Napa Ragnar 2013 Recap

In September, I ran my second Ragnar Relay and my very first as a Team Captain! We were the Wet Bandits and had a team made up of 12 awesome family members & friends. This was my 2nd with Rach, Jared had done at least one before, and I think it was everyone else’s first! I am SO proud of my team!!

Jared, Rachel, Lindsay, me, Matt, & Casey – Van 1 at the start line in Golden Gate Park, SF!

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I was runner 2 and was completely unprepared for how fast Lindsay was going to run! I was sitting in the van at 10 AM when she rounded the corner and had to scramble to get my stuff together. I was running and trying to pin my number on. haha She talked the whole time before about how slow she’d be and how she’d take forever…not the case! I am so proud of my little sis!! 

My first leg was just unreal! The scenery was breathtaking and the hills were killer. It was 5.84 miles with a total climb of 1,023 feet. 

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All through the Presidio, along Land’s End…

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On the beach where we had family pictures taken…that sand was deep and my ankles felt it afterward. Also what no make-up and no sleep plus 4 miles looks like! I am wearing lipgloss, but that’s it. Can’t run without it!

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Across the Golden Gate Bridge! I’ve now walked and run across this bridge.

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The fog made it look like the cables plugged into the clouds. It was so beautiful!

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After my first leg I handed off to Rachel! Whose then-boyfriend-now-husband Jared was very protective of and made sure we stopped exactly where she wanted us to :)

We borrowed my Aunt Liz’s megaphone and had way too much fun with that thing! A definite must for every future Ragnar!

Melissa, our 12th runner in van 2, handing off to Lindsay, runner 1! I love the intensity in this pic. Go Meliss!!!

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All lit up for my night run at 8:40 PM! Safety first. 

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This run was through Petaluma and stunk to high heaven (literally). I was running through cow farms, the road wasn’t lit at all, and when oncoming traffic came, their lights temporarily blinded me. Plus I only saw one other runner out there! Scary stuff. Bushes and random things snuck up on me because it was so dark and kept making me jump. One time when a car blinded me, I thought the white on the road was the shoulder line. Wrong – it was the dirt. So I rolled my left ankle and hobbled on. I got a little rain toward the end but nothing too bad. Needless to say, I was happy to be done with the 4.71 miles! I was really surprised by this because during Ragnar SoCal my night run at 3AM was my best and most favorite run.  

I sat in the van and iced my ankle, cheering on my teammates and trying to rest. Sometime after my run, during Casey’s leg, it started to torrentially rain! It was a downpour like I’ve only seen in the tropics! The forecast hadn’t called for rain, we were all expecting heat. Poor Matt was already soaked while waiting for Casey and was doing pushups to stay warm. It was freezing out there!

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The handoff from Casey to Matt. We passed Casey in a forest and he looked like a Cullen! The words machine, robot, and speed demon were all used as we passed him. He was flying through that  pouring rain!

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After Matt’s run we had a minor hiccup with the other van not being there in time and he was calling but his phone was so wet that we couldn’t hear him. So he waited at the exchange for a bit and he totally killed his mile time. Something about the rain at night made both of those guys fly! We took showers at the college and it was open-style…worse than Girls Camp! Good thing we can laugh about everything :) We tried our best to sleep, and most did. Thanks to Jared & Rach who found a spot to sleep outside so that the rest of us could stretch out on a bench! I barely slept because I was so paranoid about missing Melissa and sleeping through the text that she was almost there! 

The van 2 to van 1 handoff!  

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As I was getting ready for my longest run, I couldn’t find my hat. I went into panic mode because we saw a hat that looked exactly like mine in the showers the night before. After about 5 minutes of searching our filthy van, I finally found it at the bottom of my bag just in time to get the bracelet from Lindsay and go! 

At 7:41 AM I started my third and final leg. It was 8.41 miles with a total climb of 555 feet. I ran from just east of Sonoma to a bit south of Napa. Van 2 took this pic of me moving verrry slowly (my ankle was swollen & bruised but my compression socks helped)! I saw lots of roadkill on this one. 

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The vineyards were stunning! I took this picture right before the rain started. It rained. And hailed. And rained some more.

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I ended up on a freeway for a good portion of the run, and there was so much runoff coming down at me that I’d lose my footing a bit and water would wash over my feet! My shoes felt like big sponges and I was soaked to the core.

I decided about mile 4 that I was just going to go crazy and have fun amidst the cars and trucks splashing me with mud and water. So I danced/ran my little heart out to Van Halen’s “Jump” and every other song on my playlist and made every big rig honk as they drove by! Boy was I grateful for my hat and glasses with all of that rain coming down.

Finally made it, and we realized that our team name was literal. We were all SO WET!! Casey designed the awesome decals for our vans and Stacy made them out of vinyl! They looked so good and really helped while running because you could spot your team so easily.  People LOVED our name! Credit goes to Lindsay for the 2AM stroke of genius :) 

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We were all STARVING and hit up Napa’s In-n-Out. Casey was stoked:

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A burger and fries have never tasted so good!

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After eating, we passed through Napa and cheered Katie on and some of our other runners in Van 2. There were vineyards, fields of flowers, and Eric running barefoot! I was glad that the rain bypassed them for the most part. 

We then headed to the finish line and waited for our final runner!  

It was so fun to run across the finish line as a team! I cannot believe what a huge feat an event like this is and had such a blast. My first Ragnar was 110 degrees and my second was freezing rain. Talk about two extremes! Both times I have come away with such a sense of accomplishment. When and where will you get the opportunity to run with your friends and have them cheer you on in the night/rain/crazy terrain?! Not to mention how you realize what your body is capable of.  

Cousins/sisters :)

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Bandit with bling! I wish they’d give out the Gold Rush medal no matter what year you ran SoCal & Napa :)

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Got a massage that felt like heaven after all of that running!

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We drove our vans to church the next day :)

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Thank you to all of my awesome teammates: Lindsay, Rachel, Jared, Matt, Casey, Stacy, Maddy, Katie, Eric, Amy, & Melissa!!! You guys amazed me and it was so much fun to run with you! Also our incredible volunteer – Devon. He got soaked setting up and worked through the night for us so THANK YOU! And our driver, my dad. He got out of the van to meet Matt when the rest of us stayed in the van to stay dry, harassed us while running with the megaphone, and stayed up all through the night to drive! Not to mention the fact that our van was broken into in SF and his laptop and everything was stolen. It was a crazy ride! 

I’m ready for another one…who’s up for it? Or a Ragnar Trail? 

Comments

  1. Great post. I’m doing my second Ragnar in June and this post got me totally pumped up again. My night leg in Washington DC sounded exactly like yours – desolate, cows, only saw one other runner, freaky…but makes for a good story afterwards!

  2. I need some details on the van decals -where did you have them printed? Did they stick the entire weekend? How easy were they to remove?

    • My friend has a vinyl business and cut them on her machine – it’s called a Silhouette I think. They stuck the entire weekend even with the rain! They peeled off very easily once we had to take them off.

  3. So fun! I’ve never done a relay before, but think I would be able to now!

  4. Ah, thank you so much! I’m running Ragnar Napa this weekend (my second Ragnar, I did SoCal last year) and I’m also runner 2! It’s always so thrilling to find a recap of your legs. :) Thanks for posting pictures. Now I know what to look out for.

    • You’re welcome, Drea! It makes me so happy to know that someone benefited from this post. I ran SoCal first and Napa second too :) Good luck this weekend…I wish I was running with you!!

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