Ragnar Relay Adirondacks Recap: Part Two
So this is the start of part two of my Ragnar Relay Adirondack adventure. If you read the first part of my recap, you’ll see I ended it as we were about the leave the exchange in Lake George. The second part of our adventure started off with Nancy taking off at Exchange 6 around 5 pm. These set of legs were the beginning of our night legs, which unfortunately means I am limited in the number of pics that were taken. It got dark and we got a bit tired.
Once Nancy took off from Exchange 6, we set off to the next exchange so that Patty could meet her. There was a random pirate volunteer waiting to greet Nancy which made for a much needed laugh. It was nearing dark at this point and we all had long legs ahead of us, especially Honey-Beth who had to tackle Tongue Mountain aka “The Beast”- ok, I just gave it that nickname but it really was the mother of all hills. On paper this thing doesn’t look “that bad” but it seriously was. In fact, it was so steep that as we were driving up it attempting to cheer her along, the brake fluid on our van started to smoke. We tried to stay with her as much as possible but we weren’t allowed to provide van support. After giving her all the cowbell we could, we moved on to the exchange to meet her and she ran in to greet Keith like a CHAMP! I cannot imagine a four mile super steep up hill run and she totally tackled it!!! Keith took off with 5.6 miles to run before it was my turn and by this time it was super dark and I was getting nervous! I had 8.7 miles that I had to run in the dark without any van support in the middle of nowhere!
After eagerly sitting at the exchange for several minutes anticipating Keith’s arrival, he came in strong and ready to hand off to me. I had decided before I left that I wasn’t going to use GPS since we had practically no service. BIG MISTAKE. As I took off there were two signs indicating for me to keep straight and then….nothing. Just darkness. Most of the other legs had been carefully laid with orange cones but there was none in sight. I didn’t even see another runner. I started to panic- was I going the right way? Should I turn around? I had no clue. Just as I was about to turn around my team creeped up in the van and confirmed that I was in fact going the correct way and to keep going until I had to make a right at mile 8.
What seemed like 10 miles went by (obviously it wasn’t), I saw a manned water station so I stopped for a sec only for them to inform me that I was only at mile 3…not cool. Loooooong 8.7 mile run short, I found a buddy at about mile 7.5 and we stuck out the last 1.2 miles together. It was rough and when we met our teammates at the exchange, we did it together.
I am smiling excessively because I am DONE!
After passing off to Clare, my van had approximately 3.5 hours to eat/shower/sleep. I choose to nibble on a salad, rinse off in the most freezing shower known to man and cuddle up with my sleeping bag in the gym which allotted to approximately 1.5 hours of shut eye. We made our way back to the van for a 3 AM take off so that Nancy could meet Amy. Want to know what happens when you’re literally running on empty? This.
That would be Honey-Beth and I attempting to catch some Zzz’s with our moose hats on and Patty taking a picture of it because she thought it looked cute. Bright camera flashes at 3 AM does NOT make for a pretty picture!
Anyway, on to our last and final set of legs we went. Nancy started off around 4 AM and each runner took their respective turn relaying to each other throughout the morning. Keith took off for his 7.8 mile leg on this amazingly gorgeous route. We cheered him along and couldn’t help but get out and take some pictures along the way!
After admiring the scenery for a bit, it was time to meet Keith at the exchange and it was my turn to rock my last leg- yay! There was an end in sight!!! While my third and final leg was approximately a mile less than my second it was designated to be “very hard”, translation-HILLS! Without reliving every struggling mile of this leg, I will just say what I said to Honey-Beth when the van stopped to give me water- it “f-ing sucked”. Without my van’s support I probably would have chosen to say “f-it” and hand in the towel but with their cheers and every passing mile I knew I was just that much closer to being DONE!That’s me celebrating my almost doneness! Soon after this my nearly all uphill climb turned into a super steep 1 mile downhill right to Clare. I. Was. Done. Now it was time to drive up to the finish so we could cheer in Van 2! A few hours later, they were there and we met Amy as she was running in so we could all run to the finish together! HOORAY! Now it was time to par-tay and celebrate! We headed to the tent for our hard earned one free beer and joined the most ridiculous group of ultra running “geezers” where they proceeded to drink us under the table! Celebrations continued at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery then into the night. I had more fun than I can possibly relay (pun not intended) into a post. I LOVE my team and couldn’t imagine having more fun with better people. In fact, I had so much fun that I’m currently suffering from a case of Rangover. The only cure? Another Ragnar with a heavy dose of cowbell! 😉
QOTD: Have you ever gotten lost while running in a race or relay?