Ragnar Florida Keys= A Super Fun Hott Mess!
Friday: 4 miles @ 6:59 pace in Miami
Fri into Sat: 11.8 miles @ 7:29 pace on US1 headed into the Keys
Saturday: 4.2 miles @ 7:29 pace in the Keys/ 4.4 miles @ 8 pace in the Keys
Sunday: Rest/ Driving from the Keys back to Tampa
Ragnar FLK. Done and Done. This weekend went by so fast, yet so slow at times. Just like every other race I’ve done, I can’t believe it’s already over and am experiencing the post race blues, haha. I honestly don’t even know where to begin in recapping my experience, so I’ll just jump right in… I hope I don’t overload you with pictures, our van driver was also an amazing photographer.
What the heck is Ragnar? From their website: “You and 11 of your craziest friends (or 5 of your crazier friends for an ultra team) pile into two vans and tag team running 200(ish) miles, day and night, relay-style. Only one runner hits the road at a time and each participant runs three times.” For me, it was 11 of the coolest strangers, haha. I had never met anyone on Team NUUNaritaville, but after our initial intros I KNEW I was in for a good time.
First things first… before I made the drive to Ft. Lauderdale, where I met up with the team on Thursday, I had to pack. You’re sent a list of suggested items to bring and told to pack light, I mean, you are sharing a van with 6 other people and space is precious. Since each runner runs three different times, I packed an outfit for each run including a gym towel, along with one extra outfit for after the race. The gym towel was clutch. After each run you literally have 5 min to stretch and make your way to the van before having to leave for the next exchange. This means you were still drenched in sweat while sitting in the van. The small towel was perfect to dry off and keep some of my stank away.
Putting each outfit (shorts, shirt, underwear, bra, socks) into a ziplock bag sealed in the
freshness stinky smell and wetness after each run. A toothbrush/paste was also a top ranked item, in my opinion. After more than a full day of running and eating, there’s nothing like a clean, minty mouth! I packed 2 pairs of shoes, but I think I couldn’t gotten away with one. I wasn’t sure how sweaty they would get. All my stuff fit into a medium sized duffle bag.
I arrived in Ft. Lauderdale to my team decorating the vans. I HIGHLY recommend getting two 15 passenger vans. It made the trip so nice! We saw some teams with regular mini vans. Ummm NO. There are 6 people in each van. For 20-30 hours. Enough said. Aren’t they decorated awesome?!
We stayed in Ft. Lauderdale that night and drove to the start in Miami the next morning. For dinner we went to the cutest little Italian place. You know it’s authentic when you walk up and there are Italians sitting outside enjoying pizza and pasta. I split a pizza and salad with two others and it hit the spot! The crust was nice and crisp and the toppings (mushrooms, onions, green peppers, sausage, pepperoni) were plentiful- although, maybe too many onions.
I know, I know… you’re thinking to yourself, “Heather, what is Todd supposed to do for dinner while you’re gone?” Don’t worry my friends, I left him with lasagna and enchiladas (sauce was added right before baking) ready to be baked. I covered them with foil and put a sticky note on top of each with cooking instructions and reminding him to have a veggie with dinner. He said they were both delicious. Well duh!
Of course I had to bring the fierceness! This year there were 478 teams. That’s a lot of people and a lot of vans, s0 teams are broken up into 2 vans. Runners 1-6 in van 1 and runners 7-12 in van 2. Someone dropped out of van 2 at the last minute so they only had 5 runners 🙁 They broke up one of the legs so the mileage was split between 3 different runners, me being one of them. More on that later. Here is the line up of runners and distances to get us from Miami to Key West… click to make it bigger
Start times varied, beginning at 5 am until 2:30pm. Our start was 11:30am. This means that Van 1 headed to the starting line (an hour before the start to hear a safety briefing and get our shirts, baton and other goodies) while van 2 showered and hung out. Once we got there, we slathered on the sunscreen NAAWK sent us (they also sent us the fun glasses!) and tatted ourselves up with Nuun and Ragnar tattoos.
We were all so excited and anxious to get this darn race underway! Obviously I was in van 1. We had, from left to right in the picture above, Jack (runner 5), Leslie (runner 1), me (runner 4), Melissa (Jack’s wife and runner 6), Kristen (runner 2), Ryan (Kristen’s husband and runner 3) and our awesome driver Beko (who is in the center of our whole team pic above). I don’t know who had it worse, the runners or Beko… I mean, he drove us the WHOLE time. To set the tone, the lows were in the high 70’s and highs in the mid 80’s, so starting at 11:30am meant running our first legs at the hottest times of the day in the blazing sun in Miami. To say it was hot would be an understatement, even for this Floridian. Most of team NUUNaritaville was not from FL, so the heat and humidity was something they certainly weren’t used to. Regardless, we were excited to send Leslie off on her first leg and get the show on the road!
Eating a half frozen Key Lime Greek yogurt for dessert on the couch reppin’ my Ragnar shirt. Thought the key lime flavor was fitting 😉 Don’t be mad if it takes a few posts to recap my Rangar experience. There is just so much I could say about it but I don’t want to ramble. I had such a blast! Next up will be more of the actual race part and how that all works.
What did you do this weekend?
Have you ever run a relay?