Monday, April 23, 2012

2012 SoCal Ragnar Relay - The 203.5 Miles Journey From Strangers to Friends (aka Huntington Beach to Coronado Island) - Van 1 Shenanigans

Date: April 20-21, 2012
Location: Huntington Beach to Coronado Island, CA
Start: 5:45am 6:00am
Finish: 35:06:22 (average pace 10:21) // 413th Overall Place
Bib #: 39
Team Name: So Much Cooler Online // 18th Place in the Regular Women Open Division (Source)
Runner Position: 6

April 19th (4:45am): Van 1 arrives at Huntington Beach to check in. It was so early and still dark outside but everyone was already buzzing with anticipation.

Then we found a Starbucks tent and that buzz grew.

We found our stoic volunteer Josh and thanked him for being so super for taking the 2am shift at the starting area. You rock Josh!

Even this blurry photo could not conceal our excitement to get this show on the road.

To conquer this road to be exact.

Team So Much Cooler Online officially started the race at 6:00am with runner 1 (Shannon). Since it was still dark outside she had to wear her reflective gear and sexy miner headlamp. See her there? No? She's the one in the skirt right next to that orange cone/pole?

Then I spent the next 30-hours in a van with these lovely ladies. They get two thumbs up from me for being the best van mates ever!

In this artistically decorated van!

We spent 30 hours, morning, noon and night doing a whole lot of this...

Running through these places, just to name a few...

During our breaks we dined at fine places like In-N-Out...

...we bummed some shade from strangers in exchange for popsicles in the 90+ degree heat while decked out in our matching awesome J'Adore Hardcore running tops from Run Pretty Far.

We cheered on our fellow Ragnarians!

We tried to thank every volunteer we could for enduring such long hours in the heat of the day and the dark of the night!

We witnessed a marriage proposal at exchange 27! It was emotional. I cried a little bit and I'm made of stone.

And even at 11pm at night, when all the world is probably in their nice warm beds, we were still smiling to be in such good company doing the one thing we all! At least I think that is why they are all smiling. Right, guys?

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors (Nuun, PRO Compression, Bic Bands, Run Pretty Far, Aspaeris, and Running Skirt) for helping team #SMCOL rock the 2012 Ragnar SoCal relay in style.  

The Ragnar SoCal relay managed to turn a bunch of chicks I met online into 5 of the most amazing friends a girl could ask for. Cheers to that! Special thanks to Sarah (#SMCOL team captain) and Heather (co-captain).

Thirty-six hours and 203.5 miles later we were still all smiles! Even after van "funk", sleep running, real/not real, #SMCOL and #RagnarSocal, fist bumping the Cash4Gold dude (aka Shannon's boyfriend), the internet machine, #eatallthethings and #packallthethings, Shannon getting cozy with me in the back of the van at 3am, leisure start time, "smooth" transitions, Becka shaving in a parking lot in Corona in 95 degree weather, magic pants, wanting cooked food, #VanAwesome, Shannon and her gorgeous Ragnar-induced hair, kills on the hills, something about bottling the van funk into a perfume, and so many other things that I just cannot remember at the moment.

One word: EPIC!!!

So I was runner 6 in Van 1 of the 12-women team So Much Cooler Online and these are my data taken from my Garmin.
Leg 6 (9:52am on April 20, passed 9 runners): 2.7 miles flat, starting to get warm out 80s.

Mile 1 - 8:07
Mile 2 - 10:15 A group of us got stuck for 2 minutes waiting to cross a freeway on-ramp. :(
Last .63 - 5:04 Forgot to start my Garmin until I had already left the exchange, rounded the corner and ran down a couple of blocks. D'oh!
Finish: 23.27

Leg 18 (11:53pm on April 20, passed 26 runners): 7.4 miles, giant terrible 2-mile hill around Escondido w/ 600 ft of elevation gain at midnight. Hated it!

Mile 1 - 9:16
Mile 2 - 11:43 Slow slog up the hill. It was so foggy. Could only see a couple of steps in front of me with the aid of the trusty headlamp. Hated this part so bad!
Mile 3 - 10:21 Still going up
Mile 4 - 8:41 Awful steep downhill. Even worse than the uphill.
Mile 5 - 8:51 Elevation started to go up a bit again
Mile 6 - 9:37 I suck!
Mile 7 - 8:46 Just get to the end so that you can stop running dummy! <-- Note to self
Last .5 - 4:37
Finish: 1:11:54

Leg 30 (9:23am on April 21, passed 19 runners): 4.2 miles, 1.5-mile hill w/ 400 ft of elevation gain around Torrey Pines. Hated it also but not as much as Leg 18.

Mile 1 - 9:04
Mile 2 - 9:58 More hills, awesome! Not!
Mile 3 - 8:39 I'm done with this. Going to just give it all I have left so that I can go shower!
Mile 4 - 8:40
Last .19 - 1:20 Hauling a$$ like there was a shower at Exchange 30.
Finish: 37:43

I was so tired in this photo but so happy at the same time to have gotten the chance to run another Ragnar with a group of amazing blogger friends! After sleeping for 13 hours straight (hey just like the last time I ran Ragnar) I just might want to do this again! Runner for hire!

Thanks Ragnar, Teammates, Volunteers and Loved Ones for making all this possible! I am grateful for everyday that I get to do the things I love surround by great people! Peace out, end of story, the end!


Hanna said...

Great recap!!! so awesome that you did ragnar. I'm so jealous. Lifetime memories!!!!

Nobel4Lit said...

Very cool!

giraffy said...

Napa. Real.

Sarah OUaL said...

THIS IS THE BEST! The pictures are SO great - y'all look so fun and you got a shot capturing everything! Love it

Julie16750 said...

Laughing so hard and tearing up. SO.MUCH.FUN.

Anonymous said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS POST! I had a ridiculously fun time this weekend and am so glad I met you! And you're a great snuggle buddy. Almost as good as I'm imaging the Cash4Gold guy is...

Becka said...

Totally forgot about shaving in the parking lot. (do you kind if I borrow pictures for my blog?) GREAT POST!!! Best van EVER!!!

Anonymous said...

Love the pic of your medal :)

Unknown said...

great recap Madison!! loved reading about your adventure! great pics too! I esp. love the medal in the sand! very cute. :)