Another Ragnar is in the books! By now, you are probably familiar with my Ragnar obsession. Since Ragnar Del Sol is practically in my backyard, I of course had to be in on the fun again. I decided to join the same team from last year, the 12 Wandering Runners.
I had a blast with this team last year, but they moved some people around, a few dropped out, ,and a few dropped in, so we basically had a different team this year. Living by my Ragnar motto, Van 1 for life, I happily joined Van 1.
Our lineup in the van was:
Runner 1 – Erin
Runner 2 – Steve
Runner 3 – Shaun
Runner 4 – Me
Runner 5 – Chrystina (captain)
Runner 6 – Mary
Part of the team was coming from Prescott, and the rest from the Phoenix area. I met up with the van leaving Phoenix just before 4 am. Some of the van 2 runners were there. I first met Steve and somehow within 5 minutes the conversation turned to beer and a few minutes later we had become friends on Untappd. Then I met Bobbi and Ryan. I instantly bonded with Bobbi, only moments later discovering she was going to be in Van 2, so I basically wouldn’t get to talk to her at all. Boo! After fueling up with coffee, we headed to the start line in Wickenburg.
We met up with the rest of our team at the start and shortly after, runner 1 was off! Although it was a pleasant 58 degrees at the start, it was rapidly becoming hotter than heck. My first leg was 6.5 miles and I still had about 3.5 hours before it would be my turn. It was already 70 when I headed out
I’ve been runner #4 all 3 years I’ve ran this race, so this scenery was nothing new. Pretty boring. Legs 1 & 2 get gorgeous desert views, but not #4. It was getting so hot, that was all I could think about. After this leg, I discovered I was developing a blister on my big toe from my new running shoes that weren’t broken in well enough. It’s the only pair I brought with me, so it was going to have to do.
By 1pm we were done with our first round of running, it was time to head out for lunch. Yay! We were all getting along well which is always a huge plus!
Van 2 was getting the worst of the hot sun, I did feel really bad for them.
Our runner #6 was actually working that morning, so another teammate filled in for her leg. She met us later on at a local brewery where we were killing some time and carb loading. Here are some pics of van 2 running in the heat...
Meanwhile, Van 1 was doing this...
We were originally scheduled to start our second round around 7:45pm but ended up being delayed a bit, presumably due to the heat that van 2 was dealing with. We arrived at the exchange but soon realized WE WERE AT THE WRONG ONE! Talk about panic! We will never live this one down! We finally met up at the right exchange and our runner headed out.
My next leg was 5.1, and part of it is on a deserted uneven dirt trail. Even though I had my headlamp and knuckle lights, I still felt so alone and was on edge for wildlife and would-be attackers. Ha ha. There were very, very few other runners in this section at the time. It always makes me second guess that if I’m going the wrong way or missed a turn. Once I got back on the real road, I was able to make up some time. The blister was getting worse, but I pressed on. At least it wasn’t too cold. I was shivering at the exchange but once I started running I was fine.
We got some coffee (and my traditional post- leg 2 donut) and waited until it was finally our turn to rest. We shared a hotel with van 2. Even though it was only for 2 hours, it was so well worth it to stretch our legs. The highlight for me was brushing my teeth. Felt like heaven. I got a good look at my blister and was so thankful that I only had a 4 miler left. It was ready to pop!
By 5am we were back on the road to the exchange. The sun was coming up soon which always makes me happy. I felt really good for not having a full night of sleep.
My last run was at 8:45 am. It was still really nice out, in the 60’s. The course ended somewhere different this year, so my final leg was totally going to be new. It didn’t end up being very scenic, but I got a major burst of energy towards the end and was able to pass a few people. I booked it on into the exchange and was overjoyed. The blister didn’t bother me at all (but it still looked really bad). This was the most running I have done since last summer (before knee injury & surgery). Quads are BEAT UP!
We finally handed off to van 2 around 1pm and headed out for breakfast and showers at our captain’s parents house nearby. It was close to 90 degrees, so van 2 was really getting beat up again in the heat.
At the finish line, we reunited with van 2 and waited for our final runner to come in. Fountain Park provided a nice backdrop for the finish. I hate how we work so hard for the finish but we are in such a hurry to leave and head home, that it leaves little to no time for post-race bonding or basking in our accomplishments together. It’s hectic, quick goodbyes, and sometimes a logistical nightmare with everyone heading in different directions.
Overall, I’m so glad I was able to run Ragnar again - grateful for my knee cooperating, grateful for everyone getting along and no injuries! Cheers to another great event!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!