2016 Ragnar DC Recap Part 4 – For those of you just stopping in to read about We Thought You Said Rum’s Ragnar Relay experience, you can catch up by clicking on Part 1Part 2, and Part 3 to check out my three previous posts.

We’ll pick up right after Van 2 finished breakfast after their overnight legs and were enjoying some down time before hitting the roads and trails for our final legs into Nationals Park.  

We drove to Bethesda, MD to Major Exchange 30 to wait for Van 1 to finish their legs.  We settled in, took naps in and behind the van, visited with friends, and just chilled in general.

Bill took the down time to get his camera and fisheye lens out and take a few fun and different pictures of our decorated van. While parked, other runners kept stopping by to meet Melinda when they saw how many kills she’d gotten so far. With an average pace in the low 7:00’s over the course of her three legs it was not surprising that she got a total of 76 kills by the end of the race.


Photo credit: Bill


Photo credit: Bill

While at the major exchange, our Cruiser friends Murali and Ravi stopped by to visit. They, along with Chuck and Bill, were on our 2014 Ragnar DC team so we snapped a little reunion picture and reminisced about old times.

And then Bill climbed on top of the van to capture what it’s like at a major exchange with so many look-alike vans…


Photo credit: Bill

Laura came in from her final run, checked it off the side of their van, and with that Van 1 was finished. At this point, they were ready to drive on to Nationals Park, find some food and relax until Van 2 finished.


Photo credit: Tammie

Once Van 2 took over running duties in Bethesda, Maryland, we continued into DC, crossed the Potomac River into Virginia, ran back across the river into Georgetown, and through Southwest DC to Nats Park …

  • Leg 31 – Jess – 2 miles (Ragnar rated easy)
  • Leg 32 – Daniel – 6.9 miles (Ragnar rated moderate)
  • Leg 33 – Melinda – 2.2 miles (Ragnar rated easy)
  • Leg 34 – Chuck – 1.8 miles (Ragnar rated easy)
  • Leg 35 – Deb – 6.1 miles (Ragnar rated easy)
  • Leg 36 – Katie – 11.9 miles (Ragnar rated easy)

Weary from a lack of sleep, my picture taking game was off for the remainder of Saturday and I’m seriously lucky I captured any of the following images. If it weren’t for being asked to take video for Bill’s fancy recap video (edited to add video link here), I wouldn’t have been able to grab any frames for my recap. 

Jess had a great run through Bethesda and we had to rush to the next exchange to get Daniel there in time for the handoff.

Daniel had a longer and hillier leg so we had a little down time waiting for him. Melinda was ready to take off when Daniel came into the exchange chute and her ankle held out for her final leg – it must have been the fantastic KT taping job I did… Ha!

Once Daniel finished his last leg, he got high fives from his mom and then his dad!

After Melinda and Chuck finished their runs it was time for me to run my final leg of my third Ragnar DC. I took off downhill at a sub-eight pace which got even faster as a approached a crosswalk with seven seconds left to cross. I sprinted across the busy street knowing that once the light turned, it would be at least two minutes before runners would be able to cross again.

I could feel someone bearing down on me and right after we crossed the street, flag guy passed me. As we settled into a 9:00 pace, I followed close behind and was able to cross several streets as traffic slowed to allow him to cross. Cars were honking (good, encouraging honks) as we crossed and I had to hold back tears because I knew that he had to be running in remembrance of someone…

Flag guy’s team had carried their American flag from Cumberland, Maryland passing it off from runner to runner along the way. I watched as he moved it from shoulder to shoulder and knew that it had to be getting heavy, but with complete respect to our flag, it was always held up and treated with complete respect. I could see a ribbon at the top of the staff, but couldn’t make out the name. 

Shortly after I took this picture, I passed flag guy. He followed close behind and finished right after I did. After catching my breath, I thanked him for escorting me across those early streets on our leg and asked his name and the significance of the flag. Joseph told me the flag is in honor of a friend of three of his teammates – a friend who was killed in Afghanistan. It was an honor to be a tiny part of their run… 

Once off the Custis Trail, we turned onto the Mount Vernon Trail and ran along the Potomac River. At a distance I could see the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. While running the almost four miles along the river, I met three of my MRTT friends who were running Leg 12 and coming toward me. Another friend, Trigg, can be seen in this picture in the distance under the tree. I didn’t even notice him until he was right in front of me and said, “Hi Deb.”

I was super excited to be running along the trail at Gravely Point and hoped a jet would photo-bomb one of my pics. With my GoPro ready, I captured this JetBlue plane coming in for a landing at Regan National Airport.

Just a little side note – Gravely Point is special to our family. When our sons were young, we used to take them there to watch the planes land, and it became even more special after our oldest son proposed to our daughter-in-law there!

As I came in toward the exchange and my finish line, I heard Daniel yelling, “Go Mom!” I have to say that there is no sweeter sound than hearing one of your sons, who happens to be a teammate, cheering you in!

I finished my 6.1-mile run with an average pace of 9:15.  My total elevation gain was 92 feet, and my total elevation loss was 318 feet with a net elevation change of negative 226 feet.  

With Daniel and me both finished with our final runs, we got a family picture with our fabulous driver before heading to the finish line to wait for Katie to bring our team home.

Once we parked our van in one of the three Ragnar designated parking lots, we had quite a walk to Nats Park. It was good to move my legs after spending too much time in the van over the last two days. On our way over, we stopped by to thank Randi for being one of our volunteers. She was originally on our team, but a foot injury took her off the team and she was so sweet to volunteer. Thank you, Randi!


Photo credit: Bill

After arriving in Nats Park, we headed straight to where our Van 1 teammates were having dinner. We had some time to kill since Katie had almost a twelve-mile run through the city, stopping to obey traffic lights along the way. We tried to get seating at one of the restaurants, but it was late enough that they were getting into their dinner hour and without reservations, we were out of luck. Having forgotten to eat after my final run, I was getting pretty hungry and looking forward to our free post-race pizza.

Katie let us know when she was a mile out so we could be ready for her to come in toward the finish line and run with her across the final bridge.


Photo credit: Bill


Once finished, we were handed our medals and Tammie and I handed them out to our teammates.


Photo credit: Stacy

We Thought You Said Rum finished our 206.7-mile relay in 36 hours, 52 minutes, and 30 seconds (10:42 average pace). We finished 267th out of 315 teams (77th out of 92 teams in our open mixed division), and had the following stats: 

Team Name:  We Thought You Said Rum
Team Type:  Regular
Classification:  Mixed
Division:  Open
Distance: 206.7 Miles
Start Time:  6:15:00
Finish Time:  36:52:30
Pace:  10:42

Photo credit: Bill

After our team picture was taken we found a spot to put our medals together to reveal the message on the back.


Photo credit: Bill


Photo credit: Bill

After Van 1 got one more photo at the pier, we said goodbye to our friends as they headed back to the parking lot and home. They’d been away from home since about 5:30 PM on Thursday and I’m sure were looking forward seeing their families and sleeping in their own beds.


Photo credit: Bill


Photo credit: Tammie

Bill, Chuck, and I headed to the Ragnar gear tent to thank our other two volunteers, Chuck’s daughter Becky and her boyfriend Michael, for representing us (each Ragnar team is required to supply three volunteers or pay $120 per missing volunteer). I was too tired to take a picture even though I was so appreciate of their time. Thank you Becky and Michael for volunteering!

Before heading back to our van, we got a final picture of our Van 2 teammates and now friends. I’m so happy that Daniel and Jess decided back in the spring that they wanted to run a Ragnar and wanted me to be on their team. I was thrilled and honored to share such a fun experience with them, and so happy to have Bill volunteer to be our driver!


Photo credit: Bill

Twelve runners
Strangers, friends, relatives
One team
We Thought You Said Rum


Once home and as Bill and I turned in for the night, Bill said, “You know, my feet don’t hurt at all after driving all those miles.”  😉


  • Questions:
  • Would you choose to sleep in the van or on the ground?
  • After reading my posts, are you ready to run a relay?
  • Have you ever run Ragnar DC, another Ragnar, or similar relay?