Sunday, June 26, 2011


This last weekend I learned the power of uncles in their ability to make you do things no rational person would do.

It all began last summer when I fresh from the victory of finishing my first half marathon.  Then Uncle Gord struck. 

 "Come run the RAGNAR with us next summer" he said, "It'll be fun!" he said. 

And somehow, it DID sound like fun.  Yeah!  Let's stuff a bunch of people with all their gear into a couple of vans and run for two days straight!  What a great family bonding activity and good exercise to boot!  Sign me up Uncle Gord!

How could I be so easily hoodwinked by this sweet, smiling man?  I even read this on the race website and didn't clue in:
"You and 11 of your closest friends running 200(ish) miles, day and night, relay-style, through some of the most scenic terrain in Utah. Add in crazy runners, inside jokes and a mild case of sleep deprivation. The result? Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it a Ragnar Relay." 
As the race approached I pushed fears of inadequate training and concerns about lack of personal hygiene out of my mind by repeating my mantra of, "This will be fun.  Everyone says this will be fun.  This will be fun."

Thus Zach and I made the long drive back to Utah in blissful disillusionment.

For the first few hours of the RAGNAR experience, it WAS fun.  There were decked out vans everywhere, hilarious outfits, music, and as much free Gatorade as your heart could desire.  Aunt Lisa even made us all sweet matching t-shirts for our team "Eating Your Dust".  Zach: Proof that prophecy is still in force today, and that we weren't really going for first place:
Poor Lisa, not having any teenage children to educate her, didn't understand why the first two lines made us all cringe.
But then it was my turn to run my first of three legs.  Filled with the desire to do my team proud, I got in position as Uncle Robert came running up and was off like a shot as soon as he slapped the bracelet on my hand.  I was doing so well for the first few blocks until I realized how hot it gets at 12:30 in the afternoon.  I hate running when it's hot.  And what altitude was this at?  Geez it's hard to breathe!

I bravely made it through the first 2.5 miles of my leg until my calf cramped up and I slowed to walk for all of thirty seconds.  Naturally, that's when the van passed me and saw me walking.  I could almost hear Isaac saying, "She's walking already?  What a pansy!"

Oh the humiliation.  It was enough to make me ignore my darn calf and kick it in to pass off to Marsha.

With that initiation, the real RAGNAR challenge began: surviving the car.  Sitting right after running and marinating in your sweat and sunburn are not ideal race conditions.   Luckily there were lots of opportunities to get out of the van and cheer on the rest of the team.

Go Marsha go!
Gordy had an evil hill leg.  He did amazing.

The Support Studs
Russell's speed left me in awe.
Zach doing the "RAGNAR hill"-  I hurt for him.

For over 35 hours, the only bathroom facility we used was a Honey Bucket.  The lines were ALWAYS long.  I longed for the sight of a porcelain.

Running at night.  Those head and butt lamps and safety vests are nothing if not attractive and comfortable.

Zach: I think Clarissa left out some important details.  First, even though it was difficult going, we actually finished in a (relatively, considering the shape of our runners) decent 32 hours, not 35 hours as might be surmised by her previous statement- she's counting drive time.  Also, special props goes to clinch runners Russel, Isaac, Derek, and Gord.  Of course they carried less general muscle, elderly wisdom, and several pounds less ego than me throughout the race.  I lost a few pounds of ego, however, on that Ragnar hill pictured earlier.

By the time we finished the race I'd had a total of 3.25 hours of sleep, was covered in multiple layers of sunburn, sweat, dirt, and sunscreen, I couldn't walk up or downhill, and I never wanted to see a powerbar or the Judkins van again.

It was fun.

1 comment:

  1. Haha!! Tell me about it!! Crazy runners.:) you guys are amazing; im proud of you!