And since it was the 10 year anniversary of Ragnar, they did some special things. They expanded the field of runners and then added a day of running time. They designed a massive “spinner” medal for the finishers. They designed a special shirt for the Wasatch Back. The Governor of Utah proclaimed that June 22 is now “Ragnar Day” in Utah. They added to the stuff at the finish line and then had a big “after party” at the Canyons Resort. It was a big deal.As for me, it was just one more challenge. Since I was the veteran in our van, I was given one of the more challenging positions.
Our challenge started on Monday the 17th (4 days before the race) when one of our team mates called it quits because of a stress fracture in his foot. So calls and emails went out to almost every local runner we could think of (who we knew wasn’t on a team yet) to see if we could fill that spot. We lucked out finding Kathy, who is a fantastic runner.On Thursday night we got out of Salt Lake pretty late and didn’t get to Logan until about 10pm. One of my team mates had arranged with a friend of his, who happens to live in Logan, to crash at her house for the night. This totally rocked over last year since, this time, we had beds to sleep on instead of the floor of some random Super8.
Our start time was 6:30am, so we were up and ready to go by about 5:10am. At check in we met up with Linda, our 6th van mate who had driven up with her husband and had stayed with her niece.While waiting for our start, I ran into some former team mates, Jared and Jo, who were starting at the same time. We had run Vegas together back in 2009. So that was cool.
I was runner number 3, and so my first leg was #3 which took me 6.7 miles through the farming town of Hyrum and into the neighboring town of Paradise (where the grass is green and the girls are pretty).
Leg 15 went through another farming area in the Morgan Valley along the Weber River. This one was only 4.9 miles, in the twilight hours before night, so I didn’t worry too much about supplements. I downed a GU before the exchange and had some Nuun in my bottle because it was a little warm, but I didn’t think that I would need much more than that. I really should have put a SaltStick in my pocket, because 3 miles down the road, I was sweating like I’d sprung a leak, and the Nuun just could not keep up with my loss. So lesson learned… and I came in a bit slower than I wanted to at 57:40. Pace of 11:22 minutes per mile.After our second legs, we booked it to Coalville and North Summit High School where we tossed out our sleeping bags in the auditorium and (at least for me) fell quickly asleep… in my stinky running cloths.
They woke me up at 4:30, and we headed out to the last exchange in Oakley.
Leg 27, my final leg started in the town of Francis. There I ran into a bloggy friend, Sussett from You’ll Always Have My Heart. And found out that we would be running the same leg. That’s always fun. My runner came in before her’s did, but I had no fear because I know that she’s a better runner than I am. And I was right… she killed me somewhere around the 6th mile when I was struggling up a really long hill. Despite the suck that was the uphill, the view was fantastic. Jordanelle was a beautiful blue as we ran past it. I finished this 7.5 mile leg in a sad 1:31:59, with a pace per mile of 11:56. I blame the hills.
After passing off to Van 2, we headed to a Middle School in Heber, and paid a well spend $5 for a very cold shower and a warm towel. It was awesome getting clean and then went off to find food. Since we were in Heber I suggested that we stop at “Granny’s” for lunch. Granny’s is this little burger and malt shop on Main Street in Heber. It’s a small place (actually a house) that produces some of the best onion rings in the state. So… we ate well.The team was able to shave off an hour from our finish time from last year, and finished in 34:43:22 and since there were over 300 teams that finished after us, I say… not bad for a bunch of old(er) folks.
This year was a fun one for me, and I was lucky enough to score the slap bracelet from our final runner. I think that she felt bad for me because I had now finished 5 of these things and had yet to keep the bracelet.
Is that a big stinkin' spinner medal or what?
I got home, kissed my wife, put on a movie and slept for 13 hours. I awoke Sunday morning with no pain or stiffness… I’m guessing it’s because of the marathon training. Four of my team mates go to the same church as I do, and after services they were moving slowly and stiffly. I hated to tell them that I was ready to go running. *Evil Laugh*