Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Race Recap: Ragnar Northwest Passage NUUNsense (Part 2)

If you missed Part 1, check it out HERE

Once we got to Bellingham HS it hit me, “OMG, I am running Ragnar with Nuun!” I was a little bit nervous, but really excited at the same time. Kim was a fabulous van captain and got everyone checked in for our bibs and safety briefing. Ragnar is definitely a well organized event.

Getting ready for my first leg at Ragnar

Kim, Zoe, ME, Dani

My first leg was classified as moderate and would be my easiest and shortest leg at 3.7 miles. I almost didn’t run with my handheld filled with Nuun, but was glad that I changed my mind at the last minute. It was hot in Bellingham and after my first mile I was feeling parched. I drank my entire handheld with Kona Cola and could have used more. Even though all I could think about was how hot I was, my leg was beautiful! I ran down a gravel trail that took me over a couple of bridges and along the water front. I wish I would have taken some pictures because my words can’t do the scenery justice. If you live in Bellingham, I am officially jealous of you right now. I was hoping for more than 3 roadkill on my first leg, but there were hardly any other Ragnar runners out on the course.

Photo credit to Zoe

Leg 1 stats:
Time started- 2:58 pm
Ran 3.70 miles in 27:58
3 roadkill

I was pretty pooped after my first leg because the heat really saps the energy right out of me. After I got myself cleaned up and into fresh clothes I cheered, blew bubbles, and acted like a silly person while my vanmates ran. I learned during our first legs that anything goes at Ragnar: futon couch on top of a van? SURE. Silly outfits? SURE. Inappropriate team names? SURE.

Silly outfit

Futon on top of a van

Once Sara finished her first leg and we exchanged with Van #1 in Burlington it was off to find some grub and try to rest up before we embarked on our 2nd legs.

My 2nd leg started out at La Conner High School. I would say it was the hardest because it was my longest, but my last leg was pretty brutal hill wise. I think what made this leg seem not quite as difficult is because I couldn’t see the hills I was running. They hurt, but it probably helped I couldn’t tell what I was about to tackle.  Plus I was running in the dark out in the middle of nowhere so I was running as fast as my legs could carry me. At one point I heard something in the woods that definitely put an extra pep in my step! My last mile on this leg was a 6:37. I was flying, but I am pretty sure my red tutu gets credit for making me faster.

I didn't run with the pirate hat or in my flip flops :-)

Leg 2 stats:
Time started- 12:17 am
Ran 8.71 miles in 1:07:43
12 roadkill

After my 2nd leg I had about 6o minutes of down time before I volunteered to run with Dani on her leg through Anacortes. It was around the time that bars were getting out and was probably safer to have two runners out than a solo person. I didn’t mind because I actually wanted to get in some extra miles for the week. We only had one guy yell at us, but for the most part it was just quiet and creepy. I will say running through a quiet town is almost creepier than the woods. Especially when you don’t know what is lurking behind buildings or bushes. Dani was hauling and I almost had a hard time keeping up with her!

Leg 3 stats:
Time started- I don't know, my watch was being a brat
Ran 2.82 miles in 22:23
4 roadkill

After we exchanged with van 1 at Oak Harbor High School, we were all thoroughly exhausted. We opted to stay at Oak Harbor and try and get some shut eye before heading to the last major exchange at Coupeville High School. It is hard to sleep in a van; no position is really that comfortable. I did manage to get in at least 60 minutes of sound sleep before it was time to hit the road. Before I knew it were on off on the last leg of our Ragnar adventure.

I was really groggy when I got the final handoff from Leana. Must have been the lack of sleep and the fact that every muscle hurt and my feet were feeling achy. My last leg was a tough one, but you could not beat the scenery on Whidby Island. It was gorgeous! I tried to soak it all in because it was truly breathtaking. The hills were tough, they seemed to go on further. My mantra “what goes up, must come down” wasn’t doing me much good. I felt as if I was always going up and there wasn’t enough down before I was going back up. I tanked in the last mile. I saw this humongous hill I had to run up to exchange with Kim and I about had a heart attack. I finally decided I would run better if I did run/jog/wog which is exactly what I did.

First roadkill on my last leg (photo credit Dani?)

Crazy hill, but beautiful views (photo credit Dani?)

Wanting to die here! (photo credit Dani?)

Leg 4 stats:
Time started- 9:55 am
Ran 8.48 miles in 1:08:26
7 roadkill

It was a great feeling to be finished, but I was sad at the same time. As hard as my last mile was, I really didn’t want it to end. I truly had the most amazing experience at Ragnar. Since I was the first runner in our van I quickly changed into some clean clothes and then cheered on the rest of my teammates as we made our way to the finish line in Langley.

26 roadkills for the win! (Zoe and I tied in van #2)

A new wonderful friend from across the country- Dani!

Zoe, ME, Kim, & our amazing driver Bruce

Dani and myself

Team Nuunsense at the finish line

Leana and I had matching Ragnar socks

We unfortunately didn’t have a ton of time to hang out and celebrate at the finish line because my flight back to Spokane left at 8:00 pm. After some team photos and shopping in the Ragnar store we grabbed our pizza and hit the road back to Seattle.

Bruce dropped me off at the airport with 30 minutes to spare before my plane boarded. Thank goodness our team managed to make up over an hour deficit on our last legs. As I sat waiting for my plane to board I immediately felt sorry for who ever would have to sit next to me. I am sure I was an awful sight to look at! I got home around 9:15 and only stayed awake long enough for puppy kisses with my two favorite girls and a hot shower. I was out like a light before 10 pm.

I cannot thank Nuun enough for allowing me this opportunity. Ragnar is my favorite running memory to date. If I could do it all over again tomorrow I would. HUGE thanks to Kim for being an amazing van captain and taking care of all of us. Her brownies were the most amazing treat I have ever tasted. Best post run treat I have had in a long time. Another HUGE thanks to Bruce who was our driver. He was the best driver and support system a team could ever ask for.

 Now who wants to run a relay with me?! Anyone????



  1. Awesome, awesome recap!!! You really rocked your legs!! Your last leg looked so beautiful. I've ridden my bike on Whidby before and it is certainly hilly.

    I'm so glad you were able to make your flight home on time! I was worried it was going to be a big rush for you since we were definitely running slower than we expected.

    It was such an amazing weekend. I really hope that we'll have an opportunity to run together in the future!

    1. Thanks Leana! I was in so much pain on my last leg, but I tried to enjoy the views as much as I could. It was so pretty and serene too.

      Whidby Island has a half and full marathon (in March?) and now I know why everyone says it is super tough. I can't imagine running a marathon with those hills!

      Thankfully we made up a ton of time at the end of the race. I think at one point Kim said we were 70 minutes behind schedule, but then we ended up finishing 2 minutes ahead. Or in that vicinity.

      Definitely hope that we can run together again someday!!!!

  2. This sounds so amazing Tasha. Thanks for taking the time to take us through it! I didn't know much about how the event worked before, but it sounds like a great concept and such a fantastic thing to be involved in :)

    1. Relays might be my new favorite kind of race to run. They seem crazy at first, especially if you have never run in one before. They also seem to be getting really popular in the states.

  3. I am so far behind on your blog but am catching up! Looks like you had an amazing time at Ragnar! Love the team with the futon on top of the couch - definitely have not seen that one! And, wow, look at all those roadkill! :)

    1. I have been behind on blogs too! Summer just gets so busy and I don't know where the hours go.
      Ragnar was even more fun than I could have imagined. So lots of fun team names, costumes and van decorations.

  4. WHAT an experience?! I still need to do a relay, but nothing better than a bunch of girls, sweat, and sparkle!

    1. Relays are probably my new favorite kind of race to run. There is definitely no pressure to how fast you are, they are more just about having fun.

  5. OMG those hills look scary!!!

    Great job on all the legs

    1. Thanks! The hills on the last leg looked super scary, probably because I was also exhausted and could see them clearly. At night they didn't seem so bad.

  6. What fun! So glad you got to experience that!

    1. It was more fun than I could have imagined. One of the best weekends of running I have had in ages.

  7. So much fun! You rocked those legs!!

    1. Thanks Kayla! I guess it was good I started running some hills beforehand. I joked that I was going to be walking up all of them, but thankfully I didn't have to. Whew!

  8. Insane...can not even imagine going one mile as fast as you! Nice work!!

    1. Thanks Raelean! You will get there! FGF will help you get faster and stronger. :-)

  9. Sounds like an awesome time! You rocked it out there - both on the course (which looked beautiful) and by catching your flight.

    1. It was spectacular! I wasn't too worried about my flight because there are flights from Seattle to Spokane every hour. Worst case I would have to just catch a later flight. Or stay another night in Seattle which would have been a huge bummer ;-)

  10. Umm...I want to run a relay with you! There are two pretty big and popular ones here in Texas, so just let me know when you are ready to rock! =)

    You kicked butt and I loved the pics.

    PS. There is a yardhouse very close to my house. When I saw it was opening, I was so excited. Me and the hubs go there pretty often since the beer selection is AH-Mazing.

    1. What relays are in Texas????? I LOVE Texas. Seriously love Texas. When my hubby and I were in Houston he even was looking at job opportunities...of course we were there in January. He got to thinking he might not like the summer weather so much. :-)

      How did I not know that Yardhouse was a chain?! We are so sheltered in Spokane....

  11. This looks soooo fun!! I'm glad you had a great time and killed your race! I'm really, really hoping I can handle doing adirondacks at the end of september. I may have to have someone else do some of the legs for me.

    1. I had more fun than I could have ever even imagined. Ragnar is different from Hood to Coast- much more laid back. I really hope that you are going to be able to run Ragnar Adirondacks in September. I am sure that you will be able to run at least 2 if not all of your legs by then. Just make sure you get the easy legs. :-)

  12. Wow what an awesome experience!! Love your pirate outfit!! You can tell by all your photos how much fun you had :) I soo want to run a relay with you!! I've wanted to run Ragnar since after I ran my first little girl has delayed it but maybe in the future :)

    1. I had so many pictures that it was hard to select which ones to use. I might have to do a photo post just from the month of July or just from Ragnar. :-)


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