If you’re joining my Ragnar DC party late, you can catch up by clicking on Part 1 and Part 2, to read my two previous posts.

I left off with Van 2 heading to The Creamery at Exchange 18 in hopes of getting some sleep while we waited for Van 1 to run their legs.  We were directed to park right across from the exchange in a prime location for pulling out quickly once Candy took off on her second leg.

As soon as we parked we debated on trying to get some rest, but quickly realized we would probably get very little sleep.  Over and over the megaphone screeched, “Runner 101,” followed by wild cheering.  “Runner 82,” followed by wild cheering. “Runner 214″…  You get my point.

Since he couldn’t sleep, Bill got his camera and tripod out and took some long exposure pictures around midnight.  Leg 18 runners were coming in from the left and Leg 19 runners were heading out to the right.  Eventually Ravi would be coming in to hand off to Candy, but we had plenty of time to wait, and wander around.

RagnarDCTheCreameryAtMidnight

Photo courtesy of Bill

Bill and I walked up to a shelter to see what kind of delicious creations were filling the air with such an amazingly good scent.  We bumped into my MRTT friends, Amanda and Sue (running on another team), waiting to get a bite to eat.

RagnarDCFoodAtCreamery
Exchange 18 was in Middletown, MD at South Mountain Creamery, home of the world’s best milkshakes according to Tian, Ragnar DC’s race director.  As tempting as it was, Van 2 chose to skip drinking milkshakes so close to running our next legs.

RagnarDCCreameryFoodTruck
Van 1 arrived at the Creamery, and we had a few minutes to hang out together while waiting for Ravi to come in and hand the baton off to Candy.  Roger took a picture of us wearing our spiffy reflective vests just as we got photo-bombed by the guy with the flag!  He almost covered Barry’s face with his hand – which would have been in very poor photo-bombing taste.  Fortunately he didn’t, and it’s all good fun.

RagnarDCCreameryTeamPhotoDark
Ravi came flying in to the exchange and handed off to Candy 27 minutes ahead of schedule!  Candy took off at 12:59 AM for her 4.9-mile run (Ragnar rated: moderate). Once she started running, Van 2 said their good-byes to Van 1, and left the Creamery to get me to my exchange. We didn’t have to wait too long for Candy to come running in with an average pace of 8:46.

With a belly full of butterflies, and hands full of Knuckle Lights and pepper spray, I took off at 1:42 AM for my second leg.  My biggest fear was that I would be running along a narrow country road with little room to jump out of the way if some crazy driver came careening around a curve.  My second biggest fear was that I would get separated from the other runners, miss a sign, and get lost in the middle of rural Maryland.  I took a picture of the directions of my leg with my phone and carried it with me… just in case.

RagnarDCLeg20Legend
I need-not worry because I could almost always see the blinking of the tail-light of a runner in front of me, or a runner’s headlamp behind at all times.  The majority of my run was through very upscale neighborhoods, and quaint little outskirts of Frederick, MD.

There was one rather creepy, very dark area where I happened to be all alone (remember it was about 2:15 AM at this point), and I ran past a construction area filled with lots of workers’ vans parked along the road.  My pace picked up as I ran by hoping that the boogeyman wouldn’t jump out of the shadows between two vans and grab me!  I was taking nothing for granted and hadn’t overlooked the possibility that I might get attacked by a rabid racoon, either!

I got passed by a couple of guys early on in my run, and later had to take a little walk break around mile 3 during a very steep uphill climb.  I passed three guys on an extremely steep downhill segment around mile 5.75.  I don’t think I’ve ever run down such a steep course before.  Ever.  I actually had to break with my quads, something I don’t like to do when running downhills.

I saw the John Deere Tractor Store ahead, and knew I’d survived my 2 AM Ragnar DC run, and had bragging rights for life!  I ran into the chute to hand off the slap bracelet to Meagan.  Filled with deliriousness because it was almost 3 AM, or at being thankful to still be alive, I took off my watch and attempted to hand it to Meagan, and then promptly dropped it in the grass!

RagnarDCDebMeaganNightTimeExchange

Photo courtesy of Roger

Meagan took off at 2:44 AM, and left me behind still trying to get my watch back on, and my RunKeeper turned off.  Somebody, please carry me back to the van!

RagnarDCDebDarkTuningOffRunKeeper

Photo courtesy of Roger

I finished my 6.9-mile run (Ragnar rated: hard) with an average pace of 8:58.  My total elevation gain was 518 feet, and my total elevation loss was 751 feet.  My mile splits were:

  • Mile 1 – 8:24
  • Mile 2 – 8:23
  • Mile 3 – 10:19
  • Mile 4 – 9:59
  • Mile 5 – 8:52
  • Mile 6 – 8:08
  • Mile 7 – 8:43

RagnarLeg20ElevationChart
Meagan finished her 6.7-mile run (Ragnar rated: moderate) with an average pace of 9:51.  She just barely got across the train tracks before the gates closed for a long freight train to pass through.  As she and another runner came toward the exchange, I heard them shouting that they had beaten the train.

RagnarDCMeaganDarkRun
Meagan passed off to Chuck at 3:50 AM, pleased that she had beaten the train, and hadn’t gotten sprayed by a skunk while running out in the country.

RagnarDCChuckWaitingAtDarkExchange
Chuck finished his 3.5-mile run (Ragnar rated: easy), with an average pace of 10:00, and handed off Barry at 4:25 AM.  By this point, everyone in Van 2 was either delirious, running, or trying to sleep.

RagnarDCChuckHandOffToBarry

Photo courtesy of Roger

Barry ran his 7.8-mile run (Ragnar rated: very hard) in the rain with an average pace of 8:35.  Bill was waiting in the rain when Barry finished.  I, on the other hand, was toasty warm and asleep in the van since I could finally stretch out between Bill’s and my seats.

 

RagnarDCBillWaitingForBarryRain

Photo courtesy of Roger

Barry handed the baton to Bill at 5:32 AM for the final leg for Van 2’s overnight runs.

 

RagnarBarryHandOffToBillNightRain

Photo courtesy of Roger

Bill completed his 11.1-mile run (Ragnar rated: very hard) with an average pace of 10:00, and it had finally stopped raining by the time he finished his leg.

RagnarDCBillFinishingNighRun

Photo courtesy of Roger

At 7:19 AM, Bill happily handed the baton off to Anne, and Van 1.  With that exchange, the Cruisers Rockinโ€™ The Relay were 6 minutes ahead of our estimated finish time .

RagnarDCBillAnneEarlyMoringExchange

Photo courtesy of Roger

Now that Van 2 was finished for a while, it was time to go find some breakfast, once we got ourselves awake!

RagnarDCVanTent
Tomorrow Iโ€™ll take you on Van 2โ€™s final set of runs through suburban Maryland, Virginia, and DC, so be sure to come back to join us as we complete our epic adventure.  See you then!

Editor’s note: Click here for Part 4

  • Questions:
  • Do you mind running at night?
  • Have you ever visited DC?
  • Have you ever run Ragnar DC, another Ragnar, or similar relay?

 

Happy Running! ~ Deb