Sunday, September 25, 2011

DC Ragnar by the Numbers

Ragnar  (RAG-nahr):  You and 11 of your closest friends running 200(ish) miles, day and night, relay-style, through some of the most scenic terrain North America could muster. Add in crazy runners, inside jokes and a mild case of sleep deprivation. The result? Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it a Ragnar Relay.

My Ragnar experience by the numbers (the short version):
200 mile race--Cumberland, Maryland to DC
Team full of moms to 51 kids and counting
42 times I thought about flaking out beforehand
33 hours--it took us from beginning to end
13 miles total for me
12 "Hot Tamamas" on one team
6:00am start time
3 hours of sleep
2 vans driving us to our next legs
Runner #1--that's me! 
0.6 extra miles I ran when I got lost on a trail in the dark of the early morning
0 junk or dairy I ate in the week before the race

And here is a longer, more detailed report on my experience for those who just can't get enough Lara pictures: 
I was in van #1.  Both van #1 and #2 were decorated with the vinyl lettering just like this.  We got a lot of comments on the "51 kids and counting..." line on there.  That averages out to 4.25 kids per mom! 

Here are the girls in van #1 after decorating the car.  At this point none of us had run yet and we were NERVOUS. 

Our car decorations were mild compared to some of the vans we saw.  This one was one of our favorites: 

When we weren't running, we all wore matching Hot Tamama shirts and striped knee high socks. 

From the hours of 6:00pm - 7:30am all runners (even those not currently running) were required to wear their reflective vests, headlamps, and tail lights.   All three of my legs were between those hours, so I wore the whole get-up every time.  The vest was itchy and big and  the headlamp kept slipping on my sweaty forehead, but since two of my runs were on busy roads with narrow shoulders, I was happy to be a glowing light on the side of the road and not some sad looking roadkill.  (I'm the second from the right in this photo)

With heavy fog and clouds like this looming overhead for much of the race, we were seriously worried about getting dumped with rain.  Happily though,  other than a few of us running in a drizzle, the heavy downpours completely missed us.  And I'll take our 70 degree, cloudy/drizzly day any time over the 100 degree Ragnar some of my teammates ran last year. 

The race began in Cumberland, Maryland...a little town tucked away in the Appalachian Mountains.  The scenery was breathtaking, but being in the mountains meant that we had to run up and down those same beautiful mountains.   My legs weren't too horrible, but a few of my teammates had runs with elevation gains of 600-1200 feet, which made me tired just thinking about.  Here's a glimpse of the terrain that we were running in at the beginning of our race....
One of the hardest parts about the way the race is designed is that immediately after running your leg of the race and handing off the baton (which was really a slap bracelet), that instead of leisurely cooling down and "walking it off", you had to jump back in the car and make sure the next runner got to their leg on time.  We spent a lot of time here in my friend, Kim's van, and I daresay that by the end of it we were all a little loopy on snack foods, sleep deprivation, and runner's high.  There may or may not have been some potty humor, the occasional good-natured swearing, and lots and lots of laughter along the way.  

After running straight for 33 hours through the gorgeous mountains, cute little Civil War era towns, right by the DC temple,  and into the bustling city, the last runner finally sprinted across the finish line at the National Harbor of DC.  For as much fun as we had, we were completely  thrilled to finally be done with the race....

and more than happy to claim our awesome looking medals (which can double as beer openers in case you're wondering)...

At the finish line we snapped a few more pictures (like this one with my good friend Andrea)...

And this goofy looking group self-portrait....

And found one of our favorite team names of the race....Green Legs and Van. 

Then we rushed home to our awesome families who held down the fort while we were away for three days. Once home, it was a toss-up as to which would come first....shower or nap?  

(you can see which one won at our house)

All in all, I'd have to say that the race went swimmingly well ( or should I say runningly?). 

The weather was great, the company fun, we remained injury free, and best of all...
we did it!

We ran 200 miles over hill and vale, through country, town, and big city and did it with smiles on our faces (at least most of the time anyway. )



Dad and Mom said...

What a neat experience! Thanks for sharing it with us. Several people came out from my ward in Utah a couple of years ago to run the DC Ragnar, but they talked about a lot of it being run along old abandoned railroad lines, through tunnels and the whole nine yards. They loved it, but it was a whole lot hotter for them.

We are all proud of you!!

Andie said...

That. Is. Awesome!!! Great job! You guys will treasure those memories always.

Clarinda said...

Way to go, Lara!!

Love the team name. :)

annalisa said...

Lara! You rock! Congrats on finishing!

Also I think that self-portrait with all of you in it turned out awesome (especially for how many people were in it:)

Deanne said...

That's awesome! Way to go!

gg said...

Congrats, Honey. It's fun to see all the hard work pay off in a weekend of excitement and hangin out with your friends. I'm really glad you got to do this - fond memories for sure.

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