Every year Ragnar is a completely new experience, lot’s of fun, new friends and a few blips along the way. Our very first blip came around 8:30am on Friday morning when van 2 was at the Sheraton getting ready for our adventure. I was in the business center, unlocking cells on our Google spreadsheet so that we can keep track of the teams overall pace and know what time we need to be at the next exchange, you know, IMPORTANT STUFF — when all of a sudden the power went out. And then an announcement came on that the fire alarm had gone off and we needed to evacuate the building. I crossed my fingers and hoped it was a false alarm as I sprinted up three flights of stairs, raced to my room to retrieve my belongings and grab my teammates. By the time I arrived to the room the hotel announced it was a false alarm, no fire, no smoke, the power would be back up shortly.
Van 2 piled in, had an amazing breakfast at Lazy Jane’s and then headed out to exchange 6 to wait for our team. Our first runner was within minutes to taking off when there was an announcement that the leg 7 had a small 3.8 mile detour due to a bridge being out on the trail. Oof. I tried to pull some Great Lakes SWAT senority and get better details from the Ragnar staff, that didn’t work. No one seemed to know anything other than that there was a bridge, it was out, there was a detour, they didn’t know where. We shuffled our runners and then leapfrogged with him the entire way to make sure he had what he needed on the sunny and hilly country roads.
My first run was about 3 miles and all uphill. My second run was 5 miles, 1:30am, and city streets. I was on the south side of Milwaukee, I think I ended somewhere around 27th street south of Layton, but to be honest, with it being dark I lost track of where I was. I set up a special night run playlist on my iPod to keep me motivated, it worked, every time I told myself I was going to take a walking break at the end of the song, the next song came on and I ran through it. My final leg was in Illinois, the sun was out, there was a breeze, my legs were feeling tired, there were stop lights I had to wait for at intersections I had to cross in two directions.
All things considered, this was probably my best Ragnar run of them all. I was within a 15 seconds of my projected pace, walking was about about .25 mile total for all three legs, I got some sleep (I think), and my teammates were amazing.
I drove the final few exchanges into Chicago, not something I’m comfortable doing without my GPS, I need Heidi to tell me where to turn, however Heidi (who was actually Dave this time around due to a voice change) wasn’t working because the charger wouldn’t charge in the van. I hate using the GPS on the phones, my phone doesn’t talk, and it doesn’t mount on the dashboard so it’s essentially the same as texting and driving. I resorted to finding a Ragnar van and followed them. Thank you to the team with the goose on the top of the van! Gold stars for you!!