Is it really over? Ragnar So Cal Recap

This post has been the toughest one to date.  I have had the most difficult time getting started! How can I capture those 30ish hours in a blog post?  I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I cannot.  I will do my best, but I’m sure it will not give it the justice it deserves!

I would’ve never thought being stuck in a van with 6 other people for 27+ hours, running 3 different times with minimal showers & not sleeping would be as amazing as it was!

Ok here we go..

If you have never heard of the Ragnar Relay series , it is one of the largest in overnight running relays.  Ragnar So Cal is what I participated in last weekend.  12 runners + 2 drivers in 2 vans running 200.9 miles from Huntington Beach to Coronado.

My team “The Most Interesting Team in the World” consisted of mostly runners in my VAVI running club.  This was “TMITITW’s” 2nd Ragnar but my first.  The first Ragnar they participated in was Ragnar Las Vegas last year.

Before I get too far into this I have to state that there are lots of logistics that go into a race such as this.  You need to rent vans, find volunteers, find drivers, pay registration, buy food, come up with a theme, design decorations & shirts, while coordinating all of this with everyone on your team.  None of this would’ve been possible without our Leader Pat!  He did a great job with team meetings & many emails to try & keep everything organized so last minute mishaps were minimized.

Being ‘The Most Interesting Team in the World’, we had a lot on our shoulders.  We had to represent The Most Interesting Man! That’s a tough job.

Dos XX need to be represented..

We had to dress like him.. (thanks Todd for the tshirt design!)

And talk like him..

And just be interesting..

From random hats & props..

To ponchos..

To all the musical instruments we could fit in our vans.. accordions..

cow bell..

The vuvuzela.. and we also had a harmonica somewhere..

To piñata breaking parties.. it was a big hit!  Especially with the kids at the finish line!

Now for the running part. We had 2 vans, decorated & packed on Thursday night ready for a 5:45am departure from San Diego on Friday.  Our start time was 9:00am from Huntington Beach.

Van 1 began our Ragnar race, which meant Van 2 (my van) had about 3.5 hours till our starting time. We ate some breakfast & headed to our start site for check in.

Van 1 & 2 flip-flopped the rest of the trip.  While one van was running the other was sleeping/eating/resting and driving to the next exchange location where they were to start again.  For some reason I thought there was going to be a lot of down time.  We rarely had a spare minute.  It went by soo fast!! Except for running.. those were some slow miles in the heat!

Each van ran 3 legs.  So we met up with the other van at the start, finish & at 3 exchanges.

Safety was always first.  Vests were to be worn at night time as well as head lamps & butt lamps.

All of the girls at the night time exchange.

The Most Interesting Team in the World minus Leonard who was busy running.

Being runner 10 out of 12, my part of the 200.9 miles started Friday at 3:23pm.  Can you imagine the anticipation & nerves??  I just wanted to run already I was so nervous.

My first run was in Corona & it was in the high 80’s!  Right before I started running a woman said she saw 89 degrees on the gauge in her car!  Umm.. I don’t see that temperature on the coast!  I was very unprepared for the heat.  My first run was tough.  I started too fast & by the end was pretty dizzy.  I finished it strong passing 12 people along the way!  Lots of walkers out there on Friday!

Can I say my team was amazing!  Our van was supportive of every runner we had.  We would leap-frog them stopping every 2 miles or so to give them water, Gatorade & of course lots of music with our instruments!

Those 2 miles couldn’t come fast enough! With the heat I don’t think I ever was hydrated.  I always wanted more and more water with a loud vuvuzela to keep me going!

Run #1 Friday 3:23pm

Summary 00:52:53 5.79 09:08
1 00:09:01 1.00 09:01
2 00:08:12 1.00 08:12
3 00:09:22 1.00 09:22
4 00:09:10 1.00 09:10
5 00:09:53 1.00 09:53
6 00:07:12 0.79 09:11

After Subway for dinner, more cheering & rest time.. it was time for Leg 2!  This was by far my best run.  It was perfect temperature, my shortest distance & mostly downhill!  Can every run be like that??

Run #2 Saturday 1:40am

Summary 00:31:01 3.83 08:05
1 00:08:13 1.00 08:13
2 00:08:11 1.00 08:11
3 00:07:56 1.00 07:56
4 00:06:40 0.83 08:01

Running through the night proved to be somewhat interesting as we did have a few characters out on the course.  Some sightings my team had were:

-A man walking down the street with a knife in his hand!!  I didn’t see the knife but I saw the man walking down the street…
-A man in the middle of Highway 101 @ 4am(ish) in a black long coat, a hat, sunglasses & a cane
who watched as you ran by!

Despite these scary occurrences, nobody was hurt (except for a few nightmares maybe?).

After a quick trip to my house for a nap, shower, a few finishing touches to our t-shirts & a bite of breakfast we were off to our last exchange at the Torrey Pines Glider Port.

We were lucky in that we live in SD and had a place to go and sleep.  Some were not so fortunate & slept on the grass wherever they could!  It was a little creepy seeing all the body bags sleeping bags on the ground.  To be morbid it reminded me of a documentary I recently watched on Jonestown.

All the girls again at the Glider Port.

Saturday was a beautiful morning but it was getting too hot for my liking.  Runners 7-9 (first three in my van) ran by the ocean, or a bay of some sort.

Van #1 was all done & camped out on the grass on the race course.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous!

When it was time for my run I had no idea what to expect but the map made it seem like it was by the ocean as well.  I started in Seaport Village and headed south to National City.  I have no idea what I was running by but it was not water!  Looked like storage buildings or something.  And it was once again hot!  The beautiful morning runs ended at my run I think!

I started out too fast (of course) and faded fast!  My lifesaver during that run was a guy who decided to run with me.  He was following my pace and telling me to slow down if I needed to.  He kept trying to talk to me to keep my mind off of what I was doing.  It was an ugly hot run.  Somebody had to do it!

Run#3 Saturday 11:14am

Summary 00:56:31 6.24 09:03
1 00:08:41 1.00 08:41
2 00:08:53 1.00 08:53
3 00:08:42 1.00 08:42
4 00:09:16 1.00 09:16
5 00:09:25 1.00 09:25
6 00:09:35 1.00 09:35
7 00:01:55 0.24 08:12

Soo happy that was over!

After my run, Michelle & Missi had to run & then we were headed to the finish line in Coronado!

So proud of my team!  We all did great & I know I had a great time!

Finish line Stone IPA was definitely consumed.

The 12 Screaming Indians were at every exchange with us at the end.  We became friends! =)

The celebration continued with shots in the hotel!

We had a lovely team dinner before it was time to call it a night.

I have seriously been on a Ragnar high since last weekend.  I feel for Todd as he has to hear about it daily!  I can’t stop talking about it!  What a great group of people.. it was AMAZING!  If you ever get a chance to do a relay such as this.. DO IT!

Until the next Ragnar…  Stay Thirsty My Friends!



Filed under Adventures, Exercise, Running, San Diego

5 responses to “Is it really over? Ragnar So Cal Recap

  1. Stephanie

    Wow that looks like an awesome time, glad you had fun!

  2. Patricio Malibago

    Hi Tammy,

    I’m happy you were able to join our team! Thank you for all the help with the preparation – tshirts, decorations, etc. It was a lot of work beforehand, but the race itself was 100x the fun!

    Amazing that everyone stayed in such high spirits, despite the hot runs and lack of AC in the van. Just goes to show what incredible character each of our teammates has. 🙂 What a fantastic group of friends!!!

  3. Ridiculously great post and I’m so glad you had such a fun time! Yay for running 🙂

  4. Leslie A.

    Looks like a blast, I’m so excited for October!!

  5. Cheri

    Congratulations Tammy!
    It sounds like an amazing experience!

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