This is my second race recap from the DC Ragnar Relay. If you missed it, you can find the recap from my first leg HERE.
My second leg of the Ragnar Relay was early in the morning on Saturday morning. I was actually estimated to run around 3:00 AM, but our team was killing it and had banked a bunch of time. Instead, I found myself waiting for Deb at exchange 20 around 2:40 AM. My second leg (leg 20) was 6.7 miles long and ran through Maryland farming country.
I hadn’t gotten any sleep at this point and was getting a little loopy. But there wasn’t anything to do except get the slap bracelet from Debbie and get my run done for the team.
I didn’t take any pictures during this leg, because I opted to carry my phone instead just in case. I was worried about getting lost, but this leg was easy to follow. The signs were well-marked and were visible with red blinking lights on top. There were also vans driving along the leg nearly the entire way, which helped light the way. Debbie handed off to me at a John Deere Tractor Store in Frederick, MD (which we both appreciated!) and I ran from there to an industrial area in Adamstown, MD.
When Debbie came in to hand off to me, she accidentally took off her watch instead of the slap bracelet! I wasn’t the only one who was getting a bit loopy 🙂 She also gave me one of her knuckle lights to help light the way. I was downright scared of running this night leg because I am scared of the dark. People think I’m joking or just trying to be funny when I say that, but it’s for real.
This leg was run through a very rural area. About 70% of it was on a road that had cornfields on either side of the road that started only 2 feet or so from the road. There was a breeze that made the corn rustle continuously while running. I was just waiting for the Children of the Corn to jump out and get me! In all seriousness, if someone had decided to play some kind of prank and jump out at the runners, they would have gotten kicked, punched, and pepper sprayed by me before I sprinted off.
I had never run at night like this before or with a headlamp. I got it done, but it’s not really something I would voluntarily choose to do again. I think my nighttime running will be limited to relays and races.
Since this leg was a bit longer, I carried a gel to take halfway. Unfortunately, my stomach was feeling really gross during this whole run, so I only sipped on water.
Just before the end of my leg, I had to cross some train tracks. I could hear a train approaching, and I managed to make it across the tracks just before the lights started blinking and the crossing gates came down. Good thing I didn’t get caught there! I arrived at the next exchange and handed off to Chuck. There was a little less fanfare with this one, since it was in the middle of the night, but it was still fun.
I finished this leg with an average pace of 9:59/mile. We had to jump in the van immediately and head to the next exchange, since Chuck had a shorter leg and we had to be ready with Barry. It was a short drive over there, and then I was able to stretch and change into some dry clothes. It was such a relief to have this leg over and done with!
My last leg of the relay was a very short one. I was hoping to get some sleep before it, but that didn’t really end up happening. More on that next time!