I really don’t know where to start…  How do you sum up such an incredibly amazing weekend in one short blog post?  You don’t…

Way back in early April when I registered our team for Ragnar DC, I picked Runner 8 because it seemed like the hardest position overall.  Runner 8 seemed to have a combination of extremely challenging hills and longer legs, and seemed right down my alley!

Five months flew by; and with our captain’s meeting, team meetings, and training behind us, Ragnar DC was suddenly very real!

I spent Thursday packing, and I have to say the internet is a wonderful thing!  Possibly the biggest secret I learned about packing for Ragnar was to place our running gear in marked zip-lock bags.  It was especially important that we pack our sets of clothing in individual bags with the leg number written on the outside. After our run, we could easily find our clothes for our next run, and stuff our stinky sweaty clothes back in the bag and seal it tight!

RagnarDCPacking
Friday morning I had an assembly line of peanut butter and banana sandwiches going.  I also packed homemade sweet potato fries, Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, fig bars, Pretzel Crisps, Gatorade, and plenty of water.

RagnarDCDebMakingSandwiches
Van 2 members Meagan, her husband Barry, father Roger, Candy, Bill, and I arrived at Chuck’s house at 9:45 to pack and hopefully get on the road by 10:15.  We put Meagan in charge of decorating the van and she did a fantastic job!

RagnarDCMeaganDecoratingVan
I convinced Meagan to give us some free advertisement by putting our blog addresses on the back of the van.

RagnarDCVanBlogs
The guys took the back seat out of the van and we started packing our stuff.  It took a little while to figure out whether or not to take another seat out, but in the end we didn’t, and I’m pretty sure we made the best decision.

RagnarDCPackedVan
By 10:20 we were on the road and looking fresh!  Van 2 team members were (left to right, starting with the front row) Chuck, me, Bill, Candy, Barry, and Meagan.  Meagan’s dad Roger volunteered to be our driver for the entire trip!  Thank you, Roger!

RagnarDCVan2
Meanwhile in Van 1…  (left to right, starting with the front row) Linda, Murali, Sathy, Anne, Patrick, and Ravi had taken off around 5 AM.  They had to be at the starting line in Cumberland, MD at 8 AM to get ready for a 9 AM start.

RagnarDCVan1

Photo courtesy of Ravi

Once in Cumberland, they posed behind their mini van for a picture to send to us, and assure us they’d arrived safely and on time.

RagnarDCVan1BeforeRace

Photo courtesy of Ravi

Van 1 got one more picture of their half of the team just before Anne took off to start the Cruisers Rockin’ The Relay!

RagnarDCVan1StartArch

Photo courtesy of Ravi

While Van 1 was running, Van 2 stopped for lunch, and then again at the rest area at Sideling Hill to stretch our legs.

RagnarDCGroupSidelingHillRestStop

Photo courtesy of Meagan

The views looking down into the valley were beautiful, but it made me nervous how high we were, since I’d soon be running back up to the top of Sideling Hill and down the other side on a highway nearby.

RagnarDCViewFromSidelingHill
We arrived at Exchange 6 in Little Orleans, MD right on time, and took in the scenes of the Ragnar Village in all of it’s glory.

RagnarDCExchange6
First up for us, was to get our night-time gear safety inspection complete.  Each team member had to have a Ragnar approved reflective vest, and each van had to have at least two headlamps and a strobe tail-light.

RagnarDCSafetyInspection
Next, we moved on to listen to the safety speech…

RagnarDCSafteyTalk
Then we picked up our bibs…

RagnarDCBibPickUp
And our final stop was the shirt tent.  We gave the volunteer our shirt tickets, and were able to try on shirts and get the size we wanted.  It was fantastic to be able to get a shirt that fit!

RagnarDCShirts
Once we took care of all of our check-in procedures, we needed to find our Van 1 teammates so we could get our copy of the RagMag and Van 2 sticker that they had been given upon check-in.  We also needed to pick up our team notebook to log our actual times as each runner completed his or her leg.  Sathy also entrusted his GoPro to us for filming our runners.

RagnarDCVanSticker
Next we headed over to the dusty exchange area to watch for Ravi to come in and hand off to Candy – starting Van 2’s turn at rockin’ the relay.  Van 1 finished their first six legs seven minutes ahead of schedule, so Van 2 had the challenge of performing well, and not losing any of those precious and hard-earned minutes!

RagnarDCExchange6WaitingForRavi
At 2:16 PM, Candy took off and the rest of the Van 2 team said their good-byes to Van 1, and took off in hot pursuit, and in hopes of getting some good pictures along the way.

Stay tuned for pictures, commentary, elevation charts, pace charts, and much, much more tomorrow!

Editor’s note: Click here for Part 2.

 

  • Questions:
  • Have you ever run Ragnar DC, another Ragnar, or similar relay?
  • What kind of hill runner are you? ~ I love flying on the downhills!
  • What did you do on Friday?

 

Happy Running! ~ Deb