It’s funny how some of the things you don’t plan on doing end up being some of the most enjoyable experiences.
I did not have plans to run Ragnar So Cal this year, as it fell on a weekend my husband was working, and no one I knew was putting together a team. A few weeks before the race, someone reached out to me on Instagram with an opening. It came from a team that has been doing Ragnars together for about a decade and just happened to have some last minute openings. I was intrigued but not sure if I could really swing it. I actually turned her down, and then she came back to me with a compromise that I couldn’t say no to. It allowed me to come in late and leave earlier so that my time away from home would be minimal. Since she had two openings, I mentioned it to my friend Connie and she was In!
This was probably one of the most, if not the most, organized teams I’ve ever participated on, and I have captained 2 teams before myself! Detailed emails, spreadsheets, and a conference call to make sure we had all the logistics straight. Impressive!
We flew in Friday morning, grabbed some food on the go and headed to the first major exchange since we were in van 2. Ran into our teammate from Ragnar Del Sol, Stormie.
We took over from van 1, quick introductions, and were off. I was runner 11 so it would still be many hours until I got to run. Weather was around 70 and sunny!
I had 4 miles on leg one, with a decent elevation gain. There was 8 zillion stoplights, roughly every .3 mile it seemed. Then the hills started, so my powerwalking started. This run SUCKED. I pulled it together to finish strong, though!
After Jeremy, our lone man in van 2, finished his leg, we took lots of beach pics since we were finally by the water. And then ended with a nice dinner with a great view in Carlsbad.
After dinner we got a little time to stretch out before we started back up near San Marcos. I typically dread my night runs because I’m a scaredy cat, but after my horrible afternoon run, this was blissful. It was another 4 miler, with a little bit of nature path and then through some nice neighborhoods. I’m pretty sure I heard both coyotes and roosters while I was on the nature path. The weather was really nice, though. And it wasn’t hilly, so BONUS!
We stayed pretty on schedule during the whole race. We went to a hotel where we got over 3 hours of sleep and then a good breakfast. Yes! I had a little bit of dread in the back of my mind since I knew I still had my longest run in front of me. In all my previous ragnars, I have never had the “Ragnar Leg” which is typically the longest or hardest of the whole race. It was fate when there were only 2 openings and one of them was the Ragnar leg. But I had the whole day to stress over it since I wouldn’t run until 1:30 in the heat of the day. Meanwhile, we got to start our last legs at the Torrey Pines Gliderport, which has incredible views. The vibrant wildflowers made it all the more epic.
Finally, it was go time. I actually thought it would be a little prettier than it was. It started out cross-crossing all over the place but ended up on a path near sea world, through pacific beach where I passed tons of breweries and taprooms and wanted to stop, then up a RIDICULOUS hill with 700 ft elevation gain. It was 9.3 miles and I just wanted it to be done. Ocean breezes helped a lot though, for part of it.
Ta Da! Isn’t it pretty?
We headed to the finish to meet up with van 1 and await Jeremy’s arrival. As soon as we crossed the finish and took all the obligatory pics, it was all business as they doled out shots of fireball. What? This was a new tradition to me, but one I can work with! After hanging out for a bit, we said our goodbyes and my Ragnar friend Alex gave us a ride to the airport in his fancy Tesla.
Being a part of Team ATR (All The Ragnars) was such a blessing. From start to finish, it was top notch! Everyone was SO friendly and easygoing. No drama! Excited to be part of their family now, and do more races together with them in the future. Made some good running friends, for sure!
You never know what fun lies just around the corner when you least expect it! Until next time...
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!