We were up around 3am on Saturday to take back over from Van 2. I was definitely a bit groggy, and everyone in our van was a bit quieter than we had been 12 hours before.
It seemed like time passed quickly, and before long I was up again for my final leg of 6.1 miles. I was definitely feeling a little worn down, but I was still smiling.
This is how I felt though...
When I knew it was time to get out of the van to head to the exchange, most of the people in the van were either snoozing or in the bathroom. I headed up to the line, and I quickly realized it was MUCH colder than it had been at my last run. Cindy was soon up to the exchange, and I quickly pointed out the van location to her since I hadn't seen anyone else come up to the exchange. With as many white vans as there were, I knew she might not find them without some direction.
I took off, and I quickly wished I had brought the iPod on this one. There was little traffic since it was just before 6am on a Saturday, and I had a huge shoulder to run on for the first few miles. I was COLD. I'm pretty sure it was below 25 degrees. My breath was clouding my vision.
Still, I had a moment where I realized that this was such a cool experience. In leg 2, I kept thinking about how intense it was to run out in the dark in the middle of nowhere... and how fun. During this leg, I was thinking about how crazy I am for being out in this weather... and how fun it was and that I loved that others were out there, too. Since we had taken the 2-hour delay, there were a lot more people around. I got passed by a few people, but I didn't care since all of them were men that were WAY faster than me.
I was never really able to loosen up since I was numb and SO cold. I just kept plugging along. I had a couple of decent hills toward the end, and I was thrilled when I finally saw that mile to go sign. I kept pushing, and before long I spotted Kevin ready in the exchange and Andrew to the side cheering me on. I finished in 56:30, keeping an average 9:15 pace. Not too shabby considering everything.
We had a good laugh when we got back in the van about me giving Cindy directions to the van at the last exchange. It turns out Andrew had been watching and had come out to collect her, but it was cracking us up over the change we'd gone through. At this point, it was so cold and we were so tired that most cheering came from the van. We weren't really getting out as a team as much anymore, ha.
We were soon coming into the final major exchange to turn things over to Van 2 a final time. I finally got to catch up with Wayne!
We stopped into Starbucks for some coffee, and we did a little shopping at the Ragnar Store. I splurged a bit and bought a shirt, a hoodie, and the hatch print. Totally awesome and totally worth it.
After a while, we got the call that Van 2 had parked and that we were almost done!
We were all thrilled to reunite!
Before long, our last runner was coming toward us. We all hopped in and ran the final couple of hundred yards as a team holding hands. We were so excited!
The medals were pretty cool, and we all celebrated and took pictures and hugged and were basically just thrilled that we did it!
I took a short video of the run to the finish line. Pardon the bouncing - I was running after all!
We ate some food - that we had to pay for... it was kind of annoying. I run a 5K and eat like a queen; I run a 195.5 relay and have to pay to eat at the finish line.
But whatever! We finally gave out final hugs and parted ways.
I'm not going to lie... it was a little depressing to come home alone. Spending all of your time in close quarters with other people like what we did is extreme. It felt really weird to be alone again.
Come back tomorrow for a final post on my post-race thoughts.