Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ragnar Wasatch Back, Ultra Style

Ragnar Wasatch Back is a 196.5 mile race from Logan to Park City, Utah. It is typically done with 12 runners and 2 support vehicles. If you're a little crazy, you can do it "Ultra" style and cover the same course with 6 runners, 1 support vehicle and practically 0 sleep.
We got it done with Six!
My sister-in-law Holly, asked me over a month ago if I would be interested in running this race. I was hesitant because the other 5 runners are so much faster and more experienced than me. I've worked so hard building my self-confidence as a runner (and overall person) over the past 2 years, but I worried I would be the "slow one" that held every one up. I'm so glad I didn't let this insecurity keep me from participating. I was the "slowest", but I never was made to feel that way. We each celebrated our personal victories, and I felt so supported and built up by every one on the team. This was an inspiring, humbling and fun, growing experience!
One take away from this experience: 
"Never let your fears dictate your success. Have faith in yourself- not that you will be victorious, but that you will walk away stronger, smarter and more courageous."
Here were the distances:
I ran as runners 7 and 8 for a total of 26.4 miles.
Leg 1- 7.3 miles- in the early afternoon on Friday
Leg 2- 9.6 miles- at 12:30(ish) am on Saturday
Leg 3- 9.6 miles-in the late afternoon on Saturday

Starting line. Holly was up first!
 Pro Compression gifted us our team, so we had to get a picture with their sign. I LOVE my Pro Compression marathon socks, calf sleeves, and low socks. I recover in them and run in them.
 Here is the big ol' Suburban that hauled us around. I had a love/hate relationship with that smelly beast. :)
I snapped this picture while waiting to run my first leg. I was so nervous and excited. I took off way too fast, and knew it, but was having way too much fun to care.
I think this smile never left my face during that first run. 
 Beautiful scenery at the top of Avon Pass
I don't have any pictures from my 2nd and favorite run because it was in the middle of the night. I pushed so hard and had no regrets. I ran up and down Hog Back Summit. It was a moderate climb of 662 feet in 3.5 miles. After this run I "slept" for 2-3 hours in the cramped back seat of the Suburban. That was the only sleep I got. This was probably the most comical part of the experience, but apparently what happens in the Suburban stays in the Suburban, so I won't elaborate. #yep He He He. :)

The beautiful and strong Julia enjoying her pasta and Red Bull breakfast on Saturday morning.
During one of Stephanie's legs, Jorge (a licensed massage therapist) was working on Holly's back and they got quite a few weird looks, and even a honk, from cars passing by. It did look pretty funny.
  Don't we all look so official with our Ragnar jackets?
 The scenery was so beautiful the entire time!
 I love this picture of Jorge, with the sky and road behind him.
 Waiting for Holly to pass by. It was so fun to see her run!
Waiting at the top of "Ragnar Hill" (3266 feet of elevation gain over 8.4 miles) for Jorge to make it to the top.
 Here he comes! He did so amazing!

 Steph, Holly and I, wearing our cute RYR shirts that Utah Run hooked us up with. 
Josh did the final 2 crazy hard legs. He did great. It was really warm and he had some steep climbing and descending, as well as a narly trail run up and down a mountain at the very end. Here's an action shot of him.
 We finally made it to the finish and it was quite fun to all run across the finish line after such a long journey. We stopped and visited the Pro Compression booth and got to talk with the cute Susette.
Julia had to leave after her last leg, so she's not in the "After" picture, but here we are, basking in all the good feelings of being DONE!

I'm so grateful for this experience. I hope we can all push ourselves out of our comfort zones, so that we can more fully enjoy the adventures life has to offer. I'll end with this quote (not sure where I read it):
"Comparison is the thief of joy."

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