A few months ago I saw on twitter that #FlockYouLikeaHurricane needed a new teammate and I pretty much jumped at this opportunity to get to know some of my Oiselle teammates! After checking with my husband – I eagerly signed up and was strangely excited about going to run with 11 strangers. May came pretty quickly and all of a sudden it was time for me to head to Boston and make the trek over to Cape Cod. Unfortunately, Dallas weather didn’t want to make this journey easy on me and I was stranded in the airport for 5 hours before my flight finally took off. I didn’t land in Boston until 7:30 and was able to take the bus where my teammates greeted me eagerly with hugs and introductions and — once we arrived at our fabulous host’s house, a large glass of wine (THANK YOU STACEY – for your help with transportation, shelter and wine). We all stayed up chatting until midnight or so until we finally went to bed. When we woke up on Friday morning it was RACE DAY, van 1 would start at 10:00 am and with Stacey’s calculations, we figured Van 2 would start at 2:30pm. Now, before I continue on with my race report I will answer, “what is a Ragnar Relay?”
192 miles, 12 runners, 2 drivers and 2 vans. The 12 runners are split into groups of 6 (we were lucky enough to have a driver for each van) and put into a van. Each runner runs 3 legs total. Van 1 starts the relay and then passes the “baton” off to Van 2, while Van 2 is completing their legs, Van 1 can take this time to eat, get some rest, and make their way over to the next large exchange zone. They do this until the 192 miles are completed – it took team #FlockYouLikeaHurricane just under 30 hours to complete this task.
Team Flock You Like a Hurricane Team Members:
It was cold & windy when Van 2 headed to the hand-off zone to get our safety brief and start running (still beautiful), I started to get a little nervous as I would be the first runner to take off and I had no idea what to expect – I didn’t know how many times (or if at all) I would see my teammates and the course I was about to run was listed as very hard. With a smile on my face, I took the baton from Melissa and started on my 9.8 mile journey. Having run one relay previously, I knew it was really important for me to not go out too fast in order to preserve my legs for the next 2 legs. I didn’t look at my watch at all and told myself to push it and run at a medium/hard effort – I was able to do this and get up and down all the hills the course offered me by being presently surprised at how many times I saw my AWESOME TEAMMATES! My team ROCKED at cheering, I saw them so many times and this just made it SO much more fun. I finished my leg and passed off to Danielle realizing how amazing my team was going to make this journey.
Once my teammates ROCKED their legs, we were able to go back to Stacey’s house to eat some dinner and take a little nap. Stacey had estimated that we would start running again at 1:30am. I was able to sleep for about an hour before I woke up a little nervous for my night leg (5.3 miles) — while I’m used to running in the dark, I was nervous about running off course and finishing the leg. We arrived at the hand-off point and I got the baton from Melissa and took off into the night. I ended up feeling really good on this leg and had my fastest splits – it was so fun running in the dark and Stacey had told me different landmarks I would be running by that were so beautiful to see even in the dark and of course, my #flockstar team stopped and whisper-cheered me on a couple times throughout my run. Ragnar has “quiet hours” from 6:30pm – 6:00am but Van 2 perfected the art of the “whisper cheer” and made me smile so much while running! I handed the baton off to Danielle and she took off into the night. I think our entire van was surprised at how much we enjoyed our night runs, we finished just before the sun came out and drove over to the local high school to try and get some rest. I think I got a total of maybe another hour of sleep and finally just got up and went to the van and tried to drink as much water and nuun that I could and ate a banana and hoped that despite my stomach cramps I’d survive my last leg.
After taking a team photo, I started running my last leg of 6.3 miles and was mainly worried about finishing. Once I started running, I felt pretty decent and my teammate, Jessie, had provided me with a perfect description of the terrain I would be running on – the first part was mainly slightly downhill with a couple rolling hills with my last 2 miles having some pretty large hills, especially my last half mile. Again my awesome team cheered me on and I was able to finish and was SO happy when I was done. I finished right as the course rolled along the beach (so pretty) and told my teammates the last leg really wasn’t that bad!
My teammates absolutely ROCKED their last legs! I was so proud of Jess for kicking butt — her last leg was her longest of the race and she ran so tough and blew by so many runners. Our fearless anchor, Jessie, tackled over 9 miles for her last leg and our entire team crossed the finish line with her. What an amazing moment. I couldn’t believe we had finished the 192 miles – it was just such an amazing experience meeting all of these women for the first time and instantly becoming friends. The only negative part of this weekend was not getting to spend time with van 1 – it would have been fun to spend more time with those ladies (and man). We finished 7/37 teams in the all women division.
After finishing, half of us were able to stay and devour some of the free food and enjoy some of the free beer. Afterwards, we hopped back into the van and made a beach stop on the way back to Stacey’s house. SO. BEAUTIFUL.
I couldn’t have asked for a better group of women to experience this with. It really was the BEST WEEKEND. I can’t wait to be reunited with all of you again. I really can’t describe how amazing this weekend was.
Also, thank you to all of our sponsors for the weekend:
Oiselle — Pro Compression — Shower Pill — Energy Bits — Pocket Fuel — Mission Athletecare
Have you ever run a Ragnar Relay or any other type of relay?
Any tips on how to deal with a “ragnover?”