Monday, August 30, 2010

Ragnar Relay

Last weekend we ran the Ragnar Relay from Winona to Minneapolis. This is a little jaunt involving 12 people, 2 vans, 3 running legs/person, little sleep and lots of fun. Although it doesn’t sound like all that much fun, it really is.

We really could have done without the 85-90 degree weather, dew points in the 70’s and humidity at about 90%.

We started out the night before, decorating the vans and taking our group pictures. These are our van members, Julie, Tiffani, me, Ali and Kristen.

DSC01839 DSC01835 DSC01836 DSC01837 DSC01838

And the last van member, my pod-mate and coworker Cathy.


Our team was Diva’s and a Dude, however, we ended up with two dudes after a team member dropped out.


Our original dude, Paul, on the right, is wearing a pink skirt. He was very much into the diva-ness of it all.

On Friday, we met up in small town Wisconsin-Modena, where the first major exchange was located.


And look who I found. Patty and I posed for our ceremonial before race photo (this is #3 now). She had already run her Van #1 leg (we were van #2), and is showered and looking pretty. I never looked pretty after sweating out the first leg. Actually, I didn’t look that pretty even before I started running!



There were lots of vans and people, and Emma, wearing some funny ears.


Her owner said she probably doesn’t like wearing them that much, but she does it to make him happy. There you go.

Our runner came in and off Ali went.


There’s Kelly handing off to Ali while Tiffani looks on. The sun is coming out just so we can be really hot.


DSC01859  She ran up this ginormous hill to the highest point at Ragnar. (Which is that orange marker). Then back down the hill-that was better than the up the hill part.


I ran next-it was hot and hilly and fairly miserable. I got passed by four fast guys.


I was so happy to hand off to Tiffani-I can’t even tell you. I guzzled a bottle of Gatorade.


Cathy ran down the hot 7 mile road-but she was strangely happy about it.


Julie ran next in the hot heat, and then Kristen-


Here she comes into the exchange. So, get the picture? We did this two more times, except the next exchange and handoff was at about 2 AM. We ran until about 7 AM, then again at 11:45.  We finished at 3:55 PM, after 31 hours and 55 minutes total for both vans. The thought of beer at the finish kept us going.

But in-between, we saw these things.


Cathy on the lonely side of the road.


The river.


Lots of people


Lots more people at the final major exchange in Mpls.

This van, one of many things that cracked me up


I should have taken picture of all the vans that cracked me up, because there were many.


Cathy and Julie.


Cathy, posing in uniform with flag (I loved those flags)


And the finish.

It is unforgettable. While it’s happening you question your very sanity, and after the finish, you say “Wow, when can we sign up for next year?”

We already have the list of runners for Diva’s and a Dude, 2011.


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