The start line of the race with my team; Jeremy, Jackie, Tiffany, Ryan, Me and James. Team Strong & Hanni. (If you need a good attorney, call this firm!) Jackie, Tiffany and Ryan were complete strangers to me just two hours before this picture. Jeremy (Emily's husband) and James are both in my ward.
We were all excited to get this party started. If you haven't heard of the Ragnar Relay, it's basically a 188-mile party. Teams of 12 are split up into two vans. Our team was in Van 1. We only saw Van 2 for a total of 10 minutes the entire two days. The race begins in Logan and goes along the backside of the Wasatch Mountains to Park City. James was our first runner. Can you spot him in this crowd? He started our team off with great time (and he even stopped to pose for a picture with his in-laws.) Next up...
Jackie-O. We stayed with the runner the whole time during the race. We would see the runner off at the exchange and then drive up a mile or two (depending on what the runner wanted) to offer encouragement and beverages; water or gatorade. This is Tiffany helping keep Jackie hydrated.
This is the exchange point. Jackie (runner number two) is exchanging with Ryan (runner number three). She is happy to be done and Ryan is anxious to get started! I had to watch this 4 times before it was actually my turn. I was the last runner of our group and was extremely anxious to get out on the road.
Love the action shot. Apparently, the photographer thought I was running faster than I actually was!
This was my leg description. I ran 6.9 miles. This leg was classified as "Very Hard." This was because of the "knee-jarring descent." I've never been so scared running down a mountain. I was more worried that I would just leap off the edge of the cliff or sprang my ankle on the rough terrain. I was cruising down so fast that I couldn't ever stop for water (which proved to be a mistake later).
The scenery the entire race was absolutely incredible! The Wasatch Back is a beautiful place. We loved all the little towns that we drove through. Running through the mountains was breathtaking (especially running that fast.) When I finished the race I was shocked that I came in around an 8:45 minute mile. I've never run that fast! Our group was excited to be done with our first legs and hand off to the second van. We headed up to Snow Basin to eat, relax and wait for our turn to run again.
After eating at Snow Basin and getting changed into fresh clothes, I began to feel sick. I had the chills and my stomach was churning. Refusing water at 2:00 pm in the afternoon while running faster than you have before must have led my body to dehydration. I tried sipping lots of water and gatorade, but it was not helping. Our team started our next series of runs, while I crashed out in the back seat of our van. Meanwhile, I got news from back home, that Tim was so sick. He was extremely dizzy and throwing up. Great! This did not help me feel better. At this point, I was so mad. My team was extremely encouraging and just kept telling me that they would take care of my next run, but I was not satisfied with that. We stopped at the gas station and I got some Pepto Bismol. After lots of silent prayers and pepto, I was determined to try my second run.
My second leg was 8.1 miles and also classified as "Very Hard." I had to run up the mountain, in the pitch black night, sick to my stomach. One mile in to the race, I was so sick and didn't think I could do it. My team was extremely supportive. Every mile they would stop to make sure I was okay. James was always out of the car, stretching and preparing to take over. My team was encouraging me to stop, but I couldn't. Physically, my body did not want to go on. Mentally, I knew I couldn't stop. I was selfish. I wanted to finish my leg. I was not going to stop unless my body would physically not let me run anymore. After four miles, I told my team that I was finishing this leg and I did! It's obvious that I was sick because I have no pictures to document this part of the race. After I finished, we exchanged with our other van and headed to Jackie's home in Park City where we slept for a few hours. I passed out and slept really well.
After sleeping just a few hours we were up early (I think around 4:30 am). I was still very sick and wondering if I could even handle my morning run. Tiffany and Jackie were also tired, but ready to go! They did a great job on their last runs and made great time.
James (what are you hiding?) and Jeremy. James is happy to be finished and Jeremy is anxious to begin his LAST run!
Here I am with Tiffany. This is the last picture I have of our race. We were all so tired at this point and just trying to finish. We were still having a lot of fun, though. I made it (slowly) through my last three miles. My legs were sore and my body did not want to be running anymore. I was exhausted, but I did it. We ended our experience with a yummy breakfast (our second meal in two days) at Squatters and then headed home. We didn't even wait to see the rest of our team finish. I was sad about that, but I had to get home to my kids who had been with Grandparents for two days and my sick hubby.
This was one of the best experiences of my life. It was so much fun! I loved every minute of it and I was sick for a lot of those minutes, but it was worth it!
This awesome experience would not have been possible without the following people,
SPECIAL THANKS to...
Emily, for thinking of me and asking me to run.
Jeremy, for being the team captain and coordinating this crazy adventure.
STRONG & HANNI, for PAYING for me. Seriously, good attorney's, call them.
My team, for being so much fun and so supportive (especially when I was sick).
My parents, for taking care of my children all weekend.
Tim's parents, for taking care of my sick husband all weekend.
Tim, for encouraging me to do this and always being so supportive.
(Okay, sorry to be so cheesy, it feels like I just accepted an academy award or something?!?)