Masters Running


2012 Ragnar Great River Relay (Read 249 times)

MM #5615

    Hello Everybody!  I just thought I'd give you a little race report from my race this weekend.


    First of all—if you have never done a Ragnar Relay, you really should.  They are tough.  You get little to no sleep.  They can test your patience.  Sometimes they seem completely unorganized and screwed up.  But they are fun!


    Second—I can’t imagine trying to organize a team—let alone three!  The Minnesota R.E.D. club was nice enough to allow me to be a part of one of their three teams and I just can’t tell you how well organized and efficient they are in putting these groups together and making sure everybody has everything they need to have a great experience.   They are really a great group of people!


    Third—my team.   Last year, I was with MN RED’s“2nd Team” and I had a great time.  This year, I was with MNRED’s “1st Team”—and I had a great time.  These two teams were completely different in so many ways but I had just as much fun with both.  The biggest difference was—this group was all about the race and going for the win.  The other five in my van were all exceptional runners and fantastic people.  I honestly enjoyed each one of them.  It always seems like every group has one person that kind of just sits back and lets everybody else do all the work…well, I was that guy.  But really, these people were just so efficient at doing everything there was really nothing for me to do.  Besides—I was the “old man” of the group and I think they kind of felt sorry for me...which was just fine with me.


    Okay—the race.  Our team was given a late start—I was in the 2nd van—and I was the 12th runner—which meant that I didn’t do my first run until 11:00 PM!  The weather was already pretty cool and, when the sun went down, it got very cool.  When I got out to warm up for my 6.2 mile leg, I couldn’t stop shivering.  I was, actually, a little concerned about myself so I threw on a long sleeved shirt.  Well, of course, a half mile into it, I was sweating like a pig and while trying to take my shirt off, my headlamp flew off my head, hit the ground, causing the light to go out.  So—there I was—in the pitch black—on a dirt road—in the middle of Wisconsin—panicking because I couldn’t find my headlamp.  I was frantically, scraping the road with my hands trying to find it.  I’m sure it only took about a minute but it felt like an hour to find the stupid thing.  When I finally found it I tore out of there like a crazy man!  I few!  Then I hit a hill…a big hill!  I trudged up that sucker praying that it would end soon.  I couldn’t see the top of it so I had no idea how far I had to go to get to the top so just kept pushing and watching my pace on the Garmin get slower and slower…and slower!  Oh man was I glad to get to the top.  And the coolest thing was—I got to go down the other side!  Now I was really flying!  I looked at my pace once and it said I was going 5:15!  So anyway—I finished 6.05 miles in 38:45 which ended up being a 6:25 pace.  With the dropped headlamp and that dang hill—I was happy with that.  Oh—I almost forgot—I also had 1 Roadkill…ooh…Roadkill…


    Since I was our last runner, we all jumped in the van and headed to the 18th exchange point to wait for the 1st van to complete its 6 legs.  We got as much as sleep as we could…which was very little.  When our 6th runner from Van #1 came in, we were off.  Of course, I still had a long time to wait for my leg, and the way I was feeling, I was glad for every minute I had and I had no idea how I would be ready in time.

    But—when it was my turn—I took off.  This was a 4.4 mile leg that started out nice and easy downhill.  My teammate had set me up just perfectly to pick off about 4 Roadkill right away and I got ‘em quick.  Oh, it’s so nice to have Roadkill in the bag and look up the road to see more.  Yes—I know I’m a sick man—but Roadkill is what kept me going.  Anyway, after enjoying a mile of nice, gentle, downhill running, I hit a steep section of about a half a mile of quad-busting agony.  I would have loved have been able fly down that thing but it was just too steep.  I think for the first time in my running career, I couldn’t wait to start going back up hill!  Of course…when I started going back up…that changed.  I was so glad this was only a short leg.  I handed off to Rob and watched him tear out of there like a bat out of hell.  Time—28:02 for a 6:22 pace.  (I had to extrapolate these figures because I had failed to have my Garmin ready right at the start)  And—9 more Roadkill!  Then I started looking for my van mates who had miss-timed my arrival a little bit.  But we found each other and off we went to the next exchange.  

    By the time I was due up for my last leg and the final leg of the race—I was done!  I had no idea how I was going to muster up enough energy to run one mile, let alone 7.2.  But—as I dragged my tired old butt up to the exchange zone, I found myself beginning to salivate….all I saw in the other runners preparing themselves for their exchange was…yep…more Roadkill.


    I took the handoff and away I went!  I, immediately, spotted a group of 4 victims and devoured them pretty easily, in one big gulp.  Ahhh—it was so satisfying.  But I was becoming an addict—I needed more!  I thought to myself, “20!  I want 20 Roadkill before this leg is done!”  Well, from I can remember, this was a pretty nice section of the course.  I can kind of remember that it was pretty gentle—nice rolling small inclines and declines—there was a couple of short, steep hills—both up and down—oh—and there were plenty of trees…and a river to my left, as I recall.  I would have loved to be able to take in the course and all the sights it had to offer but, unfortunately, I had turned into a beast…a beast with fire in his eyes and only one thing on his mind.  More Roadkill!  As soon as I devoured one, I was looking up the road for another.  I was even tempted to count a poor old lady I past while she struggled up a hill on her bike—but, of course, she wasn’t in the race…so I couldn’t…dang it!  Yes, as I came out of the wooded path and into the finish area, I had devoured 29 more Roadkill!  I should have been happy to see the finish line.  I should have been thrilled to see my teammates gathering to run to the finish line with me—but, no—there were 2 more guys about to cross the line!  I had to catch them!  I wanted 30 so dang bad…but, alas…it was not to be…I had to “settle” for 29 for the leg and 39 as my total.  Oh—7.2 miles in 47:17—a 6:34 pace.


    So that’s it—another Ragnar Relay in the books.  We ended up finishing 5th overall and 1st in the mixed division.  Oh—just in case you’re worried about my Roadkill addiction—I’m fine.  It seems that it takes only one beer and all the rage and fury just goes away.  Although…if I was allowed to count the old lady on the bike, it would give me 30 for the leg…she was on the course, after all…


    Here's some pictures...


    This is Jeffery.  He's an engineer.  I have no idea what he was doing.  He's an engineer.


    So...while Jeffery was doing whatever engineers do...Kris, Jake, and Elaina worked on decorating the van.  Vanessa was off warming up for her 1st leg, and I was...well...I was taking pictures.  See?  I told you they did everything....



    Here's Vanessa...


    Hey!  There's Rob!


    And there goes Vanessa!  She is such a strong runner!


    Uh oh!  A little mishap at the exchange between Vanessa and Jake...




    And there goes Kris...


    Here's litte Elaina...she's so dang cute.


    Here's Jeffery...he's an engineer...

  you see what I mean?  I was a madman!


    Do ya see that green shirt up ahead of me?  ROADKILL!

  was kind of nice riding with this group...


    Just one to please the "old man"...


    Yep--there were plenty of guys being "chicked" by our team...


    Look at that hill Vanessa just climbed on her final leg! ya see that guy on the left?  Yep--Vanessa's Roadkill...


    The exchange from Vanessa to Jake for his final leg.  His calves were killing him but he toughed it out...


    By the way...when you see Jake coming down the get out of his way!



    Here goes Elaina on her final leg.  She's so dang cute...


    She may be cute but do ya see the guy to her right?  That's Elaina's last Roadkill... 


    Here goes Kris!  She's excited...


    And she's not shy when she "bags one"...



    And there goes Jeffery for his final leg.  He's an engineer...



    Here's Jake, Vanessa, and Elaina...they're happy...they're done...


    Uh I come...looking for victims....




    "Come on Jeffery!  I gotta get some Roadkill!"  (Jeffery's an engineer...)


    Here I am at the finish.  Rob just gave me my medal...



    "Want one?"


    And here is the 2012 Ragnar Great River Relay Mixed Team Champions!

      Great write up Mike!  Always good to have you join us.  Although, we gotta figure out how to get in the same van one of these years.  Two years you have joined us -- at least we were on the same team this year!!!

      And you can quote me as saying I was mis-quoted. Groucho Marx



        Great photos, and by the looks of those women, you had no problem grabbing 1st place mixed!

        "During a marathon, I run about two-thirds of the time. That's plenty." - Margaret Davis, 85 Ed Whitlock regarding his 2:54:48 marathon at age 73, "That was a good day. It was never a struggle."

          Somewhere in the midst of all those good looking women there is a Batman T-Shirt that I am sure SteveP will see. I'm quite shocked I did.


          Nice report Mike but I enjoyed the pictures more.

  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

          MM #5616

            Congrats on 1st place and all the roadkills!  I saw the batman shirt too, and I noticed one picture where you were wearing the WY marathon tee shirt!  Smile   Great report and loved all the pictures! 

            I hammered down the trail, passing rocks and trees like they were standing still.

            just a simple cat

              What does Jeff do for a living?  Confused


              I am sorry you weren't allowed to count civilians in your kill count.  Wink


              Running is stupid

                Good times! I love relays.

                "Pain only hurts" -Scott Jurek

                  NICE!! on the roadkill!  (I say count the old lady.  Search and destroy whatever gets in your path.)


                  And you got yerself a right nice physic going on, too, Old Man.  Keep doing whatever it is you're doing, 'cause it's working. Cool

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