The Relay, The Win

There were 572 teams who ran Ragnar Relay Las Vegas; the official results say we came in 10th overall.

We came in FIRST ULTRA TEAM, men or women, as well!

1st women’s team to finish (regular or ultra team) with a  time of 25:58:07.

That’s an average pace of 7:53 for 197 miles.  I have to say I’m pretty dang impressed… even though McKayla isn’t and Eric isn’t either.

It’s hard to compare Ragnar SoCal and Vegas because the courses and weather were so different…

{Emily starting the race at 8500 feet elevation at a ski resort}

I really underestimated the course (I thought Vegas was all flat like the Strip?! probably wouldn’t have hurt to look at an elevation chart) and the wind – there were gusts up to 60 mph in some places.

Everyone got hit with a nice, strong headwind at some point on their legs and all you could do is put your head down, try to move forward, watch your pace climb, and rock a snuggie…

The hills were tough.  I think I had generally easy legs in SoCal so a 3 mile hill climb at the end of my 16 miler was an (un)pleasant surprise.  Sarah seemed to get long hills, like 8 miles of incline, in every one of her runs so I can’t complain.  I mean, I’ll try, of course…

The great part about the hills were the killer declines – Emily ran her first 10 miles downhill in 60 minutes!

I ran the first 10 miles of my 16 miler which were almost all downhill in 1:11:55.  I felt like I was breaking the speed of sound barrier, but that could have just been all the wind in my ear.

But as tough as the course was, it was also beautiful – nothing like the Vegas you think of.

It was hard – running 200 miles with very minimal sleep is physically hard but mentally tough too.  That “OMG this is so exciting!” feeling at 1:30pm when you’re at the start is gone by 1:30am when you’re gearing up for your second long run in the dark.

But we had Kristina and Lauren who were like little tiny metronomes: they were the 5th and 6th runners and just went to work and laid it down consistently fast every single mile.

All business.

Well, not all business…

Emily, Lauren, and Sarah getting down to business or doing their business in the pink portapotties.

We had a really competitive, fast team obviously, and I know we all wanted to perform to the best of our abilities and not let the team down.  I’m sure we all put that extra pressure on ourselves to do so; I know I sure did.

Heck, we even practiced the sprinter’s handoff… no lollygagging around here.

But just like Ragnar SoCal (you were missed Pam, Chacha and Nicole!) what made it so much fun, besides free pizza at the finish, was the people on the team.

{Kristina and Margot, hungry, tired and possibly delirious}

If you’re going to go through the highs and lows of a relay, do it with people you like.  Or at least people you can take pictures of and make fun of…

Trying to copy Sarah’s pose while she’s off dying, running her last leg up hill and into the wind.  We’re good teammates, what can I say?

The race would have been infinitely more difficult without our two drivers Brian and Lee.  I’m almost positive something is wrong with Brian to drive for us TWICE now.

THANK YOU GUYS!  And I hope your bromance is thriving and well without 6 smelly runner girls around talking nonstop.

And another big THANK YOU to our two sponsors Compex and Pro Compression.

I don’t think it’s possible to perform at a high level for 38 miles without taking recovery seriously and we did that.  The Compex e-stimmachine allowed all of us to get stretched out/massaged when we didn’t have time or space to do either.

And it helped remove lactic acid which is key to recovering faster to go run your next leg 6 hours later.

Now that I have pretty much stolen all of Lauren’s pictures, go check out her recap and the others because everyone tells the story a little differently and focuses on different things.  And I doubt anyone talks about myself as much as I do.

So…. what relay should we do next??

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