Friday, July 29, 2011

Race Recap: Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage - Part 1

Trying to sum up a 27 hour race in three short blog posts is going to be difficult but I'll try to keep it to the highlights and not bore you with the 2:00AM sugar coma madness that overcame most of my van since it was one of those so funny you had to be there to appreciate it kind of moments.  Team Casual Encounters (#187) ALL had a fabulous time and I'm fairly certain I recruited everyone to do it again next year :).

To sum up the Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage event:
190 miles
12 runners -everyone runs 3 times
2 vans
27 hours

The night before or more aptly titled How NOT to Prepare for a 27 Hour Race:
My friend and van mate Lindsey came over Thursday night for a sleepover and pre-race carbo loading session.  She recommended we get Zaw pizza which is a take a bake pizza place that focuses on fresh, local ingredients.  How could we go wrong?  Well we didn't with the pizza that was loaded with chicken, strawberries, caramelized onions and feta on a whole wheat crust...YUM!  However, having a couple local microbrews and half of a GIANT gingerbread cookie was the wrong choice.  I woke up feeling a little hungover and bloated to say the least...great way to start off a race!

Morning Time:
My alarm went off at 4:15AM and I jumped out of bed and started getting ready and packing up our SUV that we rented for the weekend.  Paul and Emily met at my place at 4:45 and we were on the road before 5:00...right on schedule which works well for my type A personality.  
I really liked this GMC Acadia...drove really smooth and had this super cool backup camera that appeared in the rear view mirror when you put the car in reverse.
We made the trek up to Blaine, Washington pretty quickly with one pit stop at Starbucks for a iced coffee...I was beginning to feel normal again...thank goodness!  The start was at Peace Arch State Park where we met our other two van mates who camped the night before, Prentiss and Karol.
Van 1 ready to run!
The start was a little disorganized but we managed to go through our check-in, safety briefing, and gear pickup pretty fast.  I was busy playing with this awesome bubble stick Lindsey bought for us and didn't even realize I was getting my picture taken.  A co-worker emailed me the photo that was in the Bellingham Herald...I'm FAMOUS!
Photo courtesy of Bellingham Herald
And...We're Off:
Paul started off the race for us at 8:15AM and just like that it all begins!  Paul is a super speedy runner so I knew it would be no time before it was time for me to run.  I ate a snack to fuel me up and changed into running shorts and a tank.  The weather could not have been more perfect...sunny and about 55 degrees!

My first run - Leg 2 - 6.5 miles:

Nice and flat, just the way I like it!
Since Paul basically sprinted his first 7 mile run it was my turn to run around 9:30.  A quick exchange of the slap bracelet and I was off.  Woo...feeling good, can't wait to run!  No later than 60 seconds into my run I had to stop at the train tracks for an Amtrak train to buzz!  One runner almost ran through the crossing until I yelled at him and thank goodness I did because I might have witnessed a train fatality and probably would have had to stick around to give a witness report and not run.  Okay, now I was off to run straight down a road for the first 4 miles:

Mile 1- 9:33
Mile 2 - 9:27
Mile 3 - 9:28
Mile 4 - 9:02

The road went downhill and along Birch Bay at about Mile 4 and it was gorgeous!  There was a perfect breeze and I picked up my pace in order to rack up a few kills (kills = passing people). 

Mile 5 - 9:18
Mile 6 - 9:09
Mile 6.5 - 8:30 <--I took advantage of really tired runners at this point and racked up 4 kills!

I finished in exactly 1:00:40 but I'm calling it an hour since I spent at least 40 seconds waiting for the train.  And I tallied my 7 kills on the window.

Lindsey, Karol, Emily and Prentiss all ran after me and kicked some serious butt.  I know it's rude to count people as you pass them but not in a relay, the more KILLS the better!  In what seems like an even ruder move you mark kills on your van, like a badge of honor.  We met up with the van 2 people at the first major exchange in Bellingham and just like that it's FOOD time.
The whole team, minus Prentiss who of course was running!
We decided to forgo the showers in Bellingham for food and thought we can just take them at the next spot (BAD thinking...).  We went to Fiamma Burger in burgers ever and made a quick pit stop at Fred Meyer for glowsticks and water.  We went straight to the next place we would exchange with van 2 only to find out no access to showers or changing rooms, just porta potties.  Nothing a few baby wipes and febreeze can't fix.

Part 2...coming soon!

No comments: