Friday, June 15, 2012

Ragnar Relay 2012 Race Recap

Going into Ragnar, I wasn't quite sure what to think.  I've never done an ultra event of any kind before, and I was nervous about my body.  How would it handle running 32.5 miles in a day or so?  I knew what Ragnar was like from my other 3 experiences on 12 person teams, but this one was going to be different.  And different it was.

I was in full sleep taper mode for Ragnar, getting 5 hours and 4 hours the nights before the race.  We finished school on Thursday, while the race started on Friday.  We met at the ungodly early hour of 5 AM at a teammates house, about 30 minutes away from my place.  That means I got up at 4 AM Friday morning.  We drove to Madison for our 10 AM start time, knowing it was going to be a lot of fun and challenging at the same time.

My team was "Girls Just Wanna Ultra Run"
This was the front of our team shirt.
Our team decided that we would each run 6 (shorter) legs for the race.  I am very happy we made that decision.  With the heat, it would have been much harder to run back-to-back runs.  I was lucky runner #5.

Run #1  (Leg 5) - 6.3 miles in Cambridge, Wisconsin - 7:37 pace 
Time started: 12:56 PM on Friday
My goal was to run all of my legs around a 9:00/mile pace, my typical long run pace.  However, I knew when we started, my first leg would be faster because I was excited.  This leg was mostly in the country and pretty boring.  When I finished, I realized just how fast I ran and knew that I was going to need to slow down if I wanted to make it through all 6 legs.
The back of our Ragnar team shirt

Run #2 (Leg 11) - 5.8 miles in Dousmann, Wisconsin - 7:39 pace
Time started: 7:17 PM on Friday
I loved this run because it was entirely on the Glacial Drumlin trail.  I got the bracelet on the trail and ran for 5.8 miles.  The trees were nice to look at it was quiet.  It reminded me of the path I typically run on in Chicago.

Run #3 (Leg 17) - 3.9 miles in Greenfield, Wisconsin - 7:17 pace
Time started: 11:46 PM on Friday
My frist nighttime run made me nervous.  I has to run through a dark part for about half a mile before getting on to streets in the town.  Knowing that it was going to be dark, and I don't like running in the dark, I told my teammates that I was going to run this leg fast.  So fast, in fact, that my first leg was 7:03...a little too fast.  My teammates told me when I was done running that when they drove by, I looked like a cartoon because my legs were going so fast.  I'm not sure about that, but I knew I wanted to be done.

Run #4 (Leg 23) - 7.1 miles in Racine, Wisconsin - 7:44 pace
Time started: 3:48 AM on Saturday

Fatigue was setting in at this point.  I started to think about how my previous run might not have been a good idea.  This run actually ended up being my favorite of the race.  It was quiet and peaceful and light near the end.  There were some awesome houses to look at, too.  When the van drove by me at mile 4, I flagged them down.  I went low on this run and wanted some Gatorade.  After a brief chat with them, I felt better and continued my run.  GU just didn't sound good at 4 AM.

Run #5 (Leg 29) - 4.9 miles in Waukegan, Illinois - 8:04 pace
Time started: 9:34 AM on Saturday
This run was pretty boring.  The majority of it was on a bike path that was not shaded.  To please my teammates, I took a bottle of water with me when I started the run, even though I really didn't want to.  I ended up drinking every last drop in it.  My legs were tired.  My mind was tired.  I wanted to be done, but knew I had one more run to get through.

Run #6 (Leg 35) - 4.9 miles in Evanston, Illinois - 7:58 pace
Time started: 2:22 PM on Saturday
I was so happy to be starting my final leg.  I was tired in every sense of the word.  At this point in the relay, there was another female ultra team near us.  My goal was to pass the girl from their team, along with the chubby shirtless man wearing the fuel belt.  I succeeded at both of those tasks.  When I finished, I was so relieved to be done.

Final Thoughts:
My legs surprised me.  I went into the race feeling rather out of shape, but somehow ran a sub 8:00 pace for all of my miles.  I can also say that being on a 12 person team is incredibly different than being on a 6 person team.  I had a lot of fun and it is a good experience.

Place: 2/6
Time: 30 hours, 23 minutes
Overall team pace: 9:12/mile
Team kills:  194
My kills: 60
Times I was killed: 0

*That is right, I was undefeated!  60-0 for the kills

Memories Made: too many to count
Regrets: none


  1. I am so determined to do a Ragnar one of these days! I'd have to be faster to be on your team though :)

    this sounded like so much wicked fun!!!!

  2. Great job!

    I'm doing my first Ragnar next month (Northwest Passage) with Insulindependence. Your post just makes me even more excited!