Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ragnar Northwest Passage 2013

No, I don't run in the wig. Tutu yes.
What can i say about my most favoritist type of running event?

You remember.  An overnight running relay.  There are 12 people and 2 vans and about 200 miles.  Runner order is assigned.  Runners 1-6 in Van 1 run their legs (3-8 miles at a time) until they hand off to runners 7-12 in Van 2 where they all run their legs.  Van 1 has gone ahead to that exchange point to wait for Van 2 and rest (haha!) at which point once Van 2 shows, Van 1 starts running again.  Each van does this in order three times until as a group, we've run about 200 miles and run continuously for over 24 hours. 
Year 3 for Orange Ogres.

I kept the same legs as last year which was fun but I would like to do a different set (even a different van?) next year.

It was HOT and very humid the first day and everyone suffered in the heat.  Don't forget the ferocious and drying headwind.  As Captain, I worried we would have enough water on board.

You make instant friends along the way.  On my Leg 1 (Leg #11- 6.7 miles flat), i got passed by a guy when i had to stop and walk to get rid of a side stitch.  He came up to me with a plea of "don't stop now" as you've been pacing me perfectly.  Well what could i do?  I decided to hang with him as long as I could partly because it was something to focus on in the appalling heat and headwind and because he was a big guy and would block that wind for me. Thanks guy!
The Handoff

There are these moments of breathtaking beauty in relays. This year I ran the leg across Deception Pass again but it was just light. I'd started at 4:30 am and by the time I had made it to the Deception Pass Bridge at mile 5, i could hear and feel the roar of the outgoing tide far below under the bridge.  The wind through the pass was strong enough to shift me over a bit.  I would come up to slower runners and have to jog behind them as the path across the bridge is too narrow to pass those runners. That was OK because it gave me a chance to take in the Nature around me.  And yes, Nature should be capitalized here. And I'm still delighted at how well I ran that leg.

I don't even bother trying to sleep now. I got a chance to lay down in a lovely field in La Conner and just relax. I desperately tried to doze but I do know i failed napping when i was in Kindergarten.  They put in the corner away from all the other kids for a reason when it was nap time. I kept everyone awake!  I tried dozing in the van around 8 am or so but it never fails that someone's phone or my phone will beep or something.  Sigh.  Sleep is overrated for these events anyway.  Really, the adrenaline and coffee pulls me through every time! 

The other part of breathtaking beauty comes with watching the runners on my team and on other teams push themselves and support each other. They are slow or fast or old or young or experience or newbie runners, yet all want to run as best they can for the team.  It's an inspiring thing to watch.  and it's not just the participants who support.  I smile thinking of the grandma and young kid sitting by side of the road in front of their house cheering for random runners or that volunteer directing traffic at Exchange #8 who had the most awesome flag directing moves.  Thank YOU!

The heat broke once the sun went down. It did stay pretty breezy the entire race but we had cloud cover for most of our runs to the finish.  That was a huge help and I was very pleased to run a really good third leg at exactly the same pace as last year.  I thought I'd been slower but nope.  I had a slow start to warm up and kept hammering. I passed quite a few people along in here and got a lot of honking and cheering from everyone along a major highway.  Well that's what you get for wearing a bright orange running skirt, fast yellow shoes and a big smile.

As always the relay was a great success.  We had just 3 runners new to relays and they did great.  The only bad thing about this relay?  It's over and i have to wait until next year to run again. I feel great post-Relay besides the usual brain dead feeling for a couple days.

CoachLesley.con Orange Ogres Van 1 Orange Ogres Van 2

No comments: