Once again Ragnar DC did not disappoint. I did not plan to run Ragnar DC this year as the date is right at the beginning of the school year and just a couple of weeks before a conference I attend for work. But when my friend asked me to help captain a team for Mad Fox Brewpub, I couldn’t resist. I mean, beer and running. What could be better?
This was my first time captaining but I have a lot of friends who’ve done it, so it went pretty smoothly. We did have a little excitement when our first start time was 1:45, which would mean a midnight finish. Oops. Thankfully, Ragnar fixed that so we started at 8:45am. We also lost one runner about two weeks ago, but were able to replace her quickly.
And then I got a text from a runner telling me her flight had been cancelled. Ummm… Luckily she was able to catch a later flight and one of van #2’s runners was willing to switch vans, so all was good.
We met up at Mad Fox for the send off! And then I headed home to pack, pick up the late runner from the airport, and head to bed.
Friday morning came easy to early, but I was ready to go. We got the van loaded and headed up to Exchange #6, where we would meet van #1 for the first time.
Everything went smoothly and runner #6 handed off to #7 and Van #2 was on its way. I was runner #10, so I had some time to chill before my leg.
Leg #1 (Ragnar DC Leg #10)
At around 5:30pm, it was nearly go time. I headed to the exchange corral to wait for #9. And waited. And waited. Just as I was really beginning to worry that she was injured, my phone rang. She’d missed a sign and had accidentally run 2 miles of my leg! While she headed back towards us, I got the ok from Ragnar to head out. I had a bit of adrenaline going after that and accidentally ran the first 3 miles at a 9:30 pace. Oops. My leg was super flat, but was 8.8 miles, so I did end up needing to slow down some after that. I finished with an average pace of 9:59 and 8 or so kills!
#11 ran and then we headed to the next big exchange to meet van #1 and pick up #12.
We had some fun with van #1, they headed out, and we headed to the showers – the showers that only came up to my shoulders (and I’m short LOL). I did manage to get clean, despite needing a few yoga moves, and then we hit up the spaghetti dinner. Next up: napping at South Mountain Creamery.
Our visit to the Creamery was pretty non-eventful. I dozed. I changed my clothes next to the van in the dark. I did not drink a milkshake – a lesson I learned the hard way on my last Ragnar. And then it was van #2 go time again.
Our van #1 runner ran up and slapped the bracelet on – a runner from another team. Oops. A couple of our runners accosted the poor girl and got the bracelet back and sent her to her runner. Runner #6 won’t be living that one down for a while LOL. And then we were off and running our second set of legs.
Leg #2 (Ragnar DC Leg #22)
Leg #2 for me started at about 5am. The first 2 miles were flat and wound through a neighborhood with overhead lights. I knew that the last half was super hilly, so I pushed the pace as much as I could. Then I headed out onto a mostly deserted road in the pitch black.
As I was running along, I could hear footsteps behind me, which was a bit freaky. But after hearing them for a mile, I figured that it had to be another runner – how many stalkers can run a 10 minute pace for a mile +? He did pass me as we hit the hills. The last 3 miles had some hard uphills, so there was a bit of walking involved, but I still managed 3 kills. Finally, I turned the corner into a downhill finish and raced it home. My average pace was 10:10 and I had 5 kills total.
Our next two runners got their runs in and then it was time to hand off to van#1 again. We were all getting a little slap happy, but the exchange went smoothly and Van #2 headed for breakfast. After breakfast, it was time to hang out at the final exchange before the finish. Because it was mid-morning, no one slept. We spent the time eating, chatting, and organizing the van. And then it was go time again. We left our runner at the exchange and headed to the next one as she was only running 2 miles and we didn’t want to miss her. Leg #3 for van #2 is an interesting mix – 3 super short runs, 2 mid length but hard runs, and then the final 12 mile run. As runner #10, I had it super easy.
Leg #3 (Ragnar DC Leg #34)
Leg #3 started at one local elementary school and finished at another in Arlington. I know this area well and was amused at how they made us wander without actually going very far from the schools (the schools are .5 miles apart, but I ran 1.8 miles to get between them.) I was not amused by the hills. But then I was done! I averaged 9:26 miles and got 3 kills.
After we sent off #12, we headed over to the finish line in Yards Park in DC. This is one of the few instances were I prefer National Harbor, but we managed to find the parking lot and get a spot. We met up with van #1, had a beer (Harpoon UFO, yum!) and ate some pizza. Then it was time to run to the finish together.
All in all, this was another amazingly fun Ragnar. I can’t wait to do my next one – I already have Ragnar Trail Richmond and Ragnar Great River (anyone forming a team???) in my sights. And then I want to run an Ultra Ragnar, because yes, I am that crazy.