Finding My #InnerWild – a Ragnar Relay SoCal Recap Part 1

Sometime last spring, I was approached by a couple of coworker friends about running Ragnar Relay SoCal. Without hesitation, I jumped on the opportunity. I had seen social media friends’ posts about running Ragnar SoCal in the past and I knew it was something that I wanted to do someday, so I couldn’t pass up this chance.

If you’re unfamiliar with Ragnar Relay, it’s a race series where teams of 12 runners, in two vans, take turns running 36 legs covering 200ish miles, running day and night.  Ragnar Relay SoCal start goes from Huntington Beach in Orange County down to San Diego.

We formed a team made up of teachers from our school: The Pacing Guides – Running our clASSES off!

Fast forward several months…  We were just a couple of months away from Ragnar Relay SoCal and a few of the original 12 runners on our team dropped out for one reason or another. Some spots were filled by teachers from other schools in our district. I even recruited a couple of teammates from my network of running friends.


So here was our final roster:

Van 1 was made up of:

  • Runner #1: Hoopster, Taz’s friend
  • Runner #2: Mirnies, an old friend of mine from when I used to live in San Diego 14 years ago–it was great to reconnect with her again
  • Runner #3: Chenny, who used to teach at my school but now is at another school site
  • Runner #4: Taz, a Health teacher from another school in my district
  • Runner #5: Danie, my new running friend who I met just a couple of weeks before at a #UnitedLA group run
Top row: Hoopster, Taz, Chenny, Mirnies, Danie, & Grizzly
Van 1 at the 4:30 Safety Orientation. Our Code Names: Top row: Hoopster, Taz, & Chenny. Bottow row: Mirnies, Danie, & Grizzly

Van 2 (at the finish): Sadly, I didn’t get to see my friends/coworkers much in Van 2 because of the nature of the relay.

Unfortunately, I don't know if they made code names or aliases for each other in van 2.
Unfortunately, I don’t know if they made fun code names or aliases for each other in Van 2.

 

On Friday April 10, Van 1 had to get up at a ridiculously early hour. Taz, Chenny, & Hoopster came by to pick me and Mirnies up from my house at 3:30am. We made our way to Huntington Beach where we met Danie at the starting area for check-in and the required safety orientation.

I'd say I'm pretty chipper for only having an hour and a half of sleep... Lol
I’d say I was pretty chipper for only having an hour and a half of sleep… Lol

Hoopster was off at 5:30am! The rest of us jumped into the team vehicle to meet him at the first exchange. We spent the morning taking turns running our legs, relaxing between exchanges, and cheering on our teammates at the exchanges.

Waiting at the exchanges for our respective legs.
Waiting at the exchanges for our respective legs.
Danie and I passed the time jamming on the uke.
Danie and I passed the time jamming on the uke.

Eventually, it was time for my first leg: 6.7 miles. The first 4 miles were nice and relatively flat. There was actually quite a bit of shade during the first half of the leg.IMG_8138

Then I got to the hill. It seemed to go on forever! Thankfully, I trained on hills for a couple of weeks leading up to Ragnar. I felt really good on the hill and even passed a few people along the way.IMG_8145

Finishing my leg at Exchange 6. Photo Credit: Danielle Townshend @sweetsumatra
Finishing my leg at Exchange 6. Photo Credit: Danielle Townshend @sweetsumatra

I finished my leg in 1:05.58 and had 20 kills along the way! After my leg, it was Van 2’s turn to run. So the Van 1 crew jumped into our vehicle and commuted to the Oceanside Pier to wait for our turn to run again.

We dined at Ruby’s on the Pier… I packed and ate my own food. Then we napped on the grassy areas under the pier. It was glorious!

I could think of worse places to have to hang out for a few hours.
I could think of worse places to have to hang out for a few hours.
For a bunch of people who barely knew each other, we really had good chemistry.
For a bunch of people who barely knew each other, we really had good chemistry.
A makeshift ice bath after a nap near the ocean.
A makeshift ice bath after a nap near the ocean.

Van 1’s first leg of Ragnar SoCal went really well! The leg that I thought was going to be terrible because of the monster hill was behind me. The members of the Van 1 crew really clicked and were bonding really well! A great day!!!IMG_8179


  • Have you ever run a Ragnar?

 

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