Ragnar Wasatch Back, 2012
I’ve seen quite a few running blogs that do these Race Recaps, and even though my Blog isn’t really a “running blog” but more of a blog written by a guy who is a runner of sorts, I thought I’d give it a try.
This year, since my office wasn’t sponsoring a team, I found my way onto a team put together by one of my neighbors, so I really knew only a couple of people in Team number 319 “Still Chafing Tail.” Since we’re a pretty slow team, our start time was 5:45 in the morning, and since Logan is about two hours away, our Van (Van 1) went up there Thursday night and we all piled into a room at the Super8.
Sleepless night number 1, the alarm went off at 4am and we went to check in. There are a lot of teams that check in that early in the morning, and even though Ragnar is pretty efficient at checking in, doing safety briefings and such, we were scrambling to get the bib on our first runner and getting him to the starting line before they yelled “Go!”
Leg 6, 6.5 miles - Hard (Total elevation loss: -1396 feet)
I was runner 6 and so my first leg was at the top of a mountain pass called “Avon Pass.” The dustiest and dirtiest of dirt roads made up the first 3.6 miles of this 6.5 mile leg. In northern Utah, we have this dirt… that isn’t really dirt. It’s more like baby powder, and so by the time I hit the paved road my shoes were full of it, rubbing my toes raw. And so the last two miles could not have come fast enough, but I ran into the small town of Liberty, Utah, passed the slap bracelet onto Melanie in Van 2, and we headed off to Snow Basin Mountain Resort to eat and maybe sleep.
Stats from the Garmin
Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes. 10:24 pace
Leg 18, 8.2 miles - Very Hard (Total elevation gain: 944 feet)
This leg starts in the very little town of Portsville, Utah and ends at East Canyon Reservoir. I began running at about 9:30 that night, It was a little breezy and so I put on a long sleeve tec shirt under one of my older Ragnar shirts, but I misjudged my time, because while I was walking over to the exchange, I hear my name being yelled, because Kelly (runner 5) was standing in the exchange. “Crap!” so I run into the exchange, apologize while getting the bracelet, and set my GPS watch on the run. So my stats for this run are not entirely correct, but close enough. The beginning of the run was beautiful rolling hills though farm country. There isn’t a lot to do in Portsville, so the residents there come out onto their porches, or sit on lawn chairs in their driveways to cheer on the runners, little kids will stand on the side of the road to high five you as you run past. It’s kind of fun, and I clicked off 3 miles in about 33 minutes without even knowing I did. Then the route leaves the town, enters East Canyon, and the hills begin and it isn’t as much fun. In the next 3 miles, the hills come more rapidly, but are broken up by some down hill sections that give you a little break. The last two miles are a shotgun (I’m guessing) 6% to 8% grade, straight up. There were times I looked at my watch and my pace, on a run, was a 16 minute mile. That section was seven kinds of Suck… on a stick. It was also during those last two miles, that I noticed a pain in a couple of toenails on my right foot, I’m guessing that the downhill dirt of leg 6 took a bigger toll on my feet than I thought.
Stats from the Garmin
Time: 1 hour, 43 minutes. 12:46 pace
Leg 30, 2.5 miles - Easy (Total elevation change: 31 feet)
Following leg 18, we drove to the town of Coalville, Utah where we could sleep at North Summit High School. There they had the wrestling room set up for us to sleep. So, we found a corner, layed out our sleeping bags and, surprisingly, I slept for a good 3 hours (with about 200 of my closest friends. Ragnarians are a strange bunch, aren't we). I woke up at about 4am when a text came in from Van 2 telling us that they were about an hour away from Oakly, Utah, where the next exchange would be. So, we quickly… but stiffly, packed and headed out.
Leg 30 was supposed to be my easy leg, it was almost more of a challenge than leg 18. When I left the exchange, I could tell that my body was done. So I slowed down my pace and ran the best I could, but in the end, my pace was not what I wanted.
Stats from the Garmin
Time: 27 minutes 50 seconds. 11:25 pace
This year was a fun one, and I hope to run with this team again, because they were a fun group of people. I don’t know the final stats on the team because Ragnar hasn’t posted them yet, but when we were crossing the finish line I looked up at the time board and saw that we were a little over 34 hours.