I cannot believe that it’s been almost a MONTH since I ran Ragnar Austin! And even more surprising, I can’t believe that I haven’t yet written a recap of the event. Because you run for such a long time, it just feels a little overwhelming to recap a relay. This is the second time I ran a Ragnar (the first one was back when I was in NYC), and it was as amazing of an experience as I remembered.
My company sponsored our team of 10 people, so we named ourselves the Accruent runNERDS (which is fitting because we work in software). Because we had a few drop outs at the last minute, I decided that I would do two legs. I did the same when I ran Adirondacks, so it wasn’t that nervewracking to me… until I saw the first chunk that I was going to be running.
Yeah, what was I thinking!?
Ha. Anyways, our start time was at 10 a.m., so we met up early in the morning and drove down to Fredericksburg for the start. We went through the check-in process (making sure you have the right safety gear, watching a video and officially getting your bibs!) before our first team member was on his way.
We were van 1, so while the other team was like ummm, now what do we do?! (and preceded to go have a delicious lunch with some beer – ha), we were scrambling to finish decorating our van and headed to the next stop to drop our runner. This is the part that always amazes me about Ragnar – you look at the time and you think you have all the time in the world between your legs, and it comes up SO FAST. Even though you never sleep.
I think I started running around 2 or 3 p.m., which is always fun when it’s Texas and in the 80s. I had about four miles for my first part of my leg (runner 6) and 10 miles for the second part of my leg (runner 7). The 10 miles was actually the hardest leg of the entire relay, which meant I snagged an extra medal – woo!
So, I totally underestimated the elevation chart when I looked at this because I didn’t think it was going to be that bad, but it really was. There was one hill that I swear went on for miles. My van stopped by to grab a picture of me and I look like I could murder someone:
I’ve never been so happy to be done running in my life, it felt like it was going to go on for-ev-er. I did get a little worried because about halfway through, I noticed I wasn’t sweating and had the chills, which is never a good feeling when you know you have another hour of running in the sun.
But! Made it out of it and then we went to go eat… French fries and beer, obviously.
There were a few odd exchanges with Ragnar Austin, including one where when runner 12 finished, they radio’ed to the other location to tell runner 1 to go. A little odd, but it seemed to work out pretty well. At this point, we were all the way down in San Antonio. YES, we ran from Fredericksburg to San Antonio back up to Austin.
By time I got to run, we were a good distance outside of San Antonio. This time, my legs weren’t as long (about 10 total) and it wasn’t as brutal, which was a little funny because runner 7 leg said it was VERY HARD… so I totally thought it was going to be as bad as the first time around. I think it was noted as “very hard” because you were running at night, with little to no shoulder and no van support.
Honestly, legs in these conditions are my favorite. There’s something about running near midnight, in the middle of nowhere with just you and the road that makes it so peaceful.
Although, apparently, I wasn’t feeling so peaceful at the end:
After I finished, we headed over to Gruene so that we could take a nap before we got started again. It sounds ridiculous, but I think this is one part of the Ragnar experience that truly transforms you and your team. How can it not, when you are literally sleeping on the ground next to the river? Plus, I got to see Melissa, who was running with a different team:
YAY running friends! My last leg was the shortest of them all – just under 9 miles – and I was so happy to FINALLY be done!
(totally love that the too tall people were cut out of this photo… ha)
While Van 2 was headed back to Austin (Van 1 did not run one mile in Austin – ha), we headed over to Kerbey Lane to indulge on some queso and other amazing foods. But first, a post-race treat:
So, how did my legs hold up? I was surprised at how well they did. I thought after the first leg, they would have been shot. They were a little stiff before I started my second run but since that one felt so good, it seemed like they warmed up pretty quickly. The last leg… my quads were BURNING and so mad, but I made it through.
Overall, I thought the race was well organized and it was a great experience. Now that I’m a Ragnarian x2, I think it’s safe to say that I’m a little hooked! I would love to do one again in the near future, so if anyone needs a team member…
Have ever run a Ragnar or relay? What did you think?
What’s your favorite post-running treat? Pickles. French fries. Beer. Not necessarily in that order. 🙂
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