Friday, May 1, 2015

My Ragnar Adventure

Last Thursday a friend posted on Facebook that she needed someone to take her place in a Ragnar, the next day and the race was taking in place in Zion's National Park. Me! Me! ME! Pick me! I have always wanted to do a race through Zion's (Even the Zion's Half Marathon doesn't go through Zion's, but just up to the park.) And I have always wanted to do a Ragnar relay and my plans for the weekend were flexible. I could use an adventure. Plus the race fee was already waived. Score! So I agreed, even though I had had zippo training and have only gone running twice since January.
Then it turns out that it wasn't my friend that was on the Ragnar team, she was advertising for another friend, who was actually advertising for another friend, so I ended up on a team of perfect strangers. But they had TWO team members drop out at the last minute and they were grateful to have anyone help them out. Oh and this is a TRAIL run and we're camping together. It's an adventure, right?
 The weather was forecasted to be perfect, or at least that's what I heard when I was packing my bag.
The drive up was lovely and rejuvenating. The race wasn't IN Zion's National Park, but it did overlook it and I had to drive through the park to get to the campsite. And even the drive to Zion's is beautiful.

 When I got to the campsite, the rumor was that there was supposed to be light showers for 2 hours. That's not too bad. I unpacked my gear, did homework and took a nap. During dinner it started drizzling. I ran my first leg starting at about 6:45 pm. Our team name was Adventure is Out There, which I loved because I'm a big fan of Up.

 The Ragnar trail runs are made of 3 paths, green, yellow and red. Green is the easiest & shortest (3 miles), yellow is 4 miles and red is the hardest & longest (7.8 miles). My first leg was a yellow. I ran through the forest wishing that I had waited to eat until after my race or wishing I could just throw up because my stomach was so unhappy with me. The trail was VERY hilly, but the view was beautiful. You really do get to overlook Zion's. I started out wearing several layers because it was cold, but took them off as I got going. On the last mile it started to rain pretty hard so I put them all back on. Considering I had zippo training, and I my stomach was so upset, I was pretty happy with my time of 53 minutes.
Overlooking Zion's National Park from the yellow leg trail.

 After my leg it started to really rain. The guy on my team who ran after me took an extra 40 minutes because of the dark and rain. Around the time he got back they decided to pause the race until 1:30 am, because it was taking so long for Search & Rescue to find the runners in the mud and rain Then they decided to pause the race until 6:30 am. It poured buckets all night long. The rain leaked on me and the two other ladies in our tent and we were glad that we weren't out running in it.
 In the morning the trails were all sludge. The race coordinators said we *could* continue the race, or we could just grab our medals and go home. I was the only one on my team who had any interest in continuing. I was not afraid of a little mud and I really wanted to have a chance to run (or wade through the mud) on the red leg. I'm probably a little crazy. But my team just wanted to go home, and frankly with that much mud and that many people, the sooner we go out the better.
My shoes after hiking to the bathroom and back.

 It wasn't quite the adventure that I expected, but I enjoyed it anyway. Taking a break from boxes and school was exactly what I needed. And the medal is a cool multi-tool.

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