This weekend, I was joined by 11 other INSANE runners, to participate in the Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay. This was my 2nd year in I hope many years to come running in this crazy race.
I enjoyed every second of it, despite, pain, rain, sitting in a van with 6 other stinky, sweaty people, no sleep, and braving the overflowing port-o-potties.
I ran with basically the same team as last year. Last year, our team was named Erv's Angels, named for our 13th team member who passed away from lung cancer shortly before the 2008 relay. To read the story about Erv, go here.Laurie, our team Captain, running her 1st legUncle Boy Toy, on his 1st legS, running her 1st leg
My good friend, Laurie, our noble team captain, put together our team, with her sister (C) Mom (S) Aunt Head Cheerleade and Uncle Boy Toy (the only dude in a van full of ladies), and me, and Melissa, in van 1, then in Van 2 (our couples van) was our friends the M's, K's, and C's. I was with these guys in van 2 last year, and had a blast. They sure know how to have fun. I was reminded of their interesting sense of humor when we showed up to the first van exchange, and Mr. M, and Mr K were both strutting around in speedos and mullet wigs. I took pictures, but was threatened with my life if I posted them, but I just couldn't resist. I'll just have to suffer the consequences.
Mrs. K, Mr. M in his party jacket, and Mr. K (da Bomb)
I was the 6th and last runner in our van. So, I had lots and lots of time to wait and gets psyched up for my run. My first leg was a 6.7 mile stretch down Avon pass. I was expecting downhill, so when I hopped out of the van, and in a hurry, too, because runner 5, C, who is a professional runner (for reals), and insanely fast, beat our van to the exchange, I was not prepared for the first mile running straight uphill.
I started slow, but then the hill crested and thus started the downhill stretch over a single lane dirt trail covered in rocks, divots, mud puddles, and lots and lots of dust. The race bible dubbed this leg as "very hard" calling it a "knee jarring" downhill slope.
I loved every second of it. I LOVE running downhill. And I set a new record for myself. Because of the uphill at the start and finish, my average wasn't great, but I did get my fastest mile I've ever done. Ever. 7:35. I'm pretty happy with that. And I still averaged 9:13 for whole leg. Not too bad on an sprained ankle, and lack of training.
Me, handing off to Mrs. C, after my first leg
Me and Melissa being silly before her first run.
Mrs. M, from Van 2, running her 1st leg
After our 1st leg, we headed up to a cabin, owned by Laurie's bishop. It was nicer than my house, seriously. The view was gorgeous. After a nice cold shower, food and a little rest, we hopped into the party van, for the next exchange.
Again, I waited with anticipatory nervousness for my upcoming run. This one was the doozy. 8.1 miles straight up hill. I was freaked! But, I got a nice text from Becca saying she ran it last year and it was her favorite leg so that set my mind at ease. It also helped that I was running it at 1:00 AM, and I couldn't see crap, despite my nifty, sweat covered head lamp (thank Boy Toy for sweating on it for me). I couldn't whether was going running up, down, upside down or backwards, but one thing I know for sure it that I was running S-L-O-W!!! Every time I looked down at my watch to check the pace, it just keep getting slower and slower. I guess that means I was running up hill. Between mile 6 and 7, the hill was brutal. I finally gave in, and allowed myself to walk a little bit. I was sooooo happy to see the finish. I handed off to Mrs. C from Van 2, and crashed in the van, so glad to have survived leg 18.
After my run, and our exchange we head to South Summit High, where we were allowed to shower, and crash in their gym for free. We discovered that of course, there were only communal showers in the locker room, but it was 3 in the morning, we were tired, cold, dirty, and desperate, and hot shower was just too tempting to pass up. Talk about revival of 7th grade gym trauma! But, in case you wanted to know, I have now seen more of Melissa, than I ever wanted to. Are you jealous?
Isn't she just beautiful?
After what my husband lovingly refers to as my lesbian experience, we crashed on the gymnasium floor with 150 other stinky, tired runners, and surprisingly, I zonked out for about 2 hours! Two blessed hours of sleep after running 15 miles. That cold, hard dirty gym floor was like heaven!
Melissa woke me up about 6:30, we got up, rolled up our gear, drank from chocolate milk, waited in line for 30 minutes just for the chance to actually use a toilet with plumbing, then waited for Laurie (our runner 1) to come to the exchange. Her two daughters were volunteers at this exchange. It was fun to see them dancing around, and entertaining the runners.
They had my initials on the mountain in South Summit. I'm not sure why, but I guess, I'm more famous than I thought. p.s. Nice hair.
Melissa rocked her last leg. She had to run 7 miles straight uphill in the rain, and every time was passed her, ringing the cowbell, she gave us one of her huge winning smiles. That girl is amazing. She was on fire the whole way.
We finally made to the my leg, and of course we had to haul again, because C's last leg was short and she can run like the Flash, but my last leg was only 3.1 and I was happy to be running my last leg and that it was easy. I pushed myself with everything I had left in me, and sprinted hard as soon as I saw Mrs. C waiting for me at the exchange. I just had to holler, because I was DONE! YIPPEE!!
Unfortunately, my very supportive, dedicated team were busy chatting and missed me running to the finish, so we tried to reenact my last run. I look drunk.
While we waited for Van 2 to finish their last legs, we all took a very needed break, and went out for breakfast.
Then, we trekked to the finish line to wait for Mrs. M to come to the finish line, so we could all run in together. If you want to see a video go over the Melissa's blog (I'm too lazy to swipe it from there and load it here).
I had a fabulous time running, and hope to get to do it many years into the future!!