Ragnar SoCal – Part 2 (of a TBD amount of parts)

continued from Part 1.

After the high five SR exchange, I took off like a freaking banshee into the Santa Ana mid-day desert for my first ever (aw, so special) relay leg…

It was hot.  The river trail is boring.  There’s no big race-day cheer section, and there weren’t many other runners since only a handful of teams started when we did, and we hadn’t caught up to the earlier starters yet.

But I didn’t care.

I think y’all know I’m not an “OMG I LOOOOOOOVVVEEEE RUNNING! THIS IS SO FUN JUST BEING ABLE TO RUNNNN” runner.  (right? please tell me you know that.)

But being out there knowing 5 other girls were counting on me was the most motivating freaking thing in the world.  Knowing my run meant more than just a finish time.  The sooner I finished the sooner Margot could start.  Every mile I ran got us closer to the finish line.

It was about more than just ME.

So when it got hot and I got tired, I thought of them waiting at the exchange, eager to hear “number thirty eight!” called out like I had been waiting for SR.

And I ran faster.

It looks like I’m walking. I’m not. It looks like I’m happy. I am.

Handing off to Margot (runner3) was so fun.  It was like a little homage to all of our Track Parties, and we decided from now on all 800s will be completed relay-style.  With fun slap bracelets and everything.

Piled back in the van, still high on endorphins and super sweaty, peeled off my clothes and immediately zipped them up in a ziploc bag.  I’m sure you’ve heard this trick already, but it’s seriously a lifesaver.  Not only for post-run nastiness containment, but for 2am delirious “where’s my freaking sports bra!” drama avoidance.  Having everything pre-packaged was super brainless and easy.  Do it.

The next few hours were a van-blur of speeding to exchanges to either cheer or hand off to a fresh pair of legs.

Pam, HRM, and Chacha at Exch4, stolen from SR

SR using her day job mariner skills to spot incoming runners

Margot and Chiara both had SUPER tough legs through the blazing hottest part of the day, but powered through like the champs we knew they were when we recruited them.

You guys knew that’s why we wanted you on the team, right?  To tackle those really hilly parts?  I didn’t want shit to do with runners 3 or 4.

Thanks for that, btw…

All our transitions were pretty seamless and stress-free.  Driver Brian worked at 100% accuracy and even let me sit up front for a while before kicking my crazy relay-loving ass and all my exclamation points to the back.

Exchange 8 approached which meant pizza delivery from Pam’s husband (!) and also safety gear.  During “night” hours (6:30p-6:30a) runners are required to wear a reflective vest, headlamp, and blinky light on their back.  Apparently this is bc when you run on roads at night with only a 4″ shoulder it’s important for cars to be able to see you so you don’t become roadkill.

Good thinking, Ragnar.

But also, for some reason, any person outside the van during this time needs to wear a vest as well.  Incredibly inconvenient when you really have to pee, jump out the door in a dead sprint to the portas, and are informed by safety officials you need to sprint your exploding bladder back for your vest before you can pee.

Not that that happened…

ANYWAY!  Here’s Pam & Nicole supermodeling the required safety gear.  Pam at 6pm in still-daylight when it seems silly to wear reflectives, and Nicole at dusk, looking really super excited to run 10 miles in the dark.

And here’s the rest of us, NOT running, but making use of our required accessories anyway.

Exch10, powered by day-glo green and reflective tape!

Pam handed off to Nicole (Runner6) around 8 pm, and we prepped for round two.  Each girl had about 6-8 hours between runs, which (to me) was enough to refuel and gain some energy back, but not too much to get stiff or achey.  Awesome.

Disclaimer : see above mention of the exclamation points.  You probably could have run me over with the van and I would’ve still been excited about the relay’ing.

Nicole returned and SR took off for a slightly sketchy/scary 19 miler through Lake Elsinore.  Luckily, she had someone on call for assistance…

Super Pacer Dave!

At this point we’d started losing a little steam, and the excitement at exchanges started fading.  We took turns [trying] to nap and started caffeinating heavily before legs (please to note 20oz gas station coffee in above photo).

At Exch14 I got all situated for my next and longest run, 14.9 miles through Murrieta and Temecula.  The weather was perfect (50s and balmy) so I dressed in my fav running skirt, Pro Compression socks, tech t, and arm warmers.  Got my reflective/blinky on, and headed to the exchange to wait for SR and Dave around 11:30pm.

I bet you guessed by now this was going to end up being more than two posts. Hah, sorry bout that. Stay tuned…

Sarah OUaL


35 thoughts on “Ragnar SoCal – Part 2 (of a TBD amount of parts)

  1. I’m loving reading this! It is so hard to put the experience into words. I keep trying to tell people about it and my words fail miserably to express the FUN!!!!! and exhaustion!!!!! that I felt. I saw you guys around the van at the finish line, but didn’t want to stalk you. And I was also quite stinky and speaking only in “that’s what she said” phrases, so figured I’d keep my distance!


  2. i’m so happy you’re writing such a detailed recap. i’ve had a non-stop runboner (thanks for that) since saturday so reliving it as many times as i can is awesome. we saw both vans a couple of times, which was kind of crazy given the fact that you guys caught up with us and started 4 hours later–hard f’ing core.


  3. I feel bad that Temecula Old Town wasn’t as SarahOUAL friendly to you as it was to me last year. We got there too early this time. People were still inside getting their drink on to come outside for running debauchery.

    How cute is Nicole standing there with her headlamp on? She looks like some kind of female miner poster child.


  4. OMGGGG!!!!!!!!!!! This seriously looks like you all had such a fun-tastic time!!! :) I sooo want to do a relay sometime! :) LOVE this!! and love the picture of you all with your reflective vests! :)


  5. Love our recaps thus far! It is a really hard thing to describe -Ragnar – On our van ride home (8hrs) we had a lot of “what did you do between your legs?” phrases — Or, “We did _____ between our legs” IT’s quite hilarious when you are running on such little sleep.


  6. This is making me so EXCITED for the Chicago Ragnar! I’m not going to lie, when I first read you were going to do this way back in the day, I thought to myself, “I want to do that!” A few days later there was a call for a teammate and I jumped at the chance. I can’t wait! Thanks for the inspiration!


  7. This sounds like the most badass thing ever. I have zero problems with a multi-post recap. Its like a little mini TV series. Keep ’em coming! With the demise of picnik, what are you using for your photos? They have no lost any of their spunk or fun text blocking. I must know.

    I might have to look into this whole relay thing, and let me just say, when I read that some teams were 12 people and you guys were tackling it with 6, that was the coolest part. You guys are amazing. No joke.


  8. This is a great recap. I remember that feeling of losing steam from the ultra Ragnar I did. We were all so excited at the beginning and then it got a little to the point of, when are going to be finished. Of course, if we could have been super speedy like all of you, maybe that would’ve been different!!


  9. I cannot WAIT to read more! I’m doing the Reach the Beach relay (my first ever relay) in September in NH and am SO nervous. I’m so glad you shared about reflective BIC Bands, because I’m sort of in love with them! I’m seeing if Sandy can get them in PURPLE to support the Alzheimer’s Association that we’re running for, as purple is their color! Ahhhh I can’t wait!


  10. I seriously want to do this soooo badly. You guys are so hardcore. I love it and want to stalk you all. You’re lucky I’m on the East Coast.

    Ok, I’m not really a stalker. I just really want to find people to run ragnars with. :)


  11. Relays are soo much fun! That’s pretty annoying about everyone wearing the safety gear, I hadn’t heard that one before, they don’t do that at hood to coast. That means everyone needs to buy all that stuff!!!


  12. Love it!!! You guts caught up to us right around this point I think. I saw your van, and possibly you finishing, but like it was mentioned above I was in my delirious state by that point so I might have mistaken you for the speedo boys.


  13. Pingback: Ragnar SoCal–Part 3 (the dark and sketchy) | Once Upon a (L)ime

  14. Pingback: The View from Runner 5–pt3 (Hood to Coast Recap) | Once Upon a (L)ime


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