Ragnar Relay Adirondacks Recap

Date: October 7, 2014 at 11:30 am- by Ali- Comment(s): 45

This is my longest post ever I think. Three runs in one recap. Sorry. Proceed with patience.

For years, I avoided relay races.

I know people love them, but I hated the idea of not always being right next to a bathroom, and always blamed my stomach for not wanting to join a team.

I think I was also nervous about the team aspect. Whether competitive or not, being on a team means people are relying on you to some degree. It means giving it your all, being fully invested and, hopefully, running well. I run for me; I run because it’s not a team sport, and because I don’t want anyone relying on me and my bathroom-stoppy running.

But then I started working for a running company.

And opportunities started popping up.

She's the JackRabbit. I'm the Tiger Tail. Both onesies are mine. I'm so selfless and I am happy to share my onesie collection.

This is Jill. She’s coming to my marathon and I love her. She’s the JackRabbit. I’m the Tiger Tail. Both onesies are mine. I’m so selfless and I am happy to share my onesie collection.

Try these shoes! Test this watch! Run this race!

I don’t care much for fancy shoes (Pure Flows for life) or tricky gadgets, but damnit if I don’t love a free race entry. Still, as my coworkers began assembling a team (sponsored by JackRabbit and the very wonderful Tiger Tail) for the Ragnar Relay Adirondacks, I didn’t jump at the chance.

I’ll never be fully confident with my stomach’s abilities to, um, behave on the run. I didn’t want my coworkers — some of whom are absurdly fast — to see me struggling and heaving and panting trying to run fast. I didn’t know what to pack, wasn’t sure if I’d be up for running late at night (actually, yeah, I’d be fine with it), and the timing wasn’t great — the relay was during the first week of my three-week marathon taper.

But I just spent 2+ years saying no to things. Having excuses — legitimate ones — and turning everything down.

I said no because I had to. Because my body wouldn’t cooperate. Because I was in a dark place and didn’t want to be around people.

And then I realized I had to say yes.

My stomach was finally fine. Fine enough, at least. I love my new coworkers, and relays are expensive as hell, so running one almost fully sponsored seemed like the way to go.

So I said yes.

Just say yes. This is Bob, and he's putting on my compression socks for me. SUCH A TEAMMATE.

Just say yes. This is Bob, and he’s putting on my compression socks for me. SUCH A TEAMMATE.

With a few conditions, of course.

I didn’t want the relay to affect my upcoming marathon, so I agreed to fill that last spot on the team as long as I could pick my legs first. So I signed up to be runner 1 in van 1, meaning I would kick us off, run the shortest cumulative distances (14 miles total) with the mellow-est elevation charts, and I’d be the first one done with the most amount of time to recover. Hi, I’m Ali, and I’m a control freak diva. Super pleased to meet you and be on your team.

As soon as I committed, I got excited!

I’ve read about relays — we all have, I’m sure — on tons of blogs, and people love them. The cramped van! The smells! The night running! The team bonding!

The team bonding was my favorite part.

So now that I’ve written the longest prologue ever, here’s how the Ragnar Relay Adirondacks adventure actually went down…

I spent Wednesday night attempting to pack, and I read every relay packing list I could find. I tried to pack minimally. And I failed.

Three runs = three outfits. Each outfit gets a sports bra, a tank, shorts, socks, and legwarmers.

Three runs = three outfits. Each outfit gets a sports bra, a tank, shorts, socks, and legwarmers.

The main things I ended up packing but not needing were lots of extra “down time” clothes and food. I barely ate any of my food. But good thing I packed an entire loaf of bread (our van had three of them), an entire jar of Nutella, a jar of peanut butter, a bucket of peanut butter-filled pretzels, and about six bags of Starburst Fave Reds (get on board). The Starburst, actually, got devoured. But nothing else. And the yoga mat. I packed a yoga mat thinking “I will lay on this underneath the stars and sleep at night!” In reality, though, I slept across a shared van seat for all of two hours at one point, and it was 40 degrees and dewy outside. There was no “sleeping underneath the stars.”

OH GOOD, YOU PACKED A YOGA MAT, THAT WILL TAKE UP A NICE AMOUNT OF ROOM IN THE VAN AND WILL NEVER GET USED. Asshole.

OH GOOD, YOU PACKED A YOGA MAT, THAT WILL TAKE UP A NICE AMOUNT OF ROOM IN THE VAN AND WILL NEVER GET USED. Asshole.

Our group of 11 (we planned to have 12, and saw three casualties in the weeks leading up to the race, eventually leaving us down one person and putting five people in van two instead of six) met at JackRabbit Union Square at 5 AM Friday for the drive north to Saratoga Springs.

We were sponsored by TIGER Tail so I wore my TIGER suit. For $24.99, this thing sure was a good investment. AVAILABLE AT TARGET.

We were sponsored by TIGER Tail so I wore my TIGER suit. For $24.99, this thing sure was a good investment. AVAILABLE AT TARGET.

As the first runner and the most paranoid person on the planet, I wanted to make sure we left extra early so we’d have time to complete the three-ish hour drive, decorate our vans, do our mandatory safety training, change into running clothes, and use the bathrooms 19 times. Everything went just perfectly, so we had a happy Ali on our hands. (This would change dramatically on the reverse trip.)

A moment of calm in my tiger suit before the start. This is how the elites prepare.

A moment of calm in my tiger suit before the start. This is how the elites prepare. They think tiger thoughts.

The vans we rented were huge and we weren’t cramped at all, which I appreciated. Two people each got their own rows in the van, and two people shared a row (fortunately two of the girls on our team are a combined 8 feet tall, roughly, so they were happy to share). I sat shotgun for most of the trip and never drove. No one wanted me to drive I DON’T KNOW WHY.

We got to Saratoga and it was beautiful. We had an 11 AM start time, so we changed, did some decorating, did the Porta Potty thing, and went through safety training, which is basically just a short chat with a race official about the rules, the signs marking the course, how not to get in trouble along the way, and what the deal is with all that reflective crap (you have to wear reflective gear and head lamps between the hours of 5:30 PM and 7:30 AM whether you’re running or not; so anytime you’re out of the van, you have to have a safety vest on and you must be sexy at all times).

What's more festive than a blow-up arch? I loved it. And orange is my favorite color, so...everything is awesome, I guess.

What’s more festive than a blow-up arch? I loved it. And orange is my favorite color, so still a very happy Ali.

We also practiced our slap bracelet handoffs. The slap bracelet is your timing chip, and I didn’t want to ever drop it. So I practiced handing it off to our second runner, Bob, and failed and failed and failed. I kept dropping it. Defeated before I even hit the start line! Whatever.

If at first you don't succeed, just be like whatever, screw it, doesn't matter.

If at first you don’t succeed, just be like whatever, screw it, doesn’t matter.

Soon, it was time to line up, and it wasn’t at all what I expected. I thought I’d be taking off with a ton of other runners, but there were only five teams in the 11 AM wave! All women, too. I was terrified of getting lost right away; that was actually my biggest fear the entire time. So my teammates were like “don’t go out first, let them lead the way and then just pass them later,” but of course I got excited having all 10 of my teammates there at the start, and I hauled ass out of the gate and bam, I was leading the other four runners blindly. What a bad idea for them.

Where are the other runners?! I right, I didn't care to hang out with them. Bye.

Here I go. Bye.

I was convinced I was lost during the entire first leg. I didn’t have a pace plan in mind, obviously, and figured I’d just take each of my legs easy and try not to let myself get too worked up or exhausted. Taper, right?

My first leg was 5.3 very flat miles and despite feeling lost, I kept a solid pace and felt so happy and excited. The whole time, I thought about the one thing I’d been scared of before the relay: being part of a team. It didn’t scare me anymore. It motivated the hell out of me. I kept thinking I wanted to run well and make my team proud, even though we had no plans, intentions, or goals to be competitive. We were fun running, but I wanted to feel proud of my efforts.

Apparently my form is bad. Or so I've been told. My arms "cross over too much." DON'T CARE, SO FUN.

Apparently my form is bad. Or so I’ve been told. My arms “cross over too much.” DON’T CARE, SO FUN.

The weird thing is that I didn’t see a single other runner along the way. Because it was right at the start, we hadn’t had a chance to catch up to other teams yet. So it was strange running a “race” but being out there entirely alone.

Runner #2, I'm comin' for ya!

Runner #2, I’m comin’ for ya!

41 minutes later, I was done running.

The fact that this felt easy gives me hope for my marathon and, ya know, life.

The fact that this felt easy gives me hope for my marathon and, ya know, life.

I averaged a 7:50 pace and was bouncing out of my skin when I saw the exchange spot up head and my teammate, Bob, waiting for the handoff. I had the slap bracelet ready and boom, got it right on his wrist. Success! Probably because we practiced.

My teammates were all, “Blah blah blah, we thought you were taking it easy?!” And I was all, “It felt easy! I swear!” and then we hopped back in the van and were off to the next exchange.

DAMNIT, BOB, GO! Like why is he just standing there? YOU HAVE THE SLAP BRACELET, PLEASE GO AHEAD AND RUN WITH IT NOW.

DAMNIT, BOB, GO! Like why is he just standing there? YOU HAVE THE SLAP BRACELET, PLEASE GO AHEAD AND RUN WITH IT NOW.

So another thing about relays: Despite having read about them endlessly, I didn’t really know what to expect or understand how they work. I think you just have to do it.

The gist is that you run your assigned leg, following the marked directional signs along the way, and soon you get to an exchange point where your team/next runner is waiting, and you hand off the slap bracelet, and then the next runner goes on his or her journey, and you get in the van, and you drive to the next exchange, and this goes on for 200 miles and 24+ hours. I didn’t find that there was much downtime since most legs were around five miles, and that gave you just enough time to drive to the exchange, wait for your runner, cheer cheer cheer, make the handoff, talk to the previous runner about “OMG how was it?! great job!” and then repeat repeat repeat.

Leg 1 done!

Leg 1 done!

It was helpful having my running outfits in little Zip-loc bags, and it was helpful having towels and baby wipes to clean up with.

There are also a few “major exchanges,” which is when the final runner in van one hands off to the first runner in van two, or the final runner in van two hands off to the first runner in van one (me!). I loved these exchanges because we got to see van two, catch up with them, and have the whole team together. I also loved that each time I started running, I got to have 10 people cheering me on instead of just five!

I liked this exchange a lot. I also like my giraffe blanket.

I liked this exchange a lot. I also like my giraffe blanket.

Our first major exchange was incredible — right on Lake George, on the beach, with showers, a burger place, and lots of sand for laying down and sleeping. I was too stressed to sleep and didn’t feel the need to shower yet. This was the most nerve-racking part of the relay for me because I had no idea what time to expect van two to finish, and I wanted to be ready. So I couldn’t sleep or relax, and just waited for updates from our van two runners.

I don't know why I needed to wear a reflective vest when I had hot pink legwarmers, but OK, Ragnar. RULES.

I don’t know why I needed to wear a reflective vest when I had hot pink legwarmers, but OK, Ragnar. YOUR RULES.

We had a dance party with new friends in the parking lot, put on our reflective gear, and around 8:20 PM it was time for me to take off into the night.

I TOOK OUT MY BRAID AND RAN WITH A PONYTAIL. It's like, who am I? So wild and crazy.

I TOOK OUT MY BRAID AND RAN WITH A PONYTAIL. It’s like, who am I? So wild and crazy when I do relays.

My “night leg” was my favorite leg of the relay. I got to run through downtown Lake George, which is the cutest darn town, and running at night had me hyped.

All I wanted to do was pass people. Every time I saw a reflective vest up ahead of me, I chased it down. I ended up passing seven or eight people on this leg, I think. Ragnar calls these “kills.” I liked killing people. (Can I say that?)

Marking my kills on the van. Like any good serial murderer does. Yikes...

Marking my kills on the van. Like any good serial murderer does. Yikes…

Once I got out of the downtown area, I was running on a main road, which was a bit dicey since nothing is closed to cars and there wasn’t much of a shoulder on the road. But that kind of made it more thrilling and I had a rush the entire time.

Are my shorts short enough? I never know.

Are my shorts short enough? I never know.

My leg flew by. It was 4.08 miles and I ran it in 31:53 (7:49 average).

I love the night runs. I like to boogie.

I love the night runs. I like to boogie.

It didn't feel uphill. Get yourself hopped up on enough adrenaline and sleepiness and you, too, will be immune to hills.

It didn’t feel uphill. Get yourself hopped up on enough adrenaline and sleepiness and you, too, will be immune to hills.

I was sort of blinded by the night and couldn’t actually see my teammate as I blasted into the exchange. I heard one of the girls on my team — Karen — yell “yeah Ali!” so I knew I was in the right place, and I know I got the slap bracelet on.

And then more driving, more running, and lots of blanket snuggling because it was getting cold!

Jillian? Are you in there?

Jillian? Are you in there?

Our team finished the night legs around 1 AM, I think, and then we drove to meet van two and were able to shower at a school. Big, communal locker room showers. Naked ladies everywhere. Such luxury.

Then, freshly showered, I snuggled up in the van and passed out for about two hours.

We got the text from van two around 5 AM that it was almost time for the final big exchange.

My last leg wasn’t particularly fun. I hadn’t gotten tired up to this point, but sleeping for two hours made me super out of it. It was totally dark out and really cold, and my stomach had started to feel unsettled.

Then I got the final handoff and dashed off into the darkness.

HERE I COME!

HERE I COME!

The best part about this leg was that I got to be the lucky runner to enjoy the sunrise! There wasn’t much of a sunrise, since we were in the mountains, but my run was dark when I started and light by the time I finished. I got to see the fog coming up off the mountains, and the foliage was incredible.

How good is that?! (This is from the drive home, not my run, but you get it. You know.)

How good is that?! (This is from the drive home, not my run, but you get it. You know.)

But this leg had a hill right out of the gate that ate my soul for breakfast. It destroyed me. The entire run felt like it was uphill most of the time (it wasn’t; but I do drama), and I got two wicked side-stitch cramps that almost forced me to a standstill. I convinced myself to try and breathe and run through them (practice for marathon day), but I was in rough shape.

Everything hurts. Running is impossible.

Everything hurts. Running is impossible.

Eventually I rounded a corner and saw my teammate one last time. And then I was done! I had done my first relay!

ASS SLAP HANDOFF. Nailed it.

ASS SLAP HANDOFF. Nailed it. (Maybe tread lightly when playing this with coworkers? We don’t have an official HR department so it’s basically fine.)

My final leg was 5.5 miles and I averaged an 8:45/mile pace. (With wildly uneven splits. HILLS ARE HARD.)

SO CONSISTENT, REALLY GOOD JOB, FELLER.

SO CONSISTENT, REALLY GOOD JOB, FELLER.

Also, despite those hills and my pending death, I knocked out 17 kills on this leg. Ka-bam!

ALL DONE! MANY KILLS!

ALL DONE! MANY KILLS!

17 kills. It may have been 18, but counting is hard.

17 kills. It may have been 18, but counting is hard.

As the day went on, it started getting hot, and I was so grateful to be done running and able to just enjoy the rest of the experience, cheering for my teammates and being salty and sweaty.

Posing with our precious Tiger Tail!

Posing with our precious Tiger Tail! That’s me, Paul, Jill, Karen, and Becca.

Once our van was done, we drove to the finish line festival area, which was at the Olympic ski jumps in Lake Placid! Super cool.

We had some time to chill, nap, and finish any outstanding Double Stufs before Tony, our team captain and final runner, came plowing toward the finish.

There's always time for cuddling. ALWAYS.

There’s always time for cuddling. ALWAYS. You know what sucks about cuddling? There’s always one rogue arm that’s in the way. Like, look at my right arm. It’s not comfortable like that. It’s horrible. It’s just in the way. CHOP IT OFF.

As is Ragnar tradition, we let Tony lead the way and all followed him through the finish chute.

DONE!

DONE!

The celebration didn’t last long. We were psyched to be done, but we were all getting cranky. By “we were all getting cranky,” I mostly mean I had somehow morphed into a rage-filled bitch and needed a sit-down meal immediately. I think that was the point at which my coworkers regretted letting me on the team. I snapped a few times. Hungry Ali is so unpleasant.

So we got in the vans, headed south, ate at a lovely little brewery thing in Lake George, and then I was happy again. And then we drove all the way back to NYC in a van covered with “kill count” tally marks.

HEY NYC, WE ARE DRIVING A BIG WHITE VAN MARKED WITH "KILL COUNTS," DON'T EVEN WORRY ABOUT IT. WE ALSO HAVE CANDY.

HEY NYC, WE ARE DRIVING A BIG WHITE VAN MARKED WITH “KILL COUNTS,” DON’T EVEN WORRY ABOUT IT. WE ALSO HAVE CANDY.

Not sketchy at all.

If you’re thinking about doing a relay, I highly recommend it. Make sure you like the people on your team and that you have a good mix of super uptight people and way laid-back people. Bring cowbells, enthusiasm, a pillow, and some blankets.

I lucked out in a big way getting this opportunity and getting to share it with some of the best people I know. I laughed harder in those 28 hours than I have in a long time. I was so sad as soon as the experience was over, and will absolutely do another relay in the future.

I <3 Van 1

I

Oh, and we won our division! We came in first place in the Corporate Mixed Division and 53rd overall.

I am loving saying yes.

45 Responses to "Ragnar Relay Adirondacks Recap"

I am not a runner, but relays always look like so much fun! Like a slumber party in a van. With excercise. Ok, maybe it’s the snacks that make it look appealing.

That. Sounds. Awesome!!!! I’ve always wanted to do one, thank you for breaking it down. Were you ever scared running alone in the dark? I think that part would freak me out. Thoughts? Feelings?

I was running alone-ish during my night leg, but I was on a main road, so I was never scared of bobcats or bald eagles or other things that might snatch me up and eat me. I could also always see blinking lights ahead of me coming off fellow runners (and that’s why you’ve got the reflective gear on!). So I thought I might be scared, but I never was. I also lucked out with my route during that leg: It went through a downtown area and then onto the main road. It wasn’t nearly as secluded or woodsy as some of the other legs.

got it. makes total sense. thanks ali!

I did Ragnar Adirondacks a couple years ago – so gorgeous! Although it rained pretty much the entire time soooo that throws a bit of a wrench in the weekend. Haha. But we still had a great time! Relays are the best. Amazing job on those hills!

I don’t know how you guys did it in that rain! I read Ashley’s recap and I would have been SO miserable. I can’t imagine all that wet stuff everywhere. Such troopers!

I just did Ragnar (San Francisco to Napa) as an ultra team and after having done 3 Ragnars before I was pretty confident I’d have at least one meltdown. Oh, I had more than 1. Ultras are hard because there is literally no downtime. I drove or was co-pilot for most of the time i wasn’t running. We had a combo of uptight and laid back but unfortunately i’m the uptight one. lol. glad you had the experience and that it was a good one. I agree, the night legs are always the most invigorating. You had some lovely scenery. I also got to catch the sunrise on a few of my relays.
I think i’m actually done with Ragnars…..but i don’t ever regret doing them. They were all fun and left me with great memories. Being a team player is key.

Awesome job!
So fun to see you happy and feeling good again!!!

Thank you 🙂 I’m pretty pumped about it, myself. SO MANY EXCLAMATION POINTS.

I’ve done 7 Ragnars. Ragnar is the best. Especially the one from Miami to Key West.

Your “Hungry Ali” meltdown reminded me of the Snickers commercials, hah.

I’m still not convinced I would enjoy a relay. I’m a sleepaholic.

You definitely don’t get quality rest, though I never felt exhausted until a day or so later. Adrenaline hiiiiiigh!

It is bad that the worst part about doing a relay for me is the thought of having to change in front of other people? #overweightproblms — I do totally want to do one someday though! Glad you had such a great time 🙂 Also, will you be at the Fitness Meet & Tweet? I would love to trade Friends quotes in person 😉

SPELL CHECK. Dangit, Lindsay.

Not at all — it’s a very fair concern, in my opinion. I changed right out in the open (former dancer problems) or in the van, which was a bit awkward. There were a few exchange areas with actual bathrooms, which was nice, because then you didn’t have to change in a Porta Potty and you had nicer facilities. You can definitely avoid changing in front of other people (as in, neither males on my team saw me indecently at any point, and the females only did because of the shower situation, and that was voluntary).

And no, I won’t be at the Meet & Tweet. Boo! But have the best time, and let’s get a rain check on the Friends quoting?

Changing in the Porta Potty sounds absolutely awful. The smells! Oh boy. Thank you! I’m excited – it’s my first one. Definite raincheck!

Starburst Fave Reds are my obsession these days- I am getting into a really bad habit of “just needing them” at work every day around 3 PM…oops. Sorry they are the most genius idea ever?

It’s so nice not having to pick out certain colors! Although I don’t love the watermelon. Do you want my watermelons? That’s my “sure you can have one!” flavor when someone asks me to share.

YOU ARE SO FAST. And awesome. Mostly awesome with a side of fast.

I’ve run a couple relays and just drove for team at the Ragnar Napa. So much fun! I’ve never considered showering during the event…I would so much rather use the time to try to sleep! Glad you enjoyed it!

Yes, I read your recap! You’re like the ultimate good sport. That’s very cool (and selfless — sweet karmic move). As for showering: I actually didn’t even feel like I NEEDED to shower, but I wasn’t tired and couldn’t fall asleep in the van, so I figured I’d just go shower. I WAS TOO EXCITED TO SLEEP.

I’m so glad you did this recap because the weekend before, I did Ragnar Napa – with the previous commenter Milfrunner as our van’s awesome driver 🙂 It was SO much fun! I was runner 6 so I ran INTO the major exchanges and it was pretty amazing having all the team there to cheer for me, it made me feel super-special!

Like Milfrunner, I would NEVER shower in a relay – it’s all about maximizing the sleep! I was pretty minging at the end. I also really enjoyed the end-of-race party when i got to go to sleep. All parties should include sleep!

How long did it take you to get over the sleep-deprivation? Took me a couple of days!

Yes, runner six is a great one, too! (And six is my lucky number, soooo perfect.) As for the sleep deprivation, I crashed hard Sunday afternoon and I felt OK on Monday. But I think I’m just used to functioning on not enough sleep, perhaps?

Your relay experience sounds awesome! This was the first year after 3 consecutive years that I didn’t do a relay, and I miss it. Team Vodka Heist would love to have you!

Fun random fact: While we were getting ready and decorating our van in Saratoga, I got to see the famous one-shouldered sports bra Vodka Heister, Mrs. Megan herself! She was out for a run and I got to see her! Such a highlight. So it’s basically like you guys were all there relaying with me, right?

I have run in a few Ragnar Relays – the original one in Utah – and loved it! Ok, running after eating pizza may not have been the best idea but running at 2:30 am with all the stars was amazing. I love the paint on the van idea and crossing off the legs after finishing them!

I WANT TO DO THAT ONE. It was the first one I Googled when I got back! It looks so gorgeous and I love love love Utah. The elevation may kill me, but at least I’d die somewhere lovely?

relays sound so fun! i’d love to do one, but would need to find enough runner friends to do it with me!

also where do you get your bossy leg warmers?? 😉

I used to get them all from my old job, which was working for a dance magazine, so that was nice and convenient. (Check out discountdancesupply.com if you’re into fun patterns.) But now I mostly get them at American Apparel. Lots of colors, and they stay up while I’m running. Big fan. HUGE.

Jenny berg says: October 8, 2014 at 9:53 am

Ooh! I’ve been stalking your page hoping to get recaps! You are one of my inspirations to run! After my team challenge half in December I’ll have to investigate hood to coast, since I’m in Oregon… I’m on a sub list there. Scary but now I wanna do it!

1. YES TEAM CHALLENGE. Love that. Love you. And from a Crohn’s kid, THANK YOU for taking part. That’s awesome.
2. GOOD LUCK at the half!! Report back, please.
3. YES OMG DO HOOD TO COAST IT LOOKS AWESOME.
4. You live in Oregon? I can come visit you? GREAT.

This sounds like such a fun race. I’ve been dying to do a Ragnar, just need to find a group of people who will actually commit to it. One of these days!

Congratulation and thank you for sharing. i loved reading all about it. It is so good to hear you so happy.

Lynn Carlson says: October 8, 2014 at 11:27 am

This was awesome! Thank you!!! My Oiselle flockmates and I are applying for Hood to Coast today and hoping to get it! Planning on PNW Ragnar in July too! I have never done a relay but CAN”T wait to try one!

Lynn Carlson says: October 8, 2014 at 11:30 am

Also, ugh my typos!

Charlotte says: October 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Are we actually secret soul sisters?! “Are my shorts short enough? I never know.” combined with the super consistent splits has me leaning towards “yes”.

Congrats on an awesome race!

I LOVE reading your blog posts. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

So awesome! You are running so strong! Great recap! I am from Florida and was in upstate NY that same weekend for the Adirondack Marathon on Sunday in Schroon Lake. We drove to Lake Placid for the day on Saturday and saw the Ragnar going on and got so excited! It was so beautiful up there with the foliage (which of course we do not have in Florida). The hills killed me because I am not used to them and running bridge repeats to train is not the same thing at all! Anyway, congrats, glad it went well! 🙂

Ragnar is on my list!!! I really want to run Ragnar Trail in W.V. next year! And of course reading this just makes me want to run it that much more!!!

Jenny Berg says: October 8, 2014 at 2:06 pm

1. Replying to your comment— I’m a Crohns kid too. 20+ years. So is my sister. Your running journey is eerily similar to mine… Though no marathons are in my future, you can do that 🙂
2. I’ll report back if I get there. The fundraising….
3. I’d love love love to meet you if you come to Oregon!

So, I read most of this post totally geeked out that you were so close to me (I’m about 30min from Saratoga) 🙂 I’m not psycho, I swear!!! I really want to do a relay– it looks so fun– but I’m worried I wouldn’t make it thru 3 legs!

I was runner 1 for the 2014 Ragnar ADK as well! Last leg was terrible but part way up the first hill, I heard a girl coming up behind me about to kill me. Instead, she slowed down and ran with me and wouldn’t let me stop. The support you get from other runners on these things is amazing. Also though I enjoyed finishing first, there is a certain stress that comes with being runner 1 or 6 (this was my fourth relay). You have to be READY, not sleeping, when the last runner from the other van arrives. For that reason I didn’t sleep AT ALL (note, during Reach the Beach this year I was runner 4 and had no problem sleeping because there was no stress to have to be ready when the runner arrived).

Very happy to hear you enjoyed your experience. I’m utterly hooked on relays and funny…for the stomach issues alone…is why I actually prefer them! Each exchange generally has port o pots, and unlike a regular race where you have to get in your coral eons before the actual start time requiring you do time your trip to the port o pot wisely, with a relay you can hit it up whenever you want! And you don’t have to freeze waiting for the start time. You bundle up in your blanket and throw it to a teammate when you start running.

Lastly, in all my four relays I have always had folks in my van I didn’t know but who I am still friends with years later.

We stayed two nights outside of Placid and hiked two of NYs tall peaks the next day. Very worth it to stay in the area and enjoy what the Adirondacks have to offer (though in 2012 when we ran it we made a beeline home because it was a rainy cold miserable year!).

Great recap. I love hearing other people’s experiences!

Andrea

PS- you smoked me on that last leg!

I love relays! I’ve done 11 Ragnar Relays and a couple of others. If you have the right team mates its a blast! My favorite so far is Cape Cod!!
Glad your feeling awesome! You look great!

OMG!!! I LOVE Lake George! I am counting down the days until I can go back to Adirondack Brewery (most likely the one you were at!) when I am up there for the sister’s wedding. It will be time for their barrel aged Fat Scotsman!

Also I am making my sister host a Crossfit style class for all the bridesmaids on the beach!