Wow, where do I start? I’m lucky to have a huge Ragnar race right in my backyard. I’m also grateful that I fell into a great team by chance 2 years ago and have been able to stick with them ever since.
Even though I am NOT a fan of Van 2 timing, I agreed/offered to be in van 2 for this race so that I could be with 2 of my girlfriends and 2 of my favorite Ragnarians. I also had a cool Ragnar veteran Bob on the team. It turned out to be just the right mix!
Our lineup in the van was:
Runner 1 – Bob
Runner 2 – Denise
Runner 3 – Me
Runner 4 – Alex
Runner 5 – Thanesh
Runner 6 – Tricia
Two of my friends from a women’s running club joined the fun, one of whom has never run a Ragnar before. She was such a good sport, nothing freaked her out at all.
I’ve never been in the 2nd van for Ragnar del sol before. It felt so weird to have the morning to ourselves. We loaded up the van and went to breakfast to get to know each other better. Then we drove to Tonopah, the first major exchange. It was already quite hot by the time we rolled in, in the 70’s. We had to wait over an hour for the first van to finish up. We took some pics and waited for our turn. I started around 2:30pm for a 4.6 mile run. It started through a subdivision then ended up along a highway. I ended up getting a fantastic burst of energy in the last 2 miles and enjoyed it.
While we waited for the next runner, we ended up talking to the legendary Ernie Andrus. He’s 94 years young and still does Ragnar Relays! His mind is as sharp as a tack and he regaled us with stories from WW2. He’s awesome.
Our last runner had the “Ragnar leg” which was 11 miles long. We planned on grabbing dinner when she finished, then heading to a hotel for a few hours. Yes, a real hotel! We ended up eating burgers and fries at like 10pm and headed straight to bed.
2 hours later, it was time to get up again. Ugh! Luckily, my night run was super short, just 2.7 miles. I headed out with my knuckle lights and hit the streets around 2:30am. It was a totally uninspiring area near storage units with big dogs inside the fences. I had to cross a few major roads, so I lost a little time at stoplights. The weather was really nice, mid 50’s.
We finished that round and were back in our hotel room (again) by 6am! Really nice to be able to enjoy that twice. Got another 2.5 hours of sleep, a quick shower, and free hotel breakfast & coffee!
The next day was cooler, with some cloud cover thank goodness. My longest run (6.5 miles) would be around 12:30pm. It had a gradual descent in the beginning, which was nice. It was along a busy road for a very long time and I almost got hit by a car getting off the freeway. Pay attention, people!! I then got to weave through north Scottsdale which was interesting. Found some extra energy during this leg which was awesome too.
We finally finished around 4:40pm. Our final runner had an emotional finish running through the neighborhood she grew up in, and was battling the heat and fatigue. She had us crying while she cried as she finished and we all ran in together. What a great experience!
At some point during our last legs, our van started talking about doing chest bumps at the handoff. I don’t think I’ve chestbumped anyone ever, but I thought it was pretty funny. It remained a common theme til the finish, and a new team theme for the future. Here are the last 4 handoffs in sequential order.
Van 1 left almost immediately after getting the medals, since they had been waiting around all day for us. Luckily our rockstar van 2 was up for a few beers and celebrating for just a little bit. We vowed to do it again together next year, and possibly even the trail Ragnar here in AZ this November. Time will tell!
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!
One final shout out to our van MVP Tricia! She agreed to the Ragnar leg, giving her a total of 20.9 miles. Way to go, girl!
And one last reminder to myself not to limit myself - to keep trying new things. I swore I would NEVER run a Ragnar, and here I am 9 Ragnars later, hopelessly addicted. I love meeting new people and having these incredible experiences. This year, each medal had a cool saying on the back that captures the essence of the Ragnar journey.
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Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!