Ragnar Relay Great River - RunOther

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Winona to Minneapolis, Minnesota
United States
Ragnar Relay Series
75F / 24C
Total Time = 2h 44m 8s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

This year I decided to try Captaining a team. I was actually trying to "co-captain" it, but my friend who was in charge of Van 1 wasn't able to do a lot due to some life changes (new house, etc) that we didn't know about in January when we signed up.

On Thursday before the event I finally got a good night's sleep, first time for Ragnar. The first two times I did this I stayed out too late the night before and had to get up early. The next two times were while traveling, staying in a hotel with multiple people, and staying up too late. It was heaven!

I met our driver at my teammate's house (her dad was the driver) and the three of us went to get the van. I completely screwed up thinking it was Budget, turns out we rented from Alamo. D'oh! Got back to teammate's house and started packing up and decorating while the rest of the team arrived. We managed to get on the road by 10 like I hoped.

We drove to Modena, via most of the race route, and were surprised to find that a big chunk of road was not paved. I could swear this wasn't a problem last time. I was supposed to be runner 12, but our runner 7 has asthma and her first leg was a large cloud of dust from the gravel. Quick decision and we switched. She ended up with a gravel section later on, but the other benefit was she got a slightly shorter assignment. She hadn't been feeling great, so that probably helped too.
Event warmup:

When we got to the first major exchange, there was a bit of running around to check-in, etc. It was already quite hot, so I stood under a shade tent and conserved energy. Fortunately I am not really the type who needs a warmup.
  • 2h 44m 8s
  • 16 miles
  • 10m 18s  min/mile

My "Ragnar pace" is 9:45. I usually come close to this, one way or another, for all Ragnars. I compared my actual times with the spreadsheet (with difficulty factored in) and I only lost about 3 minutes overall, so I am not looking at the :30/mile pace gap. I am very satisfied that I pulled my weight. I realize I could put my pace at 10:00 miles and it would be fun to always be running ahead, but I think I wouldn't push myself as hard.

First run - 5.91 miles - 1:04:00

I did this run for my very first Ragnar in 2009 and I am kind of embarrassed to see now that I ran it faster that year. Oh well... The middle segment is a HUGE hill, like not only couldn't I run it but it was barely walkable. So I started out really good for almost 2 miles (right at (9:45), mile 3 was VERY slow (14ish pace), mile 4 was about a 12ish pace finishing the mountain and talking for a few seconds with the team, then mile 5 and almost 6 were great again. I felt quite strong after cresting the hill and my last .91 were at a 9:26 pace (very flat). The dust on the gravel didn't bother me, but it was definitely sucking my pace. Based on form and how I felt, I'd guess it was sucking about :20/mile from my speed. The last bit was a run across the grass and I said "Hey, I didn't know I signed up for cross-country Ragnar!" Honestly, that was one tough but fun leg. I was VERY dirty at the end, with more than half being in gravel (no mention of gravel in my 2009 rr)

Run 2 - 5:07 miles - 49:00

I always look forward to the night run, hoping to get back a few seconds. I pushed this maybe a little too hard, it was difficult. In town (Ellsworth) the temp was GREAT, but it was a bit on the too cool side in the country. I could see my breath. I did succumb to a totally unnecessary walk break or two, but I also passed a few people. Not my favorite night run, but I was happy to make up a little time. I did get a fantastic downhill and not big ups.

3rd run - 5.07 miles - 51:08

Definitely my best 3rd Ragnar run ever. It was in full sun, but I didn't have the fatigue to the extent I have in all other Ragnars. Even the ones where I had much easier assignments, I was beat on the 3rd leg. I did manage a few naps here and there, plus also ate better I think, plus just being a more experienced runner with a good long stretch of base training this past year. Anyway, there was one good climb partway through that I walked and then just tried to push it the rest of the way. I was SO SO SO GLAD to be done!
What would you do differently?:

Overall I am really happy with how I did. There were a few parts where I wish I had walked less, but it's a long race and it's easy to lose focus - could have been a lot worse. I am also happy with how I managed my attitude on the lack of sleep. I really had "fun" the whole time.

I am ambivalent about whether I would captain again. It really didn't bother me and I learned how I would do it differently. I wouldn't buy any food for the van and I would get buy-in on the drink options before getting anything. My van brought a lot of duplicate items that we could have saved on if we'd communicated better. We definitely don't need to print a Race Bible, it's ALL in the Ragmag. What a waste of paper!
Post race
Event comments:

This is a pretty well run Ragnar. There are mistakes in the materials here and there, and I wished I'd known about the gravel. Even if it was just the day before, I would have brought different shoes!

The major bummer is no normal post-race food at the finish. It's hard for Van 2 because we have to rush so much to get to the finish line, so we AND our last runner, could really use bottles of water, bananas, etc, normal post race items. We were given pizza and beer, all other beverages were already sold out. In the future, if I'm in Van 2, I would pack a special bag of snacks and drinks to bring to the finish line with something for each runner to enjoy. I am super fine with the pizza and beer, but not everyone can tolerate that (certainly not our runner with Celiac!), and even so it's really limited.

Last updated: 2013-02-01 12:00 AM
02:44:08 | 16 miles | 10m 18s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Performance: Average
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]