Ragnar Relay – Key West part II

Check out part I here

When we finished leg #12, we decided to try to find a grocery store on our way to the next exchange zone. While we were there, we ran into another team, Running Wild, who helped us decorate our very plain, though easily findable, red van (98% of the other vans were white). Their dinosaur inspired us to find our own markers to keep track of the legs we ran as well as our kills. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, kills are counted when you pass a runner from another team.  We didn’t end up finishing our decorations, but we did keep track of the kills for each of our Van 2 members and it added up to 86! Most of the teams had at least partially decorated vans and at each major exchange zone, they would spend time “tagging” other vans. A few, like our grocery store friends, would tag other vans with markers, but a lot of teams had magnets that they would put on other vans. One of our teammates actually had some magnets made up for our team as well (that’s the little white circle in the middle of the dinosaur tag) which we were able to put on other vans. Here’s a few of the vans that we saw on the trip:

  • Top left: We ran with your mom last night – Your mom has skillz
  • Top right: Beach slapped – Olympic jokes are Sochiesey
  • Middle: Jurassic Parkour – the front of their van had a city on it with magnetic dinosaurs
  • Bottom: our van after getting tagged and posting our kills after our first set of legs

My second leg was originally supposed to start around 1:30am, but with the heat we ran in during our first legs and Van 1’s second legs, we ended up a bit behind our original schedule. With the extra time, I was able to get dinner at the school that was hosting us at exchange zone 18 followed by about an hour’s nap on the grass and even a shower! An hour isn’t a lot of time, but some of my teammates only got about 10-15 minutes at a time, so I’m definitely grateful for the sleep I was able to get. 

Luckily after the sun went down, it did cool down a bit, but it was still 75° when I started leg #20 around 3:15am. My goal for this leg was to keep a 3:1 run / walk ratio, and I did much better at keeping this pace throughout the 6.2 miles. 

  • Mile 1 – 9:53
  • Mile 2 – 10:17
  • Mile 3 – 9:25
  • Mile 4 – 10:38 
  • Mile 5 – 9:40
  • Mile 6 – 10:09
  • Last .15 – 7:47
I love the overnight portion of these relay races – there’s nothing like being on a course in the middle of the night and while I couldn’t see any of the water as I was going over the bridges, the stars were amazing! The highlight of this portion of my leg was seeing Ragnar, Ruh Roh! (team #96) with The Mystery Machine (their van) parked beside the road blasting music, projecting disco lights into the trees and all of their team members outside dancing – it was a great inspiration to keep running. During one of my walk breaks, I came across another team who told me “Don’t walk in the dark” to which I responded “Yeah, you never know who you’ll find!” 

Running in the dark this time was much less creepy than during the Tuna Run – we were in a more residential area and there were no dogs / coyotes howling during my run! I did get a little spooked by what I thought was a guy standing beside the road at one point, but as I got closer, I realized it was a manatee mailbox holder (still a little disturbing in the daylight). 

I felt really good when I finished my run, but I was definitely tired. As we were heading to the next exchange zone (about 8 miles away), I fell asleep riding shotgun and then once we got to the exchange zone, I jumped into the back seat to grab some more sleep, which turned out to be a bad move. I woke up as the last runner in our van was starting leg #24, so I probably slept for about 2 hours, but I was disoriented when I woke up. I grabbed a Clif Bar because I hadn’t eaten anything in the last 12 hours and almost immediately started to feel nauseous. I think the problem was not eating after I ran and not staying hydrated enough – after staying in the shade and drinking 2 bottles of water, I felt much better. That’s definitely something I’ll have to keep in mind for the next time I try something like this – staying well hydrated has never been a strength of mine, so with the heat, it was definitely something I should have been paying more attention to.

Tune in tomorrow for part III.

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