Hello everyone! This past weekend, I ran my very first Ragnar Relay at the SoCal Ragnar Relay and I’m happy to say that I had a complete blast! This will be a fairly long race report so apologies in advance. 🙂 For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Ragnar Relay, here’s a very simplified version of it.
12 people; 2 vans of 6 people
Runners 1 – 6 are in van 1, whereas runners 7 – 12 are in van 2
Runners 1 – 6 run their first leg with runner 6 passing off the slap wristband to runner 7
Runner 7 – 12 run their first leg with runner 12 passing off the wristband to runner 1 for their second leg
This goes on until everyone finishes their third leg
Okay, now that you get the gist of it, here’s a more detailed version of what my experience was.
Thursday night – Due to an early start time (7 am) on Friday and the fact that most of us lived 2 hours away from the start line, we picked up our van rental Thursday night and headed up to Costa Mesa to sleep at a hotel. A friend was driving down from Central California and met us at the hotel. We grabbed In N’ Out and knocked out pretty quickly.
Friday morning – We left our hotel and got to the start line at Huntington Beach 1 hr before the start to check in, watch a safety video, and pick up our bibs.
First legs – Exactly at 7 am, our first runner was off! For the most part, we leap frogged and supported our runners. Prior to each run, we’d ask the runner if they’d need us to support them in any way along the course (water, cheering, etc). Then we’d meet them at various points along the course.
I was runner 3 and my first leg was 8.6 miles long. Unfortunately, Garmin only captured 8 miles because I was so ecstatic to start that I forgot to turn my Garmin on until I was 0.6 miles in. Boo! My first leg was great. All the adrenaline kicked in and I was beast moding it along the course. I also found out that morning that there were things called “kills” or “passes,” where people count the number of times they pass a runner. I’m competitive by nature so I was on a mission to pass as many people as I could without dying along the course. LOL. Spoiler alert: I passed maybe 25-30 people during my 3 legs. 🙂 My van was super supportive the whole way through. I originally told them I’d only need support at maybe the halfway point, but they ended up leap frogging 3 or 4 times to get me water that I desperately needed. Hooray!
After the handoff to runner 7 around 12 pm, we were all starving and grabbed lunch. We then headed to our hotel in Vista where we showered and/or crashed until van 2 notified us to start heading out to meet them around 5:30 pm where we would start our 2nd legs.
2nd legs – I think our second legs were much more enjoyable than our first. It was cooling down and our legs were much shorter. My leg was 4.8 miles. Yay! I’m a fan of night running and it was pretty calming to run through the streets of northern San Diego.
My leg took me through a bike route that had a gorgeous view of the surrounding area and then later took me through some residential areas. I still had pretty high energy levels during this leg and was able to add to my kill count. 🙂 A guy had passed me during the route, but I stayed close on his tail throughout the miles and at a stop light, he introduced himself and questioned whether he was ever going to lose me. LOL. I laughed, but it gave me motivation to pass him about 0.5 miles before the exchange. I apparently also came in a bit faster than my teammates had thought so I was searching for my team for a minute before they got there. 🙂 Our van finished our legs around 10 pm and grabbed a quick dinner at Taco Bar before heading back to the hotel and passing the heck out.
3rd legs – I got a call from our co-captain in van 2 at 2 am with her greeting me with a “Good morning sunshine!” She had said runner 11 had just started so we had maybe an hour to get to the exchange. I was devastated. We had only maybe 3 hours of sleep. LOL. At this point, everyone was pretty tired. People were passing out during the drives and we tried to sneak in as many naps as we could. We didn’t leap frog as much to support our runners, but we tried as much as we could for runners that had longer legs. 🙂
My last leg was along the Pacific Coast Highway and was the shortest of the 3 at 3 miles, but my legs were extremely fatigued and I struggled with it. However, I pushed through and that’s all that mattered. 🙂
It warmed up for our last two runners, but we were getting more and more excited because that meant we were getting closer to finishing! 🙂 Around 9:30 am, we finished all of our legs and went home to shower and rest up before van 2 got to the finish line.
We all met up together at the finish line and ran in the last 20 feet to the finish line with the last runner. 🙂
TLDR? I had an absolute blast running this relay. I don’t deal with sleep deprivation well, but I had such a supportive team that I don’t regret running this race at all. In fact, I am definitely considering running another one in the future. 🙂 Maybe Ragnar Niagara? 🙂 Does anyone want to join me for 2019?
184.9 miles in 31 hours, 45 minutes, and 18 seconds
65/191 mixed teams
1 experience of a lifetime 🙂