Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Race Report: TN Ragnar Relay 11.9-10.12

For the third year in a row, I joined 11 other runners to run in the TN Ragnar Relay - 196.3 miles from Chattanooga to Nashville.  This was my fourth Ragnar, and I had a blast yet again.

The team and our two drivers gathered at the start in Chattanooga to see off our first runner.

I was runner 3 in van 1 this year.  My first run happened at about 10am, and I had a 5 mile leg running DOWN Racoon Mountain.  It was AWESOME!  I have been running hills a lot lately, and I felt confident on the downhill.  I finished it in about 40 minutes!

Even though I felt great, I was still a little wobbly at the end.  It's hard to go from five miles downhill to walking a flat line, haha.

After the first run, we got to really enjoy the GORGEOUS weather and all goof around a bit.

We had a small incident at the first major exchange in Jasper, TN where we accidentally locked the keys in the van.  Only three of us knew about it, and we decided to keep it that way until after the race. Fortunately there was a small crack in the window.  Two of the guys lifted me up and I was able to reach my arm in up to the elbow.. so we got a stick and I used it to reach down and push the button to unlock the doors.  It's pretty funny looking back on it.

One of my favorite things about this run is that you go through backwoods Tennessee.  A lot of the small exchanges are at tiny little churches, and it always cracks me up a bit to see the church signs.

One of the most fun parts of running a relay is definitely the people!

We had lunch after turning the action over to Van 2, and then we headed to Cowan, TN to rest a bit until it was our turn again. I again took advantage of the beautiful weather while we still had some sunshine.

It wasn't long before we were back at it.  I ran my second leg around 8pm, and I had 6.8 miles to go in this one. 

I felt strong and confident, and I finished it right in about an hour with 6 kills!  A friend of mine ran past me at one point (he was running the same leg on another team and is way faster than me) and knew it was me, so it was nice to say hi to a familiar face. 

After we finished, we found a Waffle House in Shelbyville to have another meal before trying to get some rest.  We curled up in the van at the next major exchange and napped a bit before it was our turn again.

I ran my last leg at about 3am.  I was TIRED, but I was also thankful I'd had a little nap.  I had about 5.4 miles to go.  My legs were pretty heavy, but I powered through and didn't walk once.  It was much slower, taking me 58 minutes to complete.  But all things considered, I was happy with that!

After we finished our legs, we went to a team member's house and took a little nap for a couple of hours before heading downtown to finish with the team members in van 2.

We finished in a little over 30 hours - an hour improvement from last year!

It was SUPER fun, and I can't wait to run another relay... though I am sort of itching to do one somewhere else.  Anyone else interested?

Oh, and the medals were awesome this year.  SWEET.

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