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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
Barry handed the baton to Bill at 5:32 AM for the final leg for Van 2’s overnight runs.
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.
At 7:19 AM, Bill happily handed the baton off to Anne, and Van 1. With that exchange, the Cruisers Rockin’ The Relay were 6 minutes ahead of our estimated finish time .
Now that Van 2 was finished for a while, it was time to go find some breakfast, once we got ourselves awake!
Editor’s note: Click here for Part 4
- Do you mind running at night?
- Have you ever visited DC?
- Have you ever run Ragnar DC, another Ragnar, or similar relay?