Ragnar: Miami to Key West Part 4

Catch up:

64002_4400635570027_280608707_n_thum

Meanwhile… we were seeing tweets and receiving texts about Monica who had apparently woken up delirious and motivated. At their van’s exchange where they had some time to rest, she decided to seek out all the vans that had tagged their van (written on the side of their van), and tag them back with a customized Chuck Norris quote.

3840_4400637010063_1190493170_n_thum

Pretty funny, eh? This van was some sort of science van (I honestly can’t remember their team name)

148983_4400636610053_2128185921_n_th

That is NOT a drawing of the state of Florida on the side of that van…

img_4245_thumb

After Bob crossed the street to meet us, he was done with his second leg. It was our van’s turn to relax. I believe we had about two hours. This is the point where we began leapfrogging with some runners skipping their assigned leg and running a leg at the same time as another teammate. (This is also the point where I may get things a little wrong because details are fuzzy…)

IMG_4256-2318331376-O_thumb3
Our van headed off in search of IHOP. I would have passed the baton onto Monica, but she chose to skip her leg and run with Brooke later on to save us time. So the next leg of the race was actually Leif’s 7 mile bridge! Andrea had chosen to run with him (are you keeping up with all this??) so it was super awesome to drive by and see both of them running strong and tackling the beast! Honestly, this bridge looked loooooong, kinda boring, and really HOT. Being on the bridge, there was NO shade or tree cover. It seems to me to be one of those runs you enjoy afterwards knowing you accomplished it.

Our van stopped at IHOP, and as usual, they were slammed. There was a wait but wasn’t too painfully long. What WAS painful was how long it took us to get waters, menus, orders, food, check etc. Half our table got their food before the other half. I ended up slamming down a few last french fries after the rest of my team had finished and paid their checks. Hooooorible service. Plus, we were worried we were running late to meet up with Van 1! Since we were leapfrogging, vans had less downtime in between.

We headed to the next exchange and traffic was hooorible. I hadn’t mentioned it yet, but Bob had driven about 98% of the time so far. In fact, Bob was so awesome, he spoiled everyone by not only coordinating the rental of van 2, but he covered the cost of the van rental and gas. Holy moly!! THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUU Bob. Seriously appreciated. So at this point, traffic on A1A was bumper to bumper. I offered to Bob that we could pull over and swap (I was in the passenger seat at this point). He said no.. I started to doze off from the heat of the sun thru the windshield.. next thing I heard was him saying.. OK yea.. Chinese Fire Drill? SURE! That snapped me out of it. (Ragnar officials, stop reading at this point but know I was wearing my safety vest!) We came to a bumper to bumper stop. He hopped out, I hopped out, and suddenly I was behind the wheel of a 15 passenger van.

We drove to the exchange for a brief restroom break. It was some sort of school, this was Adam’s final 4 mile leg. Things were kinda nutty and super busy at this leg, so I unfortunately do not have a picture of him heading out either.

IMG_4288-2318342537-O_thumb1

Stopped at one exchange and it was an adult bookstore. I should have gone inside & bought something to take advantage of the air conditioning. What’s the adult bookstore equivalent of a pack of gum, I wonder..

Next up was Roxie who had the pleasure of starting at the Adult Bookstore (I think this was her stop), then Amanda, then Melissa. This part was a blur. I don’t seem to have any photos (which really helps jog the memory).

IMG_4301-2318351715-O_thumb1

Melissa hands off to Bob who took off on his final 3.5 leg of the race

IMG_8664_thumb1

Finally it was time for my final leg. We were setup in front of a gas station. Bob came in, slapped the slimy baton on my wrist, and I headed out. I started along the highway which quickly turned residential. I kept my sanity here by running a 4/1. So I ran for 4 minutes, then quickly walked for one minute and repeated. I eventually switched to a 2/1 which had pulled me through the Subaru Half Marathon a few months prior. I was so tired at this point, I just couldn’t keep the math in my head for a 4/1. I crossed a road and switched to a 1/1. I was surprised to realize I could actually run faster on the one minute spurts that I’d been previously running. Even more, I actually wanted to run faster. I also really looked forward to each walk break. I hadn’t brought water, so I was desperately looking for the water station which was supposed to be around mile 2.5/3.

IMG_8667_thumb1

About this time the scenery had changed & I was running on the waterfront. It was beautiful.

IMG_8668_thumb1

Came across the water table finally. The guy saw me dunp a cup of water over my head. He said he had a mister & volunteered to spray me. When I walked over I realized it was one of those yard insect sprayers. Gross!! I’m praying it had never been used before. I was too polite and had too little energy to protest. He sprayed me with insecticide-water & I pressed on.

IMG_8669_thumb1

Isn’t that sunset beautiful?? After I took this shot, the route took me away from the waterfront, and back onto streets & sidewalks. I was getting pretty close. I think I was about 2 miles away from the finish line at this point.

A few times I got a little worried that I’d lost the route because there weren’t that many RAGNAR directional signs along the way. (I was just being paranoid).

IMG_8671_thumb1

Because I was getting nervous, I pulled up the Find Friends app on my phone to make sure I was running towards my teammates who were waiting at the finish line. This app was a HUUUUGE help during the entire race. Several teammates downloaded the app so we could keep track of where they were along their routes. It was a huge help.

I saw a woman standing next to Ragnar street sign that had stopped blinking. When I came up she said “246” into her walkee talkee. This meant I was close, really close! I have no idea where the “one mile left” sign was. I got a burst of energy & rounded the corner.

566325_10100339051669782_190059875_n[2]

Everyone met me on the sidewalk before the finish line & we crossed together at the same time. I’d had them bring my team shirt so I could put it on beforehand. It was great to see everyone in their team shirts as designing & printing the shirts was one of the tasks I had been assigned.

IMG_8673_thumb1

After we crossed, Stephanie did her magic at a tent & came back with our medals. Talk about heavy! And they’re bottle openers!

IMG_8666_thumb

Then we went to a cool looking restaurant on the water & got our free beers. Yuck! I’m sorry, Saltwater. I’m sure it’s typically a nice beer, but for someone that literally just finished running 6 miles, it was horrible. I didn’t want to tarnish my beer drinking reputation, so I TRIED to drink it, but it just wasn’t happening. We all decided to make our way to the hotel. I tossed my beer along the way.

Ahh we did it!!

603049_559925427369495_1155494757_n_ 318021_4894823564062_2110937958_n_th

Huge thank you to Stephanie for helping organize the team for practically a whole year. Thanks to Bob for coordinating the second van & covering those costs. Thanks to Leif for coordinating the first van. Thanks to Lindsay who coordinated the hotel deal for Thursday night in Miami and coordinated our 3 volunteers. Thanks to them for volunteering!!

Did that not seem like the LONGEST 48 hours, ever?? 

Want to read some more RAGNAR race recaps?

8 thoughts on “Ragnar: Miami to Key West Part 4

  1. Ah! I started following you on twitter around the time of the race, as I was doing it, too! I’ve been meaning to read your recaps and I’m glad I finally did! This was my first ragnar, and really first experience running any thing other than a 5k (which I haven’t done in about 5 years.) I did that 8.1 mile run…with the bridges..I’ve never run anything more than 7, and it was 2 am. YIKES. But very fun, had to jump over several drunk fisherman, so It was kind of like an obstacle course. Great recap- I’m doing Ragnar TN this October, and I’ll be doing Ragnar Keys again, as well!

    1. Ahh thank you so much for your comment and reading!

      Drunk fisherman? I have to ask the person on our team that did that leg to see if they had the same situation!

      Are you on a team for Ragnar Keys already? I’m putting together a team, and we have a few spots left. 🙂

      The Ragnar TN looks like fun! I really want to do that one too, but I’m doing a half in Indiana the weekend right before. I’m afraid both would be too much on my body and my wallet!

  2. I’m registered with a team for the 2016 Ragnar Keys. I loved your recap. Where did you stay in Key West? We are currently searching for a hotel for Sat night & possibly Sunday night. I’ve done the TN Ragnar twice, and will be running the Ragnar Trail Appalachians next month.

    1. Hey Deb! I ran Ragnar keys in 2013 and 2014. Both times we stayed at Silver Palm Inn. It’s close enough to walk to Duval Street (though not as easy after running 200 miles!). There’s plenty of parking for the vans and no extra charge. Their pool area was pretty relaxing too. Their breakfast was pretty uneventful. Basically just a snack while waiting for everyone to get ready to go to a real breakfast.

      Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions. I was the captain of our team in 2014 and planned the whole thing. (I really need to blog about that!!)

      Best of luck with your races. Ragnar Trail is my favorite. I ran Atlanta and Appalachians last year. So much fun. You’ll love it!

  3. Thanks so much! I’m sure I’ll come up with a lot of questions between now & Feb 2016. Do you have any tips/info on the trail Ragnar in WV? I’m not a trail runner at all & am super worried about that one!

    1. My biggest advice for the Ragmar Trail WV (or any of them) is to run it for fun, and don’t get too hung up on your time. Some of the courses are fairly difficult or exhausting, so you’re time may be a bit slower. I had a huge rainstorm right before I went, and mine turned into a big mudrun. It was slip and slide almost the whole way. Two of my teammates ran with me which the race was fine with. It made it a lot more fun and less grueling.

      If it’s at the same place we were last time (and I image it is), try and setup camp close to the portalets but not too close you hear the doors slam the whole time. That noise drives me cra-zy. The area is one big long campsite area, so setup close enough that it doesn’t take too long to walk to the race start, yet far enough away we didn’t hear everything that was going on.

      Be prepared for cold water showers (though it’s nice they actually have showers). Bring your own food. The food for sale isn’t that great. Bring food you would normally want to eat. Don’t try and go uber healthy or eat something you typically don’t like. You still won’t like it.

      Brace yourself. There will be absolutely no cell service. Bring music on an ipod or download it to your phone and put your phone in airplane mode to conserve the battery. Make a second playlist of relaxing music. It can be a bit loud if you wish to take a nap or zone out. Bring extra comforters/blankets. Last year it got REALLY cold at night and we were pretty cold in our tents.

      Those are some of the things I can remember from last year!

  4. Thanks so much for your help! One more question: How strict is Ragnar on the size of each team’s campsite? It seems like we are taking a ton of stuff; I don’t want to get there & not have room for it all. Also, how much water did your team take?

    Btw, we booked a room at Silver Palms in Key West for post race Ragnar FlaKeys. Thanks for the info.

    Deb

    1. Both Ragnar Trails events were really laid back. The WVG one was a much smaller space but still manageable. I had a 3 person tent for me. We also had a 10×10 pop up tent for everyone to sit under.

      I didn’t bring any water for trails. I just brought a water bottle. They have free water available on-site and it tasted fine in both locations. Sometimes I would put a smidge of Nuun in it for a little flavor. For regular Ragnar, I think we had 3 cases of water. The good thing is, you can always stop and get more along the way.

      I’m glad to hear you booked Silver Palms!

I would love to hear your thoughts! Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s