Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Race Report: Ragnar Relay Chicago Friday Leg 1

Friday morning, I was up around 7:30 to start getting ready.  It's been in the mid and uppers 90s in Nashville, so I was pleased to find it cloudy and cool in Madison, WI.

We snapped our team "before" picture at the hotel.

I was runner 6 in van 1, and we started things off at 10am.  Erin ran our first leg.

She had a little foot trouble during the run, but she's a trooper.  We got her in the van and headed to the next exchange.  We doctored her up a bit, and then Liz came running in.

Liz killed it, and we knew that Rick would be fast (he recently ran Boston... and ran a BQ!).

Jeff took off, and we made our way to the next exchange.  There was a gas station near by, so I enjoyed using a real bathroom.  Another runner saw my Country Music Marathon shirt I had on and asked if I was from TN or not... and then seemed really surprised that a bunch of us from TN had come up to run the relay.  (Does he not know runners are crazy?)

Jeff ran it in and handed off to Don.

I hadn't been feeling that nervous, but as I got out and unlayered to my running outfit I could feel the nerves kick in a bit.  I had an 8-mile leg to run.  It was about 2pm, and I was starting to get a little hungry.  My breakfast and snacks didn't quite make up for not having lunch, and it's an odd time to run.  That's the thing about relays... everything is done at odd times, and your body gets a little confused.  Nonetheless, I was also really excited.

We soon saw Don, and I grabbed the baton bracelet and took off.

I turned back to tell my team I'd see them soon...

The area I ran through was beautiful, but I had a hard time enjoying it because it smelled SO bad.  I was running through farmland, and the manure smell was so strong it turned my stomach.  A few miles in, I saw a van off in the distance.  I decided I'd ask them if they had any water.. as I got closer, I realized it was my team! I was so glad to see them.

I felt better, and the smell wasn't as strong for the rest of my run.  I ran it in to hand off to van 2 and realized I had run my leg with an 8:52 average pace.  I was pleased!

We had SO much fun on our first legs.  We were laughing and talking non-stop in the van... it's great how everything is funny when you're in a van with 6 other people.  We headed out to the next major exchange and managed to find an Applebee's so that we could finally sit down and have a real meal.

After eating, we stopped at Wal-Greens for a few supplies and then headed to the exchange to wait for it to be our turn again just as it was starting to get dark Friday evening.


Jill @ Run for the Hills said...

I ran this as well. I also did TN last November.

Jon said...

One of these days I am going to do a Ragnar relay. I saw the NY Ragnar in progress about 5-6 weeks ago. People were wearing some crazy outfits at that one!