Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Scrambled Legs and Hamstrings RAGNAR 2014

A couple months ago, Mark and Rachelle asked Ammon and me if we wanted to run Ragnar with them. We had to say no because we weren't sure if it was going to interfere with Ammon's application to UVU's nursing program. (Side note: Ammon opened his letter on Monday and he got in!! I am seriously so proud of him!) Luckily, as Ragnar came closer, a couple openings became available and it didn't interfere with the nursing program. So with only a month to train, we closed our eyes to write the 256 dollar check (ouch!) and said yes! 

A week before Ragnar, another opening became available so we asked my good friend Allissa and she said yes! Brandon, the sixth member of our team, just so happened to be in the same van as us because he knew someone in the other van. He is a good friend from Brick Oven.

There are 2 vans per team. We were in Van 2. I didn't know anyone from Van 1 and I still don't know anyone from van 1 because I never met them. :(

Here's our van after we finished: (Van 1 didn't meet up with us at the end because they weren't feeling good)

Okay, now for the fun part where I tell you all about our race. 

**CAUTION: This blog post is the Harry Potter 5 of my blog posts (in other words, it's really long), so make yourself comfortable, grab some food, and prepare to read all about our Ragnar adventures.**

Also, a special thanks to Mark and Ammon's aunt Mary and uncle Paul who let us use their van for this trip!

Our team was in Van 2 which meant that we didn't have to wake up super early. Mark and Rachelle picked up Ammon, Allissa, and me at around 9:30 a.m. We piled everything in the back, filled up at a gas station, grabbed some ice and started heading North. We stopped in Pleasant Grove to pick up Brandon.

Allissa &Rachelle
Me & Ammon
Mark & Brandon

The first exchange, or the first time someone in our van would run was in Eden, Utah. On the way, we stopped at a 7-Eleven to fill up, use the bathroom, and to decorate our van.
Ammon writing down nicknames for us
Feel free to ask Ammon about why they're laughing here. Something about a name he was going to give Mark, but changed his mind because it was innapropriate...

The back of our van
Our team name.
Road-kills are fun to keep track of. Anytime you pass someone while running and they don't pass you back, it is considered a road-kill.

All of our names and leg numbers
The view on the way to Eden was BEAUTIFUL!
Once we got to Eden, we had to check in by proving that we had headlamps, LED lights, and reflective vests. After that, we listened to a 10 minute lecture on safety. After that, we hit all the free stands and got ourselves a ton of Clif bars.

Then, when we thought it was time for me to run, we went and waited at the exchange zone. Unfortunately, Van 1 had bad reception and so we didn't know when their sixth runner was going to come. I ended up waiting in the hot sun for over 2 hours! All of the energy and excitement I initially had went away the more I waited. Eventually, Van 1 found us at the exchange zone. One of the girls from Van 1 described their 6th runner to me. Red hair, sunglasses, purple shirt. Those 4 words kept going through my mind as I watched and waited. A little after 3:00, they announced my team number, 630. I quickly got on the course and waived to the girl with the red hair, sunglasses, and purple shirt. She slapped the bracelet on my wrist and I was off!

My first leg was an easy 4.7 miles. The only thing that made it hard was how hot it was! 

This is what happens when you let other people use your camera. ha.

I had the best team ever!

I look at Ammon's face, and it makes me laugh. Then I look at Mark's face, and it makes me laugh even harder!
After finishing my leg, Allissa was waiting for me at the exchange zone. When I got to her, we chest bumped (we really did!), she handed me a water bottle, and I slapped the bracelet on her wrist.

Allissa's leg was an easy 2.6 miles which she ran super fast! 

Mid high-five with Ammon

Brandon walking to the exchange zone.

Here comes Allissa!

Allissa and Brandon exchanging
 Brandon's first leg was an easy 3 miles.
Allissa walking back to the van after her first run

Brandon coming in at the end of his first leg. 
Brandon and Mark at the exchange zone.
I'm pretty sure I caught Brandon in the middle of giving Mark a "good game" butt-slap.
Mark's first leg was an easy 3.1 miles. 
That's Mark back there

Ammon accusing Brandon of hating his precious Peanut Butter Balls.
Beautiful view. Beautiful weather.
Toward the end of Mark's first leg, we got caught in Ragnar traffic. It was so slow that Mark started catching up with us. We didn't want him to wait at the exchange zone, so poor Rachelle hopped out of the van and jogged to the exchange zone so that when Mark got there, she could start her leg.

Rachelle's first leg was a 7.4 very hard, we-hope-you-know-what-you're-getting-yourself-into, mile leg
I didn't get any pictures of Rachelle's first leg because her run was on a different route from the one that the vans take. However, while picking up Mark from the exchange, we did get a picture of a guy we thought was NAKED! It turns out he was just wearing leopard shorts that looked like skin from a distance.
Naked man!
After picking up Mark, we started driving to what we thought was the next exchange zone. After about 20 minutes of driving, we noticed that there were no Ragnar vans in sight. In fact, there were hardly any vehicles at all. So we double checked our RagMag and entered the address in Brandon's smartphone and it turns out we had gone the wrong way! So we turned around and eventually found the right way we were supposed to go.

The next exchange zone was at Snowbasin Lodge. Traffic was of course terrible. When we got closer to the lodge, Ammon hopped out of the van and jogged to find Rachelle in the congested exchange zone. We felt so bad that she was probably waiting for us. Meanwhile, the rest of us drove in traffic to get a parking spot. After we were done parking, Mark and Brandon immediately headed to the bathrooms, while Allissa and I went to find Rachelle. We couldn't find her so we scurried on over to the end of Ammon's leg, hoping we didn't miss him finish too. Luckily, we caught him right as he was finishing.

Ammon's first leg was a moderate 2 miles. 

After Ammon finished his run, the three of us tried to find the rest of the team. After about 40 minutes of wandering around and waiting, and literally stopping to pray that we'd find them, we finally found them! Rachelle was with Mark and Brandon, which was a relief to me because I was worried that she had been wandering around by herself. It also turned out that Rachelle only had to wait for Ammon for 5 minutes. So not too bad. Once we had our whole team together, we headed back to the van. On the way to the van I spotted this on someone else's van:

I couldn't resist. :)
This is Mark helping to readjust the seat.

Mine and Rachelle's tats
By the time everyone in our van was done running our first leg, it was around 7:30, putting us right at dinner time. We figured we had a good 5 or so hours to kill so we decided we'd go out to eat somewhere. While Brandon was driving to Ogden, we were debating where to go. Allissa looked up some nearby restaurants on her smartphone and Village Inn was one of them. Before we could even discuss this decision, Mark and Ammon started chanting, "Village Inn! Village Inn!" Brandon, being the good father that he was, responded: "Okay fine. I'll take you to McDonald's." We all pretended to be excited about this decision because we were kids all the sudden. On the way to Village Inn, someone suggested that we go to Chile's instead. How did Mark and Ammon respond? "Village Inn! Village Inn!" Then later we suggested Olive Garden. Again, "Village Inn! Village Inn!" Can you guess where we went?

Stopping for some dinner at Village Inn
Our poor waiter probably thought we were so annoying. We were laughing and being obnoxious the whole time. But who can blame us when we've been running all afternoon? After dinner, we used the bathroom and changed into our night-time running clothes. Then we started driving to the next major exchange.

Blowing up one of our sleeping pads while we still had energy.
Okay. Story time. And a really funny one at that. (At least to us) As we were driving to the next major exchange, Brandon was the one at the wheel. By this time it was really dark outside. Toward the end of our drive, we started driving past people who were running on a long and steep uphill. It all started when Brandon began whispering out the window, "Good job. Your'e doing great." Which was so funny because it sounded so creepy! Then he did a batman voice. Then a British accent. Then a Stitch voice. By this time, we were all laughing our heads off. (Everything is so funny when you're tired.) Then I told Brandon, "Brandon! You should do a Smeagol voice and call them Precious." And he did it! FUNNIEST THING EVER! The person gave him a thumbs up! This was hands-down one of my favorite memories of the trip.

We got to the exchange at about 11:30 p.m. Brandon let me borrow his smartphone, race number belt, and reflective shirt for my run.

Ready to run!
I ended up waiting at my exchange for about an hour. My van was so great because they waited with me. I started my night-time run around 12:30 a.m.

My second leg was a moderate, 3.7 miles. 
During my run, I started getting a little worried because I hadn't seen my van pass me yet. I was worried that I was going to have to wait for them after I finished my run. But I didn't end up waiting. Just before I was about to finish my run, Ammon yelled out the window, "Hey Sexy!" It actually really startled me! Before that, it had been really quiet during my whole run. Ammon apologized later. :) Allissa made it to the exchange just in time.

Allissa's second leg was a moderate, 6 miles downhill. She got a ton of kills during this leg!

Up next was Brandon. Poor, poor Brandon. Who had to run a very hard, 11.6 miles.  
During Brandon's run, I drove us to the next exchange zone at North Summit High School. We found a parking spot in the parking lot and waited for Brandon to call or text us when he was almost done with his run. While in the parking lot, we all tried to get some sleep. I know that Rachelle got a couple hours of sleep. Mark got about 30 minutes. Ammon and I slept for a little. And I'm pretty sure Allissa didn't get any. It was also during this time that EVERYONE had gas/the runs. Rachelle was letting some go in her sleep, Ammon was letting them go in and out of sleep, I was letting them go whenever. We all were. We blame Village Inn. 

After Brandon finished his run, Mark ran next. Allissa and I met up with Brandon and found out that he had injured his leg halfway through his run. What a trooper! 

Mark's second leg was a hard, 7.5 miles
After Brandon came back to the van, Allissa drove us to the next exchange zone. When we got there, Rachelle got ready for her run. Earlier, Mark had told us that he'd take an hour and a half to run his leg so Rachelle planned accordingly. It turns out that Mark ran faster than he thought he was going to so he ended up waiting in the cold for about 20 minutes! 

By the time it was Rachelle's turn to run, it was no longer dark. I think she started her run at about 6 a.m. 

Rachelle's second leg was a moderate, 5.5 miles.
After Rachelle, it was Ammon. His second leg was a hard 6.5 miles. 

On the way to picking up Ammon from the end of his leg, traffic was at its worst. It wasn't just stop and go traffic. Sometimes it was just plain ol' stop traffic and we didn't even move. I desperately had to use the restroom (curse you Village Inn!) so I hopped out of the van and Brandon tagged along. The walk was further than I had anticipated, but I was certainly moving much quicker than any of the vans. By the time I got to the exchange zone, Ammon had already finished. Luckily, I ran right into him. Both of us waited for Brandon to catch up and then we all headed to the bathrooms. By this time, it was 7:30 a.m. After that, we eventually met up with the rest of our van. It turns out Mark had been falling asleep at the wheel. So then Rachelle took a turn, but she started falling asleep at the wheel. So that left Allissa at the wheel, who also needed to use the bathroom. Our poor team was falling apart! haha. Not really, but sort of. :)

Once our team was reunited again, we all went to the message therapy tent with Brandon. While he was getting his leg checked out, the rest of us rolled out our legs on foam rollers and relaxed in some camping chairs. After Brandon finished his little romantic encounter with the message therapist (totally kidding-his message therapist was a man. We just like teasing him) we started heading back to the van. We were finally going to get some sleep! But wait! We weren't about to get some sleep, because no joke, right as we were passing the First Aid tent, a stupid bee flew into Allissa's glasses and it must have gotten stuck because it stung her right above the eye! Allissa showed us her eye and asked if there was a stinger and sure enough, there was one. What the random! Poor Allissa didn't know what to do, but Brandon was very observant and suggested she go to the First Aid tent. So she did. They helped get the stinger out, gave her some ice, and encouraged her to get some mud on it.  That's where I got to help out. :) Allissa didn't like when it was actually happening, but when all was said and done, we all laughed about it.

Before figuring out where to sleep, there was still some waiting as people used the restroom again and moved some things around. Sometimes your van looks like this:

And sometimes Mark looks like this:

We're finally on our way to go sleep!
We decided to sleep at the next exchange zone, Rocky Mountain Middle School. That way, when it was time to wake up, we didn't have to go very far. By the time we got there, it was around 10:00 a.m. Mark and Rachelle set up their sleeping bags, Brandon set up his little blow up pad, and then me and Ammon slept on our jumbo blow up pads. And Allissa slept in the van. I had to take pictures because everyone was just so cute.

I told Mark and Rachelle that I was going to take a picture of them because they especially looked cute. But then when I took the picture, this is the face Mark pulled:
I told him he looked like a mummy.
So then he did this:
Haha! Oh Mark.
 I eventually got a cute one of them:

From about 11:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., we were in and out of sleep. When we got the text from our other van saying that they were getting closer to the exchange, we all changed into a new set of running clothes and headed to the exchange. I felt much better with a clean set of clothes and a little bit of sleep. 

My third leg was an easy, 4.1 miles. 
However, it was so hot during that run! I took a water bottle with me and just dumped it on me throughout my run. It made all the difference. One time, during my run, a lady asked if I wanted her to spray me with her hose. I of course, said yes. I love her.

Allissa's third leg was a moderate 5.5 miles.

This is me all the way done. Sun-burnt. Sweaty. Stinky. But very happy to be done.
Up next was Brando! I think he had one of the hardest legs that day because not only was he injured, but he had to run straight uphill for 4 miles, with zero shade. But he did awesome!

Stopping for a water break.
To cheer Brandon on, we sang a little song for him that went along to the Lego Movie song. It went a little like this: "Brandon is so awesome! Brandon is so cool cuz he's part of the team!"

Up next was Mark. I snapped a few pictures of him at the exchange zone.
Dumping water.

And he's off! 
Mark ran Ragnar hill. Which is also 4 miles straight uphill. Luckily, he had a little more shade than Brandon. But it's still a very hard run! Go Mark!

Stopping for some water and goo.
At the next exchange zone, Brandon stopped at the first aid tent where the lady wrapped his leg too tight.

Next up was Rachelle! Her third leg was a very hard, 9.8 miles. Mostly downhill with some uphills thrown in there.

And she's off!

Check out that stride! Ow ow!

Stopping for some water

When we got the next exchange zone, we ended up waiting for Rachelle a lot longer than we thought. I started to get worried because the only reason Rachelle would be running slower than 10 minute miles was if she got injured. Waiting was torture for Ammon. He was so anxious to get his last leg over with. Finally, after waiting for what seemed like forever, it was Ammon's turn. I snapped this picture before he was out of sight.

Ammon's third leg was originally a hard 2.8 miles that got changed into a hard 3.3 miles. But after talking to a friend who also ran that leg, it's actually more like 4. Ammon said it was like running up the Y mountain and then back down again. 
After I got Ammon's picture, I found Rachelle and the rest of the group. I asked Rachelle what happened and it turns out that she ended up running an extra 2 miles! Apparently, one of the signs got misplaced/stolen (who knows) and so a group of 30 (including Rachelle) ended up running the wrong way. A police man had to come and get them and take them the right way. So what should have been a 10 mile run for Rachelle, turned into a 12 mile run. You could tell she was exhausted afterwards, but she didn't even complain once! I was so proud of her! 

After meeting up with Rachelle, we got some water and then headed to the finish line. The following pictures are of us, waiting for Ammon so that we could run to the finish line with him.

I was so excited when Ammon ran into view:

Running behind Ammon to the finish line.
We did it!!

After crossing the finish line and getting some pictures, we went and got our free pizza & lots of water, ate the free pizza, got some FatBoy ice creams, and got a lot of free yogurt. Then we drove home.
The boys look so happy with their pizza

Rachelle ate her pizza in the sun because she was cold. :)
On the way home, we stopped at a gas station to fill up and wash the car. Before washing the car, Allissa snapped a picture of our total kills. I'm pretty sure it's over 530 kills. (We didn't write down Mark or Brandon's final kills) Scrambled Legs and Hamstrings passed over 530 people!! We rock!

Car Wash
And then Harry Potter killed Voldemort.
The End.

Oh wait. Wrong book. haha.

This year's Ragnar experience was unforgettable. I couldn't have asked for a better van than the one I had this year. I will never forget the laughs, the smelly van, the chaffing, the sunburn, the comradery, the little sleep, and the feeling of coming home and taking a shower. Until next time, Ragnar!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! It was almost as if I was there, sans the stink! :)


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