Friday, June 9, 2017

Ragnar Pennsylvania Continued....

A long race weekend deserves several posts, don't you think?
After Van 1, my van, finished their first round, it was time to shop. There was a Merch tent set up at the first Van exchange. We also took some pics with Van 2 since we rarely get to see them!

On to lunch! It was a thrill to get out of that van, and we were all giddy about the real food. We went to a Ruby Tuesday and charged our electronics and enjoyed some real food, with actual vegetables.

After that we had to zip over to the next van exchange so that we could rest a bit before it was time to start again. These legs would be done at night, and they were mostly short legs. Mine was 3.5 miles and many of the others were similar.

My leg began at a satellite campus for Penn State. It started out on a road and then turned down a dirt path that ran along a river. It was very pretty and very dark. It was also just a little terrifying. There was a story about a woman being attacked during a Ragnar event a few weeks back and it was definitely on my mind.

After the dirt path we turned onto a highway, which made me feel so much better. For about 5 minutes. Then we were back on a side road running through pitch black neighborhoods. Don't get me wrong, I never truly felt unsafe, it was just mega creepy.
The leg ended uphill, of course, at a church. The volunteers were all lovely, and I gladly passed the slap bracelet on to Tim!

After Morgan finished her leg, we passed the bracelet on to Van 2 and made our way to the exchange and some real buildings to sleep in.....
Actually that's not what happened. When we got there, the building was closed. No real school floor to sleep on (there were rumors of cots, too), no real bathrooms to pee in. No bathrooms of any kind at all.
We slept in the van. We peed in the woods. Two of our teammates slept on the grass outside the tent, Morgan slept on the van floor, and the rest of us slept on the seats. It was ugly. We got 3 hours of sleep. Tops. Probably closer to 2.

At around 4 am it started raining. Erica and Tim came in from their outdoor sleeping area and we all started packing up. It was almost time to meet up with Van 2, so figured out how to get to the exchange and waited for them in the Van. Van 2 got to sleep in the school. And pee in real bathrooms. I'm not bitter. Much.
While we waited for our first runner to finish, we found a real bathroom and they had a fire pit going, and I believe they were serving coffee. Erica, our team captain, got a text saying there was a bear sighting on leg 3. Runners of leg 3 were allowed to skip the leg if they chose, with no penalty. Darlene decided to run and we followed along as much as we could. She kicked butt and then it was my turn.

This was, by far, my favorite leg. It was the longest, the hardest, and the prettiest. It was an 8 mile leg that started just as the rain stopped, and brought me through some very pretty roads.... and then down some very muddy dirt roads.

These little guys were at the bottom of one of those dirt roads. It was a steep, muddy, hole filled road, but at the bottom was an actual road where I got to see Santa Claus. For real, y'all. He was cheering runners from the back of his every day car, with Mrs Claus and their dogs. He was incognito, though. No fancy red suit on this guy.
Soon after seeing Santa, I came upon my spirit animal.

They were all over the shoulder of the road for about a half mile. At first I thought it was cute, but then I was stressed because some were squished! I starting walking very carefully so I wouldn't commit Snailicide. It's very real. I was also trying to simultaneously post a pic of said snail to Facebook. This is why I didn't see this guy right away....

Holy heck!
It surprised me so much that I almost didn't realize it was dead. The runner behind me leaped over it, thinking it was alive as well. Crazy! A member of van 2 saw a rattlesnake and Morgan saw a brightly colored one on her last leg. Hers was dead but I think the rattler was alive! Yikes!

Back to the dirt roads. I was ok with it since it was around mile 6 by now. It was super steep though and it really slowed me down. It was getting hot as well. I finally finished, and Tim started his final leg. While we were getting situated, an official came over and told us that we needed to finish by 8. No way that was happening so they said all of our runners could start their legs simultaneously, so that we could finish on time.
This took some serious wrangling.
I waited for Morgan to finish her leg, which Tim started, since Morgan hurt her ankle in her first leg...

Our Van helped drive Van 2 runners around and we cheered them on instead of eating or resting. We were starving. And tired.
Once all of their runners were running and we picked up Wendy from her last leg, we headed to the finish. There was free pizza, which was cold, but still food. They also had an overpriced food stand, which we bought from so that we wouldn't starve.
After about an hour of waiting, which was glorious, our last runner was approaching.

We all got to run through the finisher chute together. It was pretty emotional. A lot of teams were finishing at once, so we waited on line for our medals, car decals, and photo op...

After the official photo, we grabbed some strangers to help us with the fun photo....

Whew! We did it. We all ran our legs, incurred no infractions, and had an amazing time. Now we just needed dinner, the hot tub, and a bed.

Would I do it again? Hell yeah! We are already planning Cape Cod 2018.... We just gotta win the Ragnar Lottery!
Have you ever done Ragnar?

posted from Bloggeroid

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