengths of run and difficulty vary so there is places for everyone from the novice runner to the experienced. There is continuous running, so you catch sleep just in between your legs. There is usually about 4-5 hrs for a regular team between each vehicle's turn. Pretty crazy but lots of fun.

Taylor and I flew to Calif. and met up with everyone and we were ready to go. The race began by my sister's in Corona so we went there the 1st night to get the supplies all ready. We had two suburbans and each needed food and water. This is during the process. We also checked our race legs and how this would all work out.

Our start time was 6:30 a.m. The teams started at different times to accomodate for their estimated running times. The race started in Huntington Beach and it was pretty chilly that morning. Our team name was the whole Fam Damily as indicated on the car. Our vehicle had myself, my 3 sisters and two brothers-in-law John and Chris.

As each runner runs, the support van follows and goes to the designated exchange place. Then the next runner waits and prepares for their turn. This continues throughout the 200 miles. This is the motto of the race. You see the sleep portion is with question.

There is day light approaching and the race is ready to begin. My sister Heather was the 1st runner. From 6:30 p.m. to 6:45 a.m. the runners are required to wear reflective vests, and headlamp and red butt lamp. So Heather had to start all geared up.

After all of us in our vehicle ran our 1st leg, we were right by Heather's house. We went and crashed for a bit, and cleaned up since that would be the last time before the end of the race. It was porta potties from there on out. This was the four sisters at the 1st main exchange between vehicles.

This was the 2nd vehicle for our team. It was my nephew's friend, my nephew Chase, Taylor, and 3 others from the area. The ladies were friends of a friend and wanted to participate in the race but didn't have a team. The guys were good about taking care of the driving and navigating. They had the harder, more strenuous parts of the race but did great. Again, youth is a great asset.

My last leg of the race ended at the beach. It was beautiful California weather and wonderful to run in. I was just so happy that I was able to complete my part without any real issues.

The four sisters at the end of our last rotation. We weren't as fresh as the 1st picture.

This race goes through all sorts of areas, urban, stream beds, residential etc. These are some of the scenery along the way. It was Chamber of Commerce weather for Ca.


San Diego Harbor

This is Taylor coming in from his last leg. Each runner had to wear a slap bracelet and that is what is used for the hand off.

Taylor and I at the Finish line. The race ended in Coronado Island by San Diege. Everyone got a t-shirt and medal

Our whole team. This was the only time we were all together.

The 4 sisters-we did it!!! And we want to do it again. We'll see.

No comments: