Ragnar Trail Relay Richmond – Leg 3 Race Report

This is the third and final part of my Ragnar Trail Relay race recap. If you missed part two, you can find that HERE. And if you need to start at the beginning, part 1 is HERE. When I last left off, Deb and I were hanging out in our team campsite post-leg 2. It was dawning on all of us that we were not on track to finish by the 6 PM deadline. We knew at 6 PM the event would end and all teams would have to stop if they were not done. We had to do some problem solving to figure out how to match up legs on an ultra team. It’s a bit complicated to explain without a diagram, but it’s much easier for a regular team to “double up” to ensure everyone is running the correct loops in the correct sequence than it was for ultra teams. But we got it figured out and with the blessing of the Ragnar officials (who basically said “I don’t care what you do. You ultra teams are a pain and I’m glad you figured things out so we don’t have to.”) we had a plan in place.

The solution involved Deb and me having to run the first loop of our last leg with runners 1 (during their second loop) on our respective teams, and then our second loop with runners 2 (during their first loop). Runners 4 did the same thing, joining up with runners 2 and then running their final loop solo. I told you it was complicated, but it worked. ๐Ÿ™‚ Around 11 AM we headed down to catch runners 1 on their way through the transition tent. They didn’t know about our solution and weren’t going to be expecting us.

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Leg 3 – 11:15 AM Saturday morning
Red Loop (5.7 miles), Green Loop (4.6 miles)
Total advertised distance: 10.3 miles
Total actual distance: 10.5 miles

Ragnar 3

As runners 1 came through the transition area after their first loop, they were very surprised to find Debbie and me waiting for them. I explained what was going on and then the four of us headed out together. I’ll be honest – I had the most fun on this final leg. I was exhausted and sore and ready to be done, but having a larger group to run with was fun. Plus, running is the best way to get to know people.

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Early on we got to see my Dad and Robin and Barry again. It was a surprise to see them and it gave me a boost. They heckled us for walking up a hill, but none of us cared. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Yell at me, I don’t care ๐Ÿ˜‰ PC: Dad

The red loop didn’t seem so bad this time. It felt pretty long in the dark during our first leg, but it was definitely quicker in the daylight. We actually finished over 10 minutes faster than the first time, despite taking the time to pose for pictures.

red loop totem pole

PC: Deb

Angela and Jenny (runners 1) were getting more excited as we ran on because their Ragnar was coming to an end. Even though Deb and I still had the green loop to do, I was feeling excited as well. It gave me a big boost to celebrate the end of their run with them. With less than a mile to go, we ran by our support crew again.

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PC: Dad

We came into transition, dropped off Angela and Jenny, and picked up Amanda and Kim (runners 2). We were headed back out, all excited to get going, when a Ragnar official started yelling at us. Ironically, he was the one who had OK’ed our plan of doubling up. He started yelling at us about having just disqualified our team by doubling up. I was so confused. The six of us descended on him to figure things out. He was frustrated and angry that Deb and I had not checked in before beginning our loop so there would be an official record of what time we started (and so they could calculate our official finishing time). He said we would still receive finisher’s medals, but would not be recognized as official finishers or be up for any awards. He was being very dramatic. All he really needed to make things official was the time that Deb and I had started running. We had that proof on our watches, of course, and we provided him with the information he needed. Once we got things worked out and he was satisfied, we were able to head out. I know he was dealing with a lot and was really stressed because a lot of teams were having to double up (this was the first year for the event, and they were pretty off assigning start times), but I wish he hadn’t been so hateful. As our team headed out to run, I thanked him for his patience and he just looked at me and said okay. At least I tried…

After all of the drama, Deb, Amanda, Kim, and I were happily on our way. Deb’s husband, Bill, was hanging out close to the start acting as official team photographer. He’s an incredible photographer and he got some great photos!

IMG_3506 Bill

PC: Bill

Debbie and I were especially excited to be heading out for the green loop. We were nearly 30 miles in for the weekend, and only had about 5 miles to go on our journey!

I think this is such a cool photo! PC: Bill

I think this is such a cool photo! I look so tall. PC: Bill

We began working our way through the green loop, and were surprised to see my Dad and Robin again. They assured us they were not stalking us and just happened to be out on a walk ๐Ÿ™‚

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I was feeling a bit impatient during this run, but stayed focused on moving forward. For awhile, our group had a fun train going with an additional fifth member on the back (John? Adam? I can’t remember!!). It felt like we were all helping push each other, and it was fun running in a long line. I was leading, which I was a bit worried about, but everyone seemed fine with the pace I was setting.

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We kept chugging along, and finally arrived at the mountain bike mogul things. They were so steep and I actually used my hands to help scramble up the first one. At the top of the third one, we arrived at the coveted ‘one more mile’ sign. My legs were so done and I lost my balance and actually fell off of the trail. I was fine, just a little embarrassed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

IMG_3505 Deb

PC: Deb

At last, we reached the final stretch. Such sweet relief! As we approached the finish line, Debbie said she might cry. As it turned out, she did not… but I did. It only lasted about 10 seconds, but it was a first. This event was so hard at times, and the miles were so drawn out (about 20 hours between when we began our first leg and when we crossed the finish line for the final time). But now we were DONE!

How I felt physically. PC: Rachel

How I felt physically. PC: Rachel

How I felt emotionally (also how I was directed to pose after I did the first pose....). PC: Rachel

How I felt emotionally (also how I was directed to pose after I did the first pose….). PC: Rachel

We got changed and started getting packed up. Then, Debbie and I headed down to the Ragnar gear tent to do some shopping. On the way back, we stopped at the one remaining food truck and got some of the best mac and cheese I have ever eaten. I was starving!! It was some kind of pepper jack mac and cheese, with a side of avocado (an awesome suggestion from one of our MRTT teammates). Best thing I have ever eaten.

About two hours later (I really have no idea on this… I had lost all sense of time by this point), it was time to head down to transition area. Our final two runners were due in soon, and our two ultra teams would be joining in behind them to run to the finish. The anticipation was building and finally we saw them headed down the final hill and into the finish chute. We joined in behind them and all crossed the finish line as a team.

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PC: Bill

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PC: Dad

After that, we collected our finisher’s medals and got our official team photo. There were hugs, congratulations, and then a flurry of packing up and saying goodbye. A whirlwind end to a whirlwind weekend.

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PC: Dad

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PC: Bill

Going into this, I wondered if it would be easier or harder covering roughly the same distance of my 50K spread out. I sincerely believe it was harder. It’s easier to just keep going. Spreading it out and combining it with no sleep made it tough. But we had such an incredible group and that made this such a positive experience. Plus, I can’t help but feel a bit like a badass with our accomplishment. It was a lot of running, and there were times I wasn’t sure I could do it. But I did. We all did. And it was epic.

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PC: Deb

I’m joining in today with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap linkup.

WeeklyWrap

Have you ever cried at the finish line?
What’s the best thing you have ever eaten after a race or tough workout?

17 Comments

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  1. Great recap, Meagan! It’s always so fun when reading your recaps, especially when I was a part of the event. I just love reading your perspective versus mine. It was an incredibly fun weekend, and I’m glad we were able to do it together! Until next run together… ๐Ÿ™‚
    Debbie @ Deb Runs recently posted…Only One More Week Of My Spring Training CycleMy Profile

  2. Ah! I can see why you cried! What an amazing and difficult experience with so many emotions rolled up in it. I can only imagine how that 1-mile marker must have looked. Congratulations!
    Jennifer @ Dashing in Style recently posted…Weekly Wrap: Odd EncountersMy Profile

  3. This looks like so much fun but so hard! So proud of you guys!

    I cried at the finish line of Big Sur. Like you, it was brief, but it was dramatic enough that the people at the finish asked if I needed medical assistance! LOL!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…The Marathon as a Metaphor for LifeMy Profile

  4. I have no doubt I’d cry! I get those happy “I did it” tears all the time! I love the pic of you and Deb at the One More Mile sign. I know it must be very stressful to be in charge of one of these events, but the official didn’t need to be so dramatic. I’m glad you were able to work everything out. It does sound like an epic weekend! Congratulations to you! Thanks for linking with us Meagan.
    HoHo Runs recently posted…Gateway to the Smokies (WW # 41)My Profile

  5. Bravo!! I would’ve cried with relief as well. Good job for getting that done!
    Sonia recently posted…What a Wonderful WorldMy Profile

  6. This has been so much fun reading all of your recaps (and Deb’s, too). It looks like a totally blast ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…This past week? Victorious!My Profile

  7. I enjoyed reading your recap! The trails look beautiful, but tough. I cried at the finish of my first marathon. Races can be pretty emotional at times. You’ve accomplished so much this year. You should be proud!
    Debra @HappyRunningSole recently posted…Weekly WrapMy Profile

  8. Wow, that looks like such a hard race but very beautiful scenery. Congrats on your finish, races are sometimes so draining and this was one to be proud of.
    Pam recently posted…Weekly Workout Roundup May 16thMy Profile

  9. Wow! Looks like you had a wonderful race. You defiantly have something to be proud of, I’m sure I would’ve cried too.
    How awesome to finish together as a team. Hope you have a great week.
    Ruth Christensen recently posted…Weekly Wrap # 18, Hikes, Bikes and More!My Profile

  10. I cried after my last marathon. Mostly because I was so tired & I wanted to sit down but there was no where to sit. And I was really hot & hungry. And just generally overwhelmed. Haha.

    Pretty much anything I eat after a race is the best, but Chipotle is one of my favorites. I love something salty & sodium filled.

    I already think Ragnars are pretty tough. But I can’t even imagine being on an Ultra team. I don’t think I would make it if I didn’t have the buddy system going on like you guys did. It’s always easier to just keep going & not stop.

    1. Isn’t it funny how running for hours kind of reduces us to toddlers, as far as emotions go!? There’s no filter… whatever we are feeling in that moment is what comes out.

  11. Congratulations on your Ragnar Relay!! That is an amazing accomplishment and right after your 50K! Amazing!

    I cried after my first half marathon, not like sobbing, but couldn’t stop the tears.
    Ana recently posted…Training Week May 9th- May 15My Profile

  12. Finally the finale. I was wondering if you finished the race or not!

    Great job to you and the other ultras.

    LUD.

  13. You both look so amazing in your finishing pictures!! after running all those miles lol it is impressive!
    I bet you were starving. What a great weekend adventure. You are a beast girl – you know I mean that in the nicest way possible;) Congrats to you and the whole team.

    I wish the ragnar guy would not have flipped out!
    Karen recently posted…Gateway to the Smokies HalfMy Profile

    1. Thanks! I’m so glad we got to meet. I may need a tutorial for that shoe charm you gave me, though. I cannot get the thing tied to my shoe!

  14. This is great! My running friends are thinking of doing this 2018 and your photos and reports make me feel more confident that this isn’t too challenging a course (ie. rocky river crossings and rocky descents).

    I know Deb, I’ll have to touch base with her. Congrats, ULTRA!! That is amazing – I’m hoping to do my part on the team of 8! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. You should definitely do it! It’s a great experience!

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