Ragnar DC Recap – Day 1

Ragnar DC weekend has come and gone and while I’m still trying to normalize eating and sleeping it was, simply put – amazing. What won’t be simply put though is this recap. I debated cramming it all in to one post and just didn’t think I could it justice that way (without boring the crap out of you!) so decided to Day 1 and Day 2 it. You’re welcome. RagnarRaceRecap marontherun.com

For those who don’t know, Ragnar is a 200-ish mile point to point relay with teams of 12 splitting up 3 legs a piece. Given this was my first Ragnar event I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. Lucky for me we had an awesome team captain, my buddy Lisa from Lisa Runs for Cupcakes, who is a veteran at running these relay events and managed our team like a pro! I also cannot thank her enough for bringing Team Tough Chik together and, while I knew a handful of team members already, introducing me to some new friends! 

I was Runner #7 and in Van 2. Our team start time was 8:30 am so Van 1 trekked to Cumberland, MD early to get Team Tough Chik going. Van 2 met up in the DC area around 10:30 am to hop in our Suburban (forever known as the “bitchin’ burban”) and make our own trek to Little Orleans, MD about 2 hours away. Van2RagnarDC marontherun.com

We arrived at the campground an hour before to check in and watch the required safety video before meeting up with Van 1. I was SO nervous leading up to my first leg. It was typical runner nerves prior to a race but this isn’t your typical road race. Lisa was Runner #6 and would be handing off to me each leg. I hadn’t seen her in a couple of months so when she pulled up in the chute this happened… RagnarExch6 marontherun.com

Ragnar newbie mistake #1 – no one told me that the little baton thing gets slapped on your wrist so I proceeded to carry the thing straight for 2 legs before I discovered this fact. HA! So after a happy hug from Lisa I take the baton to start my first leg. Luckily the weather held up in terms of the hurricane which went out to sea. It was still cold, wet and windy though but on the bright side – it could have been much worse. RagnarDC leg7 marontherun.com

Leg 7 began around 1:55 pm. Ragnar classifies each leg with a difficulty level of easy, moderate, hard and very hard. So for my very first leg of 7.9 miles I got very hard. And, ouch. legmap7 marontherun.com

The first 4.5 miles were essentially straight up hill. I recall driving down to the campground and seeing the other runners coming up not realizing, that would be me shortly! The first mile alone was an elevation gain of over 400 feet. The hills rolled a little bit until mile 3 before ascending again 300+ more feet. My quads were seriously working overtime! It was misting out and I had actually gotten quite warm with my rain jacket on. RagnarDC_Leg7_marontherun.com

Around mile 5.5 my van mates were waiting for me so I was able to lose the jacket and from there it was mainly downhill (with a few rolling) to the next exchange. Man alive that was hard! Along the way I did take in some nice scenery. Mountains and foliage – can’t be beat! RagnarDc Leg7 Fall marontherun.com

I cruised to the exchange where my teammates were cheering loudly and handed off (badly) to our next runner (sorry Shannon!)RagnarDC_Leg7finish marontherun.com

…but my first Ragnar leg experience was DONE! 

My legs felt like they had run a marathon (or at least a half!) I was exhausted as the hills had me working, working, working day and night but adrenaline was pumping and my van mates were awesome! I wrapped myself in a towel and we hopped in the ‘burban to head to the next exchange. The rest of Van 2’s runs were: Runner 8, 6.8 miles | Runner 9, 4.5 miles | Runner 10, 5.9 miles | Runner 11, 9.4 miles | and Runner 12, 7.4 miles. 

We met up again with Van 1 at Exchange 12 located at the Clear Spring High School around 8:30 pm. Our final runner (Colleen) finished up just after 9 pm and after exchanging with Van 1 we headed to Frederick, MD where we had 2 hotel rooms waiting (best idea ever). First up though were hot meals and hot beverages at IHOP (best idea ever #2). IHOP marontherun.com

My dinner/breakfast/snack consisted of 2 scrambled eggs, bacon and hashbrowns. Just the right amount of carbs and protein to fill me up and keep me going but not overwhelm the tummy. At this point it was well after 10 pm with my next run scheduled for approximately 1:45 am so I also opted for coffee. 

Sleep for me was not on the agenda so while my van mates caught quick cat naps I took a hot shower and prepared myself for the next leg and my first ever run at 2 am!! Challenge accepted. All in all Day 1 was challenging and FUN, albeit cold. The recap for Ragnar DC Day 2 and the finish is coming up soon!  Edit: here

Have you ever run a Ragnar race before? If so – which one(s). If not would you? why or why not? πŸ™‚ 

54 thoughts on “Ragnar DC Recap – Day 1

  1. Oh my gosh, reading this gives me major Ragnar withdrawls!!! I’ve run three of them and till the day I die will maintain that they are my favorite style races of all time!! Two days of running with your besties?? I mean com’on! I’m so glad you made it and had a blast! (also the slap bracelet part lol)
    Kels @Blonder Side recently posted…5 Things You MUST Do This FallMy Profile

  2. I saw you!! I saw you jamming out with your team at the finish line but I was so out of it I didn’t think to come up and talk to you! I was runner 4 (and part of 5). If someone hadn’t sslapped the thing on my arm (super hard) last year I would have carried the bracelet too. lol. Excellent job on your first (and VERY WET) ragnar!! πŸ™‚

    1. i think our first van had more rain than we did. I for sure got lucky and didn’t really have a bad leg as far as weather goes. WE were definitely a van full of veterans and organized!!

  3. Nice job on the giant hill! I’m intrigued by Ragner relays, but I get so grouchy when I’m sleepy, hungry, or have to use a bathroom. ha I think the hotel stop sounds lovely! I’ve ready a few relay horror stories lately (Hood to Coast), but it sounds like you had a great, supportive, and organized team.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Pittsburgh StepTrek 2015My Profile

    1. ugh, thanks! it was brutal for sure but I had such a supportive team behind me! you’d be surprise with this. I need my sleep to but when adrenaline is flowing – all bets are off!

    1. yay! I was super bummed I couldn’t do Colorado with you (had classes) but this rainy weekend was such a surprise. It was hard but the rest of my legs made up for it!

  4. I desperately want to run a Ragnar (specifically Miami – Key West), but I just don’t know if it will happen. I hate vans, camping, and sweating near people, but for some reason, when you combine it into a major relay, it all sounds magical. Weird, right?

    I am loving this recap and can’t wait to read the rest!
    Jenn recently posted…week in review: 9.27 Ҁ“ 10.3My Profile

    1. haha – I hate all those things too but for this? it kinda works! always good to go in with a positive attitude and good people. We also had the benefit of being near our homes.

    1. so great to see you too!!!! I did have fun. Not sure actually… I would do another but DC wasn’t as scenic as I expected and running through city streets was kind of meh. But being close to home was nice.

  5. Just found your blog! Nice recap. D.C. was my first RAGNAR too. It was the most fun I’ve ever had running. Glad you had a good experience too.

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