Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ragnar Las Vegas 2015 Recap

Heeeeyyyy everyone! I know it's been forever since I posted here. Sorry about that. Life got in the way. That and I haven't been racing at all since May. Talk about a long hiatus! I have been running consistently though so I didn't give up on running altogether, just races for a while.

I did make a triumphant return to racing last weekend in Las Vegas! I ran the Ragnar Relay. Spoiler alert.....it was Ah-mazing!

Yay for free race pics!!
Let me back up to how I ended up signing up to run a race all the way out in Las Vegas. I have wanted to run Ragnar since I started running. Despite the fear of not knowing where I am going and running in the dark, it just looked like a lot of fun. I don't know enough people to get my own team together, so when someone was forming a team (thanks Tricia!) and asked my friend Shannon if she was interested, she thought of me right away because she knew I was as well. Except it was all the way out in Las Vegas. Ehhhh. You only live once, right? So I said yes, and the rest is history. Shannon got her BRF, Sara, and her friend Heidi, and Sara recruited her sister, Suzie, and BFF, Dashell. And we had Van 1 of the Red Hot Racers!

Love these ladies! And the skirts were so awesome! We could see each other coming from far away!
I didn't know any of these ladies except for Shannon, so I was worried about how that would go. There was nothing to worry about. These ladies were awesome teammates! So much fun and so supportive and now they are all my BRFs! I loved every minute of the entire weekend. I have never laughed so much in my life.

Besides all the fun, there was running thrown in there too. It was a race after all! I was runner 4 which meant I ran legs 4, 16, and 28. My mileage was 4.3, 5.3, and 6.3 miles respectively. We had an early start time of 6:00 am and had to be there an hour early AND it was an hour from our hotel. Whomp whomp. I am used to getting up early to race since I runDisney so much. But this was getting up early and then running twice more after that. The lack of sleep was a common theme to the weekend.

Thankfully we got to the start early because it was pretty clusterrific. It was at a ski resort (who knew in Vegas!?) and the temperature kept dropping as we drove up and up. It was 17 degrees at the start. Shannon totally took one for the team and ran the first leg. So anyway, we waited in a long line of vans for quite a while and no one was moving. Finally the van in front of us asked us to move a bit because they were turning around. Apparently vans were getting stuck in the snow! So we decided to do a seventeen three point turn and park right in front of the gate to drop Shannon and Heidi off. Thankfully the volunteer at the start (who was amazing and deserved a medal for dealing with directing traffic in that place) never said a word about our illegal parking spot. So we waited there warm and toasty until Heidi made it back to the van. I was disappointed to miss the start line though.

Waiting for Shannon to finish her first leg.
The rest of the race went fine. That was the only hiccup. The directions and parking and facilities at all of the exchanges were great. We had no problems. We got through the first three legs and then it was my turn.

Legs 4 and 5 were run on a trail. This trail meant that we had to sign an extra waiver so that if we got hurt or you know, died, it wasn't Ragnar's fault. It didn't give me any warm fuzzies. Apparently, these legs used to be run on the side of the road. I wish they had kept the status quo. This trail was full of little stones, big rocks, dirt, sand, rolling hills, you name it. It was awful. I had to keep my head down the whole time to plan out where I was going to place each step. I stumbled a couple times but never wiped out. Thankfully. I was so glad to be off that trail.

This was what I was running on.

So happy to be done!!
We finished our legs around 11 am and handed off to the other van. We stopped at Target on the way back to the hotel because why not? Most of us were starving so we ate lunch and showered. Oh side note, apparently this Ragnar isn't normal because it goes in a circle, so it was possible to go back to our hotel between the major exchanges. It was a really nice perk! I tried to take a nap but it didn't really happen.

We were back out to run again around 5 pm. We were lucky that we didn't have the overnight legs The sun sets around 4:30 so it was still in the dark.
We thought the weather was going to be warmer. Not so much. But yay for being twins!

 
Waiting for Tricia at the exchange.
I think my leg started around 8 pm. I had 5.3 miles to run on the side of the highway. I was really scared going into this leg. But thankfully, the shoulder was quite wide so traffic wasn't a problem. And I wore a headlamp as well as a lamp that I carried on my hand so I could see ok. I was happy to be done though!

Night running is fun! Ha.
We finished our second legs around 11 pm. We handed off the slap bracelet and happily went back to the hotel. We all showered and were able to sleep for about 4 hours before getting up to run again. It was about a 40 minute drive to the exchange. We started running again just before night-time hours ended, so about 6:30 am.

These legs were near Lake Mead and the view was just gorgeous. We stopped at the scenic overlook and took some fun pics.



According to the Ragnar app, my last leg was supposed to be downhill. Had I remembered what the leg map looked like on the web site, I would have realized that no, it was actually uphill. But I had no recollection and depended on the app to be correct. So when I started running my 6.3 mile leg and realized I was going up a mountain and there was no down in sight, I was frustrated! That was some hard work, let me tell you! It eventually went down a bit after three miles, but then it was right back up and then down and up some more after that. It was a rough final leg. I was so glad to be done when I hit that exchange!


Ragnar app on top, my Garmin on the bottom. Reversed!
 
 
Oh hey. I am running up a mountain.

This is exactly how I felt. It was more of a shuffle.


Gorgeous views though.
Many of the legs were no van support, so the van couldn't stop at all. The last couple of legs we were able to so we stopped as much as we could to offer water or a spritz. The weather had gotten quite warm. Oh, I totally forgot to mention that the weather was cold in Vegas! It only warmed up to about 45 degrees, which was fine to run in but was super cold to wait around to run in. Brrrrrr.

We finished our legs around 12:30 pm!!! We were done and just had to wait for the other van to finish. We headed over to Red Rock Hotel to meet them at the finish and get our medals. Tricia, our team captain, handed them all out. It was a special moment. I am so glad she volunteered to be team captain and asked Shannon to be on her team and that Shannon asked me. It was an experience I will never forget. It really was way more fun than I ever thought it could be. I highly recommend Ragnar!
I'm a Ragnarian!

Red Hot Racers!
Van 1

 

12 comments:

  1. Great job Bonnie! So glad you had a great experience! It sounds like you had so much fun.

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  2. Great job Bonnie! So glad you had a great experience! It sounds like you had so much fun.

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  3. Great job Bonnie. You are a rock star. Glad you got to live your dream and your dmikes dhow how much you enjoyed it.

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  4. Great job Bonnie. You are a rock star. Glad you got to live your dream and your dmikes dhow how much you enjoyed it.

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  5. This looks like SO much fun - I definitely need to run a Ragnar!!

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  6. Love this so much, Bonnie! I so want to conquer a Ragnar. I said 2015 was Going to be my year but apparently not. 2016?

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    1. Mer!!! You would love it!!! We are tentatively thinking Adirondaks in September. Would you be interested?

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