Ragnar Relay Adirondacks Recap: Part One!
I arrived home last night from my first Ragnar Relay weekend sore, tired and on a high. Being sore and sleep deprived was absolutely all worth it, every minute of it. I have sat here with the blank screen staring back at me for over an hour trying to decided how to even attempt a recap. Not because I have nothing to say but because I have so much to tell you. There is nothing about this experience that I would change; not running 21.5 miles on two hours of sleep, not one single hill and especially not my team because they friggen rock!Prior to Ragnar, I had not met a single member of my van or team (Runnin’ On Empty) in person so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I had met Clare who was in Van 2 from Instagram and she had joined us when we were looking to recruit. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see much of Van 2 except at the major exchanges and at the end when we partied like rock stars -those stories will come later
Van 1 consisted of myself (runner 6) and 5 other runners: Nancy (runner 1), Patty (runner 2), Loretta (runner 3), Honey-Beth (runner 4) and Keith (runner 5).
We started off our 196.2 mile journey at 6:30 AM in Saratoga Spa State Park. Our first runner was Nancy and after seeing her off and cheering her on from the starting line we made our way back to the van so we could meet her at the first exchange. She passed on the slap bracelet to Patty who completed her first leg and passed it on to Loretta who then passed it to our team captain, Honey-Beth, who relayed to runner number 5, Keith, who then had to pass it on to me. Patty passing the slap bracelet on to Loretta.
All of these legs took place around the Village of Saratoga, we actually went in a large square which was more frustrating than interesting. My first leg started at Gavin Park which was the first leg that actually lead out of Saratoga. Keith came in to exchange 5 strong and slapped the bracelet on to me!
I started off chugging along at a comfortable pace following all of the markers that were carefully placed at each turn. Around 2 miles in or so, I realized that my GPS app hadn’t notified me of my distance or pace and found that it never started. I wasn’t totally upset because I wasn’t looking to “kill it” but I was nervous because I had no guide to pace myself. After a few minutes I ran into this super nice ultra runner from team Ultra Moms On a Mission. I asked her what mile we were at then just kind of stuck with her. She was nice enough to not leave me behind and stick with me as a pace partner. Although it felt like the leg was never ending, I spotted Clare waiting for me and the hand off was finally in sight!
This leg was only 4.9 miles but it felt like an eternity- I am NOT a fan of running through any town/urban area- I much prefer the country. I was very happy to be done and even happier to find out from my ultra running pace partner that we had crossed the finish line in approximately 39 minutes! A 7:57 pace, woohoo! No wonder I felt like I wanted to die. The finish of my leg meant Van 1 was done for a bit so we headed to the next exchange at Lake George where we were able to take a few hour break before we had to meet Amy at the exchange. But not before taking a group photo in the TomTom booth 😉Once we arrived in Lake George we found a perfect spot and the first thing on the agenda was FOOD! We wanted to make sure we could grab some real fuel while we had the opportunity. We dined at this local restaurant (I can not remember the name for the life of me) right on the water with AMAZING views! I seriously did NOT want to leave this place.
Honey-Beth also came across Team Bacon’s van and briefly considered ditching us to join them, not that I can blame her. They did have copious amounts of bacon inside their van. The major exchange in Lake George was right on the beach where we were given the opportunity to shower and take a siesta on the sand or in the woods. It was actually pretty hot out so my team and I choose to keep cool and relax in the shade of the trees.
After our brief reprieve it was time to meet Amy as she came in so she could pass the slap bracelet on to Nancy and we could begin our adventure up to Placid again. At this point our ascent had only just begun, and I have so much more to tell you but this post is getting long so it will have to be continued!