It’s the Monday after Ragnar Tennessee, and the #ragnover is in full effect! I’m reflecting on yet another amazing Ragnar weekend.
Going into this race, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure, I’ve done a ton of these now – but I only knew one person on the team, and the weather forecast was looking sketchy at best (t-storms).
The team was made up of Michiganders and former Michiganders (like me!). They drove the vans down from the Detroit area to the start in Chattanooga. I was assigned to van 1 (#van1forlife), but the ladies of van 2 were gracious enough to pick me up at the airport in Nashville and we made the 2 hour ride over to Chattanooga.
We had a 730am start time, and had a projected finish time of 6:30pm which is super late. More on that later.
Here was our Van 1 lineup:
Runner 1 - Stephie (Captain)
Runner 2 – Anne
Runner 3 – Shawn
Runner 4- Thad
Runner 5 – ME
Runner 6 - Mike
And here are the lovely ladies of van 2:
Ragnar has some of the prettiest start line locations! The start area was really cool, down at the Tennessee River in Chattanooga. It looked awesome at night and as the sun was coming up. I was runner #5, so it would still be a little bit until I got to run my first leg.
It was chilly at the start, but we were happy that the sun was out and there was no rain in sight. My first leg was 3.2 miles, and had over 200 ft of elevation gain. I was super tempted to stop and walk on the way up that darn hill, but I persisted and ended up with a great pace – 9:26 per mile. My leg started at the end of the Ragnar leg, which was a really pretty spot.
We wrapped up and handed off to van 2 and headed out to lunch. We found a cute old diner in the middle of nowhere. Then stopped at a waterfall nearby after.
Before we knew it, it was time to run again. It wasn’t dark out yet, and was only lightly misting. My 2nd leg was 4.3 miles. Luckily, it was somewhat in civilization and not totally in the boonies. I ran through some country neighborhoods, but felt safe. The temp was great, around 55 and still light mist. I was thankful it didn’t start pouring. I tend to run a little slower on the night leg because I’m more careful about where I’m stepping. Still ended with a decent pace – 9:40.
After a late night Mickey D drivethrough, we headed to the next major exchange and went inside to sleep in the gym. Unfortunately, I only brought a blanket, so that gym floor was hard as a rock. I was able to sleep in the van as we started back up at 4:20am. Miraculously, it was not raining, just overcast.
My 3rd leg would be my longest one – 6.7 miles. This one felt like it went on forever. It was more scenic, going past sprawling ranches. I knew my friend Carrie was going to meet me towards the end of this leg to cheer me on - this is what she looked like:
I knew she owned a dinosaur costume, but didn’t think she packed it with her from Arizona! I was so darn excited to be finished, I had 8 kills on this leg, which is pretty awesome for me. Another 338 ft of elevation gain and good pace – 9:33.
After we handed off to van 2 for the last time, we headed out for brunch near our hotel, got showered and even slept. Awesome. We were ahead of schedule this entire time, which was wonderful. We headed over to the finish area and waited for our runner, 2 hours early! Finish area was fun – whiskey tastings and local craft beer and good team bonding. Our final runner was injured but she did an amazing job. We went to dinner, all 12 of us in downtown Nashville. Good times!
I was glad for many things –
oh, and I earned a special bonus medal for doing 2 Ragnars so far in 2018! Looking forward to my next one in less than 2 weeks in So Cal!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!