Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Florida Central Ragnar Relay

Whew! What a weekend!  4th Ragnar this year and it was awesome.  My van-mates were fantastic and we all got along well and some of us are talking about Chicago Ragnar next year.  I hope Chicago comes together and I can run with them again.

Team picture at pre-race dinner
First off, the goody bag rocked.  The bag itself was a cool bag that I got to keep.  It was given to me as a hint to encourage me to pack lighter next time.  What?  I don't know what I'll need so I try and be prepared.  Next time I'll be better...maybe.

At the starting line. Christina, Toni, Tracy, Jazz, Sam and Lori
The race started at Port Richie, a basic type of town with traffic lights and exhaust. Our van attended the required safety meeting and out of the three safety meetings I've sat through, this was the most entertaining. The other safety meetings a SWAT member went through all the rules and wore a funny wig attempting to make it as painless, informative and fun as possible.  This time a volunteer was requested and Jazz, from our van, helped with the safety meeting. He was hilarious. Jazz is from Bosnia, has a ton of energy, zero sensor on what he thinks and what comes out of his mouth and talks non-stop.

I was runner two, got the hand off from Jazz, ran a couple feet and stopped at the light.  It was full sun so later in the leg I was thankful for the red lights I had to stop at.  A team in front of us, didn't stop at any of the lights and dodged traffic. Jazz talked to them at the next exchange and they had no idea they were supposed to follow traffic laws. (?!)
I'm handing off to Toni
Lori's handing off to Tracy
At exchange 6 Rae ran hula hoop competitions while waiting for runners to come in. Lori, on the left, is losing the hoop down her hips while the lady on the right was a pro.

Our next leg was at night and mine was a straight shot to the next exchange. Usually when you pass runners the paces are different enough there is no chase.  When I passed a runner with 1.5 miles to go he picked up his pace and stayed with me.  I tried to pick up the pace some to shake him yet he hung on. My intention wasn't to run that fast but I had to give him a run for his money. I thought he may try and out sprint me at the end but he didn't (good thing because I didn't want to try and sprint either). We shook hands and congratulated each other on the great run.

I mentioned that Jazz has a ton of energy. While Toni was running Jazz was concerned about her crossing a road and making a turn so he got out of the van to help her across the road and would run with her some until she made the turn. Toni ran by and waived at us yet there was no Jazz.  While we're waiting a car pulls up.  "Where ya runnin to?" We told them 200 miles to Dayton Beach. Words of astonishment came from the vehicle and I expected to hear 'whatcha think bout that Mabel?'  The did tell us to be careful "cuz there are wild hogs out here".   We waited about 5 minutes and still no Jazz.  Finally we sent Sam out to get him.  Jazz didn't realize that Toni was the first runner he helped across and was helping other runners too.

My third leg was also in the dark and at this point I'm pretty tired. The long stretch and no other runners had me worried I had missed the turn.  Finally, I came to a VERY hard left onto a trail which I would have missed if another team wasn't there to point it out.  It was dark and eerie.

One thing Ragnar did really great this race was communicate with text during the race.  They let us know about the domestic animals along the course (Jazz was chased a couple times by dogs) and the missing sign on one of the legs ( a hill billy is sitting at home with a blinking left hand Ragnar turn sign wondering how to use it for Christmas lights).  Luckily we didn't get called in on the Ragnar snitch number and didn't get any other texts.  I wonder if there was a missing sign for our other van...one of the runners got 5 miles off course and he said he was in a bad part of town.  He eventually mustered up courage to walk up to a house and they were kind enough to drive him back to the course. I really should run with my cell phone so if I do get off course (as I was worried on my third leg) that I can reach my team.

The finish line was fantastic at Daytona Beach.  The weather was perfect and all I was missing was a beach towel.
Christina, Lori and Toni on the beach
 In addition to getting to keep the Ragnar goody bag I bought a Ragnar jacket at the finish line. This way when I'm on a plane going to another race another Ragnarite can easily identify me (I met two ladies at the Phx airport going to run Central Florida also and they had Ragnar sweatshirts and jewelry on, which is why I started talking to them). At the starting line I saw Rae, who lives in AZ, and gave us some key chains and later some bandana's.  It was so cool seeing her at the different exchanges during the race.  I'm excited to have met Rae because she's invited me to go with her to Vegas next year to do Ragnar clinics.  It'll be a blast.

As a team we came in 15th overall, 5th in the mixed group and 2nd in the running store division. Thanks to all my team-mates for another great Ragnar Experience!

Happy Running!


Teamarcia said...

What a fun race!

Pretend this is real said...

Wow! Great run! I would definitely find a way to run off course, so congrats on staying on the "straight and narrow."

Johann said...

Your team did great, well done! Spending time with a team like that is awesome. How many Ragnar Relays are there each year?

Staci Dombroski said...

How awesome! Way to go on the run :)

misszippy said...

That sounds like a blast! I love the wild hogs comment. Way to go!

Giorgio said...

I'm sure that reaching the finish line on the beach was wonderful although you missed a beach towel :)
Great running group!

Zaneta said...

what a race!! Sounds (and looks) like so much fun!! :)

OffHandMouth said...

You write the BEST posts! I love reading about your adventures, Christina! Thank you so much for sharing. You make a difference in my life each time I log on and read. :)

I hope your stove is done worshiping. ;)

Anonymous said...

What an awesome time! Thanks for the awesome writeup!! I'm definitely addicted now...thanks for being a part of our team!!

Toni said...

I'm glad "y'all" didn't tell me about the wild hogs until after I was done running! Great times! I hope we get to run Chicago together!