This past weekend, I participated in the Cape Cod Rangar Relay. This is a twelve person relay race covering 192 miles from Hull, MA to Provincetown, MA. My friend B-rad organized a team of 12 and added me and My Other Sister in to Van #1.
Being in Van #1 (the van that carries runners 1-6; van #2 carries runners 7-12) means that my vanmates and I started the race and were required to run legs 1-6, 13-18, and 25-30 of the 36 legs that cover the 192 miles. We got up at 4am to head to the starting line for safety training and to start the race. Notice all the coffee cups!
I was runner #3. According to the Ragnar site, my legs were going to be 3, 15, and 27. Leg 3 was 4.9miles and deemed “Hard” by Ragnar, through a residential area of Marshfield, MA. Running this leg was a challenge because it was mostly uphill. My total elevation gain on this leg was 358 ft (although there was a net gain of only 71 ft). I started this first leg around 830am and per my Garmin watch, I managed to cover the 5.07 miles it tracked in 56:37, a little over an 11 minute mile.
My second leg, Leg 15 started around 6:10pm that same evening. This was a 4 mile “Moderate” run starting in Sandwich and ending in Mashpee, MA. I destroyed this leg. I averaged a 10 minute mile finishing the leg in 41:12, a new record for me! Considering I had been up since 4am with little sleep, I was pretty impressed with my performance.
As they say when running a Ragnar, the third leg is always the hardest, and in my case, it REALLY was! My last leg, Leg 27, was probably the hardest thing I have done in my entire running experience. This was harder than the Sleepy Hollow 1/2 which was constant rolling hills, no leg 27 was my Everest.
Per the Ragnar Bible, Leg 27 was 7.9 Miles and “Very Hard” with no van support (meaning that I would be separated from my van for part of the race – I was running on a trail where the van couldn’t be near me). This leg started at 2:30am, over 22 hours after we started this crazy race. Turns out, the good people at Ragnar were slightly off with their mileage calculation on this leg. My 7.9 mile run, was actually a 9.25 mile run, in the woods, in the dark, ALONE. Maybe if I had known the extra mile and a 1/4 was coming I would have managed through it better, but by the time I got to the finish I started to cry, I was exhausted, I was cold, I was emotionally and physically spent. I ran the 9.25 in 1:54:24, a 12:15 minute mile which was amazing considering I could barely see where I was going. I felt exactly like this with my headlamp in the woods:
All in all, this was an incredible experience. As challenged as I was, I really learned about myself and what I am truly capable of with my running. I won’t be moving in to a van down by the river anytime soon, but My Other Sister and I are already considering another one in the fall. Hopefully some where a little warmer than Cape Cod (it was between 45-50 most of the time but the wind off the water was rough to take when you were standing around waiting at exchanges)
For the record, my team Rock Lobstars #252 came in 191 out of 355, in 29:30:43!
- Coming Soon, I Move in to a Van Down by the River (thesouzapaloozablog.com)
- What To Pack for a Ragnar Relay Race (runningrachel.com)
- Coming Soon (thesouzapaloozablog.com)