Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay 2009- Part one

I've really been struggling to put into words this great experience that I've just had. It truly was one of the best things I've ever been a part of. It was wild and crazy and so much fun and pain all at the same time. I think one of the most amazing things that I saw and experienced was the teamwork and camaraderie that we shared. Everyone did a part, everyone trained for their specific legs, and everyone was patient and kind. It was an adventure that I'll probably be telling my grandkids about. I am simply amazed with the women that I was surrounded by. They were incredible and it feels like I have 5 new close friends.

Our team was the Energizer Runnies. Very last minute we all started talking on our blog about how to decorate our van and costumes- you know, the important part of the race. For never having met any of these women before, I already knew they were going to be amazing because of the ideas that were flying! I volunteered to make bunny ears. Mel got shower loofas for us to pin on as tails and she made an awesome drum out of a lampshade from a thrift store. Saria made a couple of battery packs for us to wear on our backs. Cameo came up with a great idea for the van and it was all thrown together two days before the race.

We met for the first time at Angi's parents house in Logan for breakfast and decorating and loading up the cars. Angi's folks made us french toast, scrambled eggs and had fruit, bagels, and juice. It was perfect for meeting everyone and then trying to match faces to names that we were all familiar with. We had two teams, 24 women, all of which I'd never met before. I'm not shy once I get to know you, but I'm pretty quiet if I don't. But it wasn't like that here. I felt like I'd known some of these women through their blogs and it was a relief meeting them in person.

Tancy- modeling the outfit!

The start! And we were off! I had thought we'd have a lot of free time in between running but I was very wrong. The time just flew by. We were not very good at giving support to our runners the first couple of legs. But we learned quick. The race does not provide ANY water at any point. We were in charge of supporting each other. Good thing Mel and Tancy were so patient with our inexperience. We almost missed a few exchanges, had some close calls along the way, but that made it all the more exciting.

Can you spot Tancy in the bunny ears? They came in really handy for finding our runner and for spotting the other team at the major exchanges. Plus it made for some really good comments that we overheard like this one, "Man, I just couldn't catch the bunny. She was just too fast and ahead of me the whole time!"

Mel- finishing up her first leg!

Sarai getting a drink during her first run.

My first leg about 3:10 in the afternoon- I was so hot and my stomach didn't feel good. It was a real struggle the whole five point something miles. It was pretty much uphill the whole way and I was so glad to see the exchange point! I knew if I could just get through that run that the rest of the legs would be o.k. I had a couple of surprises along the way. My family drove up to cheer me on and seeing them was great! They leapfrogged a while and I looked forward to seeing them in the distance. I also had a great surprise of my friend Jody coming to watch me. I was so shocked that she would drive all the way up there to support me. It meant a lot! I also got several messages on my phone from friends all along the race course checking on me and wishing me luck. I am sometimes just overwhelmed by the love and care of others. It makes me want to be a better person.

My exchange to Cameo. I ran an average of 10:20 minute miles during this leg. I started out too fast and I will admit that I walked a few times to catch my breath. Not what I wanted to do, but live and learn. I was so glad to be done!

Cameo finishing up her first leg! Wow, it was a crazy uphill the whole way with dust flying in her face. Some of the drivers were very courteous and drove slowly and others were not. Cameo didn't stop once! She rocked that hill!

Angie was next with a good section of uphill and then a wild, steep downhill that was on a rocky, rutted out road. She had to leap over sections of road. There were places where it was a tight fit with the cars and runners on the same road. Dusty, dirty for her too. But she again was awesome!

Our poor bunny van just doesn't look the same after all that dirt.

We had each done our first legs and you would think that we'd have a lot of time to rest and stretch our legs after all that running? Well, we didn't. We made some sandwiches and ate on a church lawn, changed out of our wet stinky clothes, and then tried to lay down and rest for a minute. We then realized that we didn't even know how to get to the next exchange point or how long it would take us. We only had about 3 hours in between those exchanges and that went by fast. We got directions and headed out for Snow Basin....


Tall Girl Running said...

I got goosebumps reading this, Jen! What a terrific account of our adventure so far. You really captured some great images with the beauty of the scenery that surrounded us. A professional photographer has got nothing on you! You must've done some photoshopping on my legs, though... no way they look that smooth. Tree trunks? Yes? Smooth? Definitely no.

Can't wait 'til Part 2!

Kristyn said...

It was fun reading your reports from the WB. We ran the same legs, so it was awesome to compare. Our first leg was kindof killer for me, too. :0)