Ragnar Relay Adirondacks Race Recap


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Ragnar Relay Adirondacks Race Recap {Team Don't Crap On The Grass, Van 2, Ragnar ADK, #RunChat , #FitFluential, #SweatPink}

 This past weekend I ran Ragnar Relay Adirondacks for the second time.  As with last year’s recap, it’s hard to say where to start.  Honestly so much goes on in such a short period of time that it’s hard to know how to sum it all up…couple that with lack of sleep and it’s also hard to remember it all. 

To keep this as organized as possible, I’ll try to keep this chronological.  So, first things first…the decorating of the vans.

VAN DECORATION

We spent the night in Saratoga the night before the race so we could chill out, bond and obviously get our van decorating on which included lots of poop…well, not real poop.  Why you ask? Well, our team name was Don’t Crap on the Grass.  It’s the #2 rule of Ragnar and now the name of a kick butt relay team. 

Ragnar ADK Don't Crap on the Grass

Hard to tell from the pictures here but we adorned the back bumper with a grass tablecloth, topped with with some fake poop and tagged the crap (pun intended) out of other vans with our amazing magnets. 

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THE RACE

Our scheduled start time was at 6:15 AM at Saratoga Spa State Park.  Since I was in Van 2, my V2 teammates and I didn’t technically need to be there but since we’re supportive and all that jazz we woke our butt up extra early to send Van 1 off. 

ragnar relay recap adk

I was actually in Van 1 last year and have to say that an early start time isn’t all that bad and the anticipation of having to wait to start when you’re in Van 2 is a little nerve wracking. To kill off our nerves and time, we drove to a diner close by the 1st exchange and fueled up on breakfast, naturally. 

Ragnar Relay Adirondacks Race Recap

Van 2: Benny, Patty, Kelly, Keith, Honey-Beth, Annmarie (me)

I can’t recall the exact time but eventually Runner 6 from V1 came in to pass off to Runner 7, my teammate, Patty. 

Once my van started our part of the relay, I still had a ways to wait until I ran since I was designated as Runner 11.  While I waited to get my portion of the party started, I took in the scenery and obviously helped pump up my teammates by making them do push-ups 😉 

Ragnar Adirondacks Race Recap

Eventually, it was time to run my first leg which I’ll go into detail about below.  Once I finished I handed off to Honey-Beth who ran it right into Million Dollar Beach at Lake George (my favorite exchange) which meant it was time for us to relax while Van 1 did some work. 

Million Dollar Beach Lake George Ragnar Relay Adirondacks

Lake George is an awesome exchange for a variety of reasons.  1. IT’S GORGEOUS. 2. There showers and changing rooms readily available. 3. There are a handful of restaurants to grab real food at.

After grabbing some grub and gas we headed to the next exchange at Ticonderoga Middle School to meet the last runner from Van 1 so Patty could start our second series of legs.  These legs would be our night runs and that meant breakin’ out the night gear including a whistle for safety.

Ragnar Relay Adirondacks Race Recap

Or as Kelly put it “Now I won’t get raped by bears”. All kidding aside, there are bears though they typically don’t make an appearance during Ragnar. 

Van 1 got in around 11 or so which meant that my van had to literally relay through the night from Ticonderoga all the way to the Essex County Fairgrounds. This is another exchange that offers hot showers, delicious local food (seriously the butternut squash soup was ON POINT) and a place to sleep….meaning, a cold open barn.  I chose to try to catch some winks there and nearly froze my nose, toes and bottom off. 

After a terrible attempt at trying to get some Zzzz’s we headed to AuSable Valley Middle School to meet up with Van 1.  They also have hot food, showers and WARM INDOOR SLEEPING.  In retrospect, we should have driven ahead to here to rest.  

Our departure from here was the final series of legs for Van 2 which meant that Runner 12 (Honey-Beth) was going to BRING IT HOME straight to the finish in Lake Placid.  

RUNNER 11 LEGS

LEG 11: This 5.7 mile leg starts off in Glens Falls, NY and while it’s mainly on a bike path there is A LOT of stop and go at first and in between stretches of the path that really aggravated me.  It could also be that I was having some pains in my leg that required me to stop once or twice which is why didn’t enjoy the leg as much as I should have. 

Ragnar Relay Adirondacks Race Recap

There were parts that were pretty though and I did manage to snap a few pictures. 

Ragnar Relay ADK

My teammate Kelly also snapped this picture as I was coming in to pass off to Honey-Beth! 

LEG 23: This was my middle of the night leg and consisted of only 1.9 miles.  The cool part was that this leg runs right along Lake Champlain which was lit beautifully by moonlight.  The sad part is that it was WAY too dark out to actually appreciate it or get any pictures. 

LEG 35: Only 2.8 miles but it’s probably my favorite leg of them all since it runs right through the Adirondack Park Preserve and past High Falls Gorge which is absolutely gorgeous.  Obviously, I stopped to snap some pics. 

Ragnar Relay ADK

Ragnar ADK Race Recap

My favorite pic of them all….the One Mile To Go sign….the last mile of a Ragnar experience is bittersweet but mostly exciting since it means that you’re just that much closer to the finish.  I literally danced my way into Exchange 36, slapped the bracelet onto Honey-Beth and while she ran to the finish, we drove to finish to meet her there. 

THE FINISH

After nearly 30 hours of 12 runners relaying from Saratoga to Lake Placid, Honey-Beth finally brought it home to the finish after a grueling 7.8 mile final leg, 2 HOURS ahead of schedule!  As she ran in, we met up with her and ran through the finish line together. 

Ragnar Relay Adirondacks Race Recap Team Don't Crap on the Grass

This epic journey, adventure, ridiculously crazy relay or whatever you want to call it had been accomplished together.  The sleeplessness, pain and freezing cold night temps were all fought off with laughter, fueled by a common goal creating a bond that only other Ragnarians understand.  

Have you ever run a Ragnar or relay race before? 

What was your experience like? 

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aelicatese
About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!

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49 Comments

Mary Beth Jackson
Reply September 30, 2015

Wow! what a fun experience and adventure! Congrats! I am glad there was no bear raping! LOL! I am jealous, yes I want to run one one day :) Love that medal!
Mary Beth Jackson recently posted...Passionate or just crazy?My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Haha yes, happy there was no bear raping either! You should totally do one, they have a Ragnar Keys!!!

Michelle
Reply September 30, 2015

That sounds crazy! How long did this all take?? I could only compare it to doing an Ironman, but I wasn't running in the middle of the night! Congrats!
Michelle recently posted...Total Body vs. Isolation Workouts for RunnersMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    All in all it took about 30 hours from start to finish....it was fun and running in the middle of the night is a bit of a challenge but definitely feels amazing once you conquer the fear!

Susie @ SuzLyfe
Reply September 30, 2015

I LOVE RAGNAR!!! PS I was runner 11 for my Ragnar too :D So glad that you had a great time, you ran smart, and you had beautiful weather. Now get some rest, dammit!
Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted...Desk Job Fitness 3: Stretch and Tone at Your Desk #BosuStrongMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Awww, twinsies!!! I definitely played it smart and just took it all in!!

Amanda
Reply September 30, 2015

What a fun event! I've never done Ragnar but it's on my bucket list. It looks like you guys had a great time. Awesome team name too lol.

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Thanks! And you HAVE to, you'd love it!!!

Kimberly G
Reply September 30, 2015

This sounds awesome and I can tell you had a lot of fun! I'm hoping to do a Ragnar event next year.

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    I hope you get to do one too, you'd love it!

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    I really did have a blast, I hope you get to do one next year too!

Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
Reply September 30, 2015

I love Ragnar! It's so hard to sum up all the things that go on in that 2 days. Love the name of your team so funny! Hope you have recovered-it always takes me a few days
Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted...Passionate About Heart & SoleMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Pretty sure it has taken me until today to catch up on sleep, haha!

Julie @ Running in a Skirt
Reply September 30, 2015

What an experience! It sound like a blast. I hate not sleeping in a bed, so I'm not sure I could do this! You rock!
Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted...September Top 5 Posts, Life UpdatesMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    It really was a blast and there were some people who brought travel cots...you could totally do it!

Rebecca Jo
Reply September 30, 2015

I have always wanted to do one of these so badly just for the bonding experience with a group - how fun!
Glad the bears stayed tucked away & didn't want to run the Ragnar either :)

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Honestly, the bonding experience is the best part! Hope you get to run one someday!!!

Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home
Reply September 30, 2015

This looks like so much fun, and what a gorgeous place to run! Great job. Love the medal.
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted...Talk about the passionMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Thank you! The medal is pretty awesome- all 12 go piece together too which is pretty cool!

Ivanna
Reply September 30, 2015

This looks like a really fun race. I'd love to do one some day. I loved the decorations very cute. yes the medal is amazing also.
Ivanna recently posted...Muscle Building Arm Routine: Wellness by IvannaMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    It is SO much fun! You should totally do one!

Nicole @ Fitful Focus
Reply September 30, 2015

So. Much. Awesome! I hope I get to do one with you next year!
Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted...7 Tips for CrossFit BeginnersMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    I hope so too, friend! <3

Janelle @ Run With No Regrets
Reply September 30, 2015

The Ragnar is my DREAM race! My boyfriend and I were actually invited to participate at Adirondacks, but we just couldn't work it out. I hope to finally, one day, do this event!
Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted...Tough Mudder Training Week 5 RecapMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Aw, hopefully you can do one next year!

Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
Reply September 30, 2015

That looks so much fun and such a great experience :)

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    It really is! :)

Michele @ paleorunningmomma
Reply September 30, 2015

Such a cool experience! Not sure I have the guts to ever take this on, but maybe one day ;)
Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted...WIAW – Run Paleo RepeatMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    You could totally do it!!!

Amanda
Reply September 30, 2015

well done. That's crazy!!

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Crazy fun! ;)

Sharon
Reply September 30, 2015

Great recap! Sounds like such a fun adventure! I would love to to a Ragnar race sometime!
Sharon recently posted...Beat The Blerch Half Marathon Race Recap - Morristown, NJ 9/26/15My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    You'd love it! SO much fun!

Ilka@ilkasblog.com
Reply September 30, 2015

This is such a wild and amazing adventure! Good for you, Annmarie! Well done!
Ilka@ilkasblog.com recently posted...Training Log for the NYC Marathon 2015, 9/21 – 9/27 Week 11My Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Thank you! :)

Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner
Reply September 30, 2015

OMG I love the name of your team. Super funny! I have never ran a race like this, but was asked to run in one. I had to decline since I had another race that same weekend. It seems pretty intense though.
Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner recently posted...My Top Running Songs: SeptemberMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Thanks! And you totally should, you'd have a blast! :)

Gingi
Reply September 30, 2015

Dude, you make that look like so much fun!! I'm about to start training for the Disneyland half marathon! <3 - www.domesticgeekgirl.com
Gingi recently posted...8 Things You Should Pay Attention to Daily to Steward Your HealthMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Hahaha, thanks! It was!! Best of luck training for the Disney Half! :)

AutumnPTW
Reply September 30, 2015

So hilarious, love the van name! Glad to hear nobody got bear raped. All in all it sounds super memorable, looks like you had a blast!
AutumnPTW recently posted...Orange Colada Goodness SmoothieMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Haha, thank you! It was a lot of fun!

Kristen
Reply October 1, 2015

Great job! I ran my first Ragnar in August and it was so awesome - and so hard! I hope you're catching up on sleep right now!
Kristen recently posted...Why Rainy Runs Are Secretly AwesomeMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    Girl, you better believe I am! :)

jill conyers
Reply October 1, 2015

What an awesome experience! Running a Ragnar will happen for me! I just know it.
jill conyers recently posted...Nourishing Nut & Seed BarsMy Profile

    aelicatese
    Reply October 1, 2015

    I can't believe you haven't done one yet, Jill! You definitely have to!

Jamie king
Reply October 1, 2015

Love ragnars and relays in general! So fun! Would love to do this one sometime :)

Abby @ BackAtSquareZero
Reply October 2, 2015

A Ragnar has been on my bucket list for the longest time.
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Jess @hellotofit
Reply October 2, 2015

FUN pictures! The van decorating sounds like fun to me. All the running? Meeeeeh, hehehe.
Jess @hellotofit recently posted...Easy slow cooker apple butterMy Profile

Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes
Reply October 4, 2015

I absolutely love Ragnar. Looks like some great scenery! I just did the DC one this weekend. The weather was horrible though which was a huge bummer, but we made the best of it and had a blast anyway! I had a total of 20 miles with over 2,000 feet of elevation gain. I'm not walking so good today ;)

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