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Ragnar Relay Tennessee - Run

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Chattanooga to Nashville, Tennessee
United States
Ragnar Relay Series
Total Time = 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
  • 00m
  • 196 miles
  •  min/mile

Warning: This is a long report. It was my first Ragnar and I want to record as much as possible in case someone else wants to know what a Ragnar is like.

Early this year, I began itching to do a Ragnar. I briefly thought about putting together a team (for Key West) but I didn’t want to do that if I didn’t even know what the Ragnar experience was like. Sent emails to local running club, stalked people on BT, and asked anyone I could find if they knew a team that needed a runner. Hubby suggested asking his mentor, JeffY, since he lived in TN and the wonderful Jeff went to work for me. (Thank you Jeff!!!!!!) He found a link called It’s a randomly put together team that does all of the organizing for you. The registration fee includes Ragnar entry, van rental, van gas, lights, safety vests, volunteers (each team must provide 3 volunteers), and a wealth of knowledge. It also has an optional hotel option. The cost may be a little more but everything was included and there would not be any surprises at the end. Another advantage, for me, was the fact that since everyone was random strangers, I wouldn’t be joining a team with 11 friends and then me as the outsider. I loved the concept of Digital Running so decided to try it. All I can say is that I would never have hesitated a second if I had known how wonderful it would be. I will probably do Digital Running again and again. I LOVED the fact that we not only had a leader but had an experienced leader. I would not want to do this and not have a clear cut leader who had great math skills and knew all of the ropes. Brian and Raffi Darrow at Digital Running are awesome!!!!

Our team was comprised of people from FL, GA, TX, CA, and OH. Nice mix of people. I loved everyone and still am convinced that my van was the best. Oh, I’m sure that van 1 had fun too (especially with cute Mark with the sexy Scottish accent as their driver) but I loved the people in my van. Good thing too since I was going to spend 30 hours with them and we had no showers.

Another thing I want to mention about this experience was the dramatic temperature change. Most of us have been running in temps of 70s or 80s but this week, the temps went to 50s during the day and gulp, 20s or 30s at night. Also the wind was blowing. None of us had time to get used to the lower temps. I know, I know - most people say that low temps are great for running but when you are pulling tights from your closet that you haven’t worn in 8 months, you aren’t sure if the spandex has crapped out on you, if you can still wear them, and even the proper way to layer. One or two trial runs are nice to find out the proper gear for you. We didn’t have that advantage. Even Ohio was lost on how to dress.

But the weather also changed some other things. First, it was great for running. Second, we didn’t stink nearly as bad as if the temps were higher. But then again, the cold kept us in the van more because we were cold. That made the race a little more subdued on some things. I know that I didn’t spend as much time outside between legs because of the cold and wind.

Ragnar rates each leg as Easy, Moderate, Hard, and Very Hard. Ideally I wanted at least one hard and one moderate. While I didn’t mind a Very Hard, I figured that Tennessee has MOUNTAINS and we have none of those in Tally FL. {Found later that those Very Hard legs were indeed very hard with steep climbs.} Also, I didn’t want low mileage. So I made my requests and became Runner 10: 6.6 miles Hard, 4.4 miles Moderate, and 6.4 miles Hard.

Our team was the Mighty Morphin Power Strangers and most of us bought Power Ranger dresses or shirts to wear for the race. Naturally I was the pink Power Ranger.

Packing for Ragnar is hard. I opted for one suitcase that had my non-Ragnar gear (Thursday night and Saturday night) and a duffel with my four Ragnar outfits (each outfit in a separate plastic bag). Non-Ragnar suitcase stayed in the trunk area of the van and the Ragnar duffel went under the seat. I was in the extreme back with the best bench buddy, Randy. I loved Randy and we worked great together. Although I was willing to change and even strip when needed, we worked things out for some privacy. I gave Randy his space to change before and after his leg and I did my whole change while Randy was out running (He was Runner 7). I then did my after-run change in another seat since runner 11 was running.

To begin the race, I had parts of each outfit – tights, my pink Power Ranger dress, and a jacket. We cheered for runner 1 who left Friday morn at 7:30am. So Van 1 is running for the next 5 hours or so and I’m in Van 2. We hit Whole Foods, Cracker Barrel (for a huge brunch), and Walmart before we drove to Exchange 6 to meet van #1 about noon. We attended the safety briefing and then decorated the van. Van 1 was behind so we started a little later.

Runner 7 goes, Runner 8 goes, and then Runner 9. Finally about 2:30pm, I’m on. I started out too fast but dang, I’m so anxious to get in the game. I’m pretty much in no-man’s land with two people in front of me. Nothing pretty to look at and I only have an 8-inch area to run on which is outside the white lane. Shoot, this doesn’t seem fun and it doesn’t look like I will get any roadkill (people that I pass). But then we turn on some light traffic roads and I can spread into the lane. And Yay, Roadkill!!!!!!! And another. And then….crap, the guy in front of me has 3 dogs trying to attack him! Shyte. He outran them and then thankfully cars came and the dog had to stay on the left side of the road. All of the rest of us hit the right side and the sweet guy that had the dogs chasing him - he came back to make sure the rest of us were ok. Nice guy. We all ran in a pack for a while until one girl fell back and another swooped forward. Ran with the guy until the road narrowed again. He was going to be nice and let me take the lead but the poor dude had been attacked by three dogs so I motioned him ahead of me. We were running with traffic and had no space in a busier part of some town. I don’t like this. Don’t like. Oh cool, here is the exchange. I finish and look for my next runner. Where is she? Where is she? Dang, not here. I look and look for 5…7…10 min. :-( Kinda harshed my mellow. I ran faster than predicted but so what, we were trying to make up a deficient from van 1. Oh, she was in the store. I love her but eye roll here. That blew my chance to put the slap bracelet on her and feel like we are working hard.

Our runners continue and van 1 takes over. We got to eat dinner dinner and then I fall asleep going to the next exchange. Bench Buddy Randy goes to run and I confiscate the entire back seat and fall dead asleep. I wake briefly to find that we may be stuck in a ditch but sleep is more important to me and I fall back asleep.

This run was listed as Moderate but it should have been listed as easy; I remember no hills or anything that made this tough. Started about 1am in a little town and while I loved the town, I didn't like the sidewalks. Hit the road but actually the outside lane was concrete too. Was roadkill at about 1.5 miles; dang. Began leaving the town and the sidewalk is very rough in some places and there are less street lights so I slowed a little. Oh boy, I see roadkill up ahead. Funny but his form looks way too good for me to be catching him and I think he may be an ultra runner. As I went to pass him, he started laughing when he saw my pink hair (wig) and really liked it. We started talking and I decided to hang with him for a while (and he also increased his speed when I came up on him.) It was as I suspected, he was on his second leg because his team had 10 runners and it was his only double. He was on the frat team. You have to love Ragnar when you can pick up a cute dude half your age in the middle of the night. We just chatted away and got a few roadkill. Then we finished and his runner took off.

And my runner? Again she isn't there? Damn! I call and call and try to find her but I don't want to wander too far from the exchange point in case I miss her. So I'll yelling her name "Margarita" and from a dark area I hear "Here". I go over and begin to put on the slap bracelet and then say, "Well you aren't Margarita". The girl looks at me and says, "Oh, I thought you were offering a drink." Shoot, I wouldn't give it away if I had it GF. Finally Margarita gets out of the van, slowly takes off her jacket, and meanders across the road. Another deflating end to the run. But hey, I picked up Luke along the way so I'm happy.

I get in the van and take her seat because Randy is zonked in the back seat. Completely strip and put on warm, dry clothes for the remainder of the night where the temps drop to the 20s. We finish about 3:30am and four of our people go to camp outside while three of us stay inside. Each of us grab a bench seat and snooze for 3 glorious hours. I wake to find Randy ready for his next run but van 1 is behind again so his run will start later than anticipated.

Run #3:
This run was listed as Hard originally but on the final paper, it was listed as Moderate which I think was correct. I started about 11am Saturday morn. Beautiful run. Just gorgeous! Had a canopy road with some farms and then a residential area with big, beautiful houses. Someone said Taylor Swift lived nearby but I think that was a crock. I enjoyed the run although I faded at mile 4 or so. I didn't fuel properly which was my bad. I didn't rack up a single roadkill and I was fodder for several. I got caught at two red lights which slowed my time maybe a couple of minutes but the lights were not the reason I was roadkill. I just blew the nutrition part and my legs were also stiffening on me. But lots of the locals paused while doing their yardwork to watch the crazy woman in the pink Power Ranger dress run by; guess they don’t see that too often.

But this time, when I hit the exchange, my runner was there!!!!!! Yea! Finally got to put the slap bracelet on and wish her well.

Runner 11 and then Runner 12 finished for us and then all 12 runners (plus our drivers) ran across the finish line. Most of us were dressed in our Power Ranger dresses and shirts. Brenda was wearing her fur, Whitney was wearing her mask, Katye was wearing her cape, and I was wearing my pink wig. Lots of people wanted our picture. The party was more subdued (according to the experts) than in the past but that was fine with me since I was a zombie at this time.

I loved the Ragnar experience. I think 17.4 miles spread over 3 legs was easier than a HM but then again, it’s a completely different and unique experience. Ragnar asks for your 10K pace and for me, that is just under 9:30. I finished legs 1 and 2 around 9mm and then finished leg 3 barely below my 10K pace. I was happy with it. Would have preferred to have nailed leg 3 with a 9mm pace but I didn’t. But all in all, I was happy. I was in a van for 30+ hours and had very little sleep. Very little. We didn’t get out of the van as much because of the cold but still, it was a great experience. I would do it again although now I’m itching to do it on an ultra team (only 6 runners) or on a team that is a little shy of the 12 runners. I enjoyed running with Digital Running and loved meeting my Mighty Power Strangers.
Post race

Last updated: 2013-08-11 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 196 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Course: Chattanooga to Nashville. Three legs for each 12 runners. Each runner has 10 to 19 miles total
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Too easy
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-10-30 5:22 PM

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Extreme Veteran
Tallahassee, Florida
Subject: Ragnar Relay Tennessee

2013-10-31 8:39 AM
in reply to: #4888624

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Grapevine, Texas
Subject: RE: Ragnar Relay Tennessee
Pam, you really nailed your legs of the race! I can feel how rarin' to go you were when you took off on your first segment. Your excitement about this experience really shines throughout your report. However, this report is not complete without pictures of the pink Power Ranger dress!
2013-10-31 9:32 AM
in reply to: squirt

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Subject: RE: Ragnar Relay Tennessee
GREAT RR but i agree w/ Squirt, eith post pics of the Power Stranger dress or it didn't happen.

Glad you enjoyed the race!
2013-11-01 10:00 AM
in reply to: KWDreamun

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Mastic Beach, NY
Subject: RE: Ragnar Relay Tennessee
Pam congrats on completing your first Ragnar run. Great RR, I really enjoyed reading it and hearing about your experience there. You did a great job finishing your three runs for the team. I'm glad you had a great time and yes I agree you need to post some picks of the Mighty Morphin Power Strangers lol. I love the team name, that's awesome.
2013-11-03 7:05 AM
in reply to: strikyr

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Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Subject: RE: Ragnar Relay Tennessee
I'm glad you had a great experience Pam! It sounds like you enjoyed yourself and I was hopeful that would happen for you!
2013-11-03 6:02 PM
in reply to: #4888624

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Subject: RE: Ragnar Relay Tennessee

I'd never heard of Ragnar until Karl mentioned about you doing it to our Junkie group.  It sounds so fun and crazy at the same time.   I just gotta see pictures, Pam.   I'd never heard of the term "roadkill" used for overtaking someone but I think it'll stick with me when I do my next race.   Congratulations for completing your part of it!   You did fantastic on your times.   I'm so glad you had a positive experience and appreciate you sharing, in detail, what a Ragnar is about.   Way to create a memory!



2013-11-03 10:00 PM
in reply to: 0

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Extreme Veteran
Tallahassee, Florida
Subject: RE: Ragnar Relay Tennessee
Thanks for all of the nice comments. OK, I usually blow the load of pics but here is my attempt.

Not sure if it loaded or not. Sorry!

Edited by Pink Socks 2013-11-03 10:11 PM


finish_pose.bmp (1800KB - 6 downloads)
2013-11-04 3:29 PM
in reply to: Pink Socks

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Grapevine, Texas
Subject: RE: Ragnar Relay Tennessee
LOVE the picture! You are too cute in that pink wig! And I think I want some of those white furry leg things one of the other gals had on. So glad you were able to upload the pic. Go you!
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