Ballistic Buttercups at a Ragnar Relay
This race was by far my best Ragnar race yet. The people in the van, the scenery and the after party in Key West made the Ragnar experience fantastic.
A month before the race the team was off to a bumpy start. Our team captain had put together two teams, primarily consisting of runners from Tampa and a few other runners from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona. Two years ago I ran Central Florida with them and was invited to run the Keys with them. A month before the race the team captain became AWOL and wouldn't return phone calls and emails. Mike stepped up and became team captain for Ballistic Buttercups and I became team captain for Ballistic Buttercups Too. Mike finalized all the arrangements and pulled everything together.
I met the team after I arrived in Miami for dinner and met everyone on the two 12 person teams and our 4 drivers. Having run Ragnars before with some of the people, I already knew 6 of the people. This is better than some other Ragnars where I know one or even none of the people I'm running with. Later that night we squeezed 6 people into a room. 3 in one bed, 2 on a very uncomfortable pull out and one on the floor (probably better than the pull-out).
|Most of the two teams at the start line in Miami|
|Petey hangs on for dear life on our van|
|Lori, Carrie and me at the start|
|Carrie and cute Bry Bry. He looks so big.|
The third leg of 4+ miles was around 11am and in the full sun it was hot, hot, hot. I was grumpy. In the distance I saw the lights of a cop car (which isn't unusual because they help monitor traffic and cross runners at some exchanges). It seemed way too soon for the exchange but I could also see the port-a-potties, which meant that was the exchange. Finally I reached the cop and port-a-potties. "It's just across the bridge" the cop called out. Just across means something totally different to me running in the heat as compared to a cop standing there. Just across means, I cross the bridge and the exchange is there. RIGHT there; not another half mile down the road.
I finished my 3rd leg with a 7:50 pace and jumped in the van. The last set of legs were only 2-3 miles and there was no time for wasting at the exchanges. We had to get moving to get to the next exchange quickly. For each runner after that (except Bry Bry who ran the team in) I had an ice pack waiting for them when they finished. Everyone did really well in the heat and no one passed out.
My exchange wasn't the only one with misplaced port-a-potties. The next set of legs we saw port-a-potties on the wrong side of bridges and one set was in the middle of no-where..probably a mile from where they should have been.
|Mike and me with our team captain hats and finisher medals.|
|Two medals...one for the Keys finish and a second one for running any other race in 2011 and the 2012 keys|
|At the finish line on the beach in Key West|