North Cal Ragnar Part 2

I didn’t intend to leave you guys hanging this long between my Ragnar recaps, but my internet service provider has been failing me big time and I’ve lost my first two attempted posts before I had a chance to save them.  We had a technician come out yesterday and he found a broken wire underground, so he laid new cables and replaced the original so maybe we’ll have better luck now.   {Finger’s crossed}

If you haven’t caught up on the first legs, you can read about them here.  

So without further ado….here you go….





NorthCal Ragnar Major Exchange Photo   

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  I think the high was right around 80.  It was gorgeous and sunny, so much so, that I sustained a little sunburn while I was laid out on my sleeping bag resting in the grass.  Oh well…..

While we were gathered resting at the exchange, one of our runners, who is a PT, introduced me to Biofreeze 360.  It’s a spray version of my favorite post-run regiment and it totally kicks butt!  I sprayed down my legs and jumped back into the van and readied myself for our second legs.  

G was up first.  

We all began fueling and hydration again, preparing ourselves for our night ahead.  I took my seat on the front bench of the van and kept my focus on the drive and supporting my fellow runners.  We made a few stops to support our runner along his way.  

IMG_2306Had time for a little playing around, so we took some silly photos with the boys waiting at the support stop.    


Marci was after G.  This is my girl so I cheered her on full throttle.  

Northcal Ragnar MrciGO MARCI GO!!!  She had a nice little hill ahead and we needed to be there for her when she hit us for the van support.  I was ready for her!!! We did what we do best, when it was time to do it, but then we were back to the van and back on course to the next exchange.  

Northcal Ragnar van

IMG_2404_RagnarNorthCalWe gave her a little high five as she came in to the exchange.  Nick  was in the chute waiting for the handoff  soon enough and then it was back to the road for more support for our teammates.  

On one of Nick’s support stops, we remember a girl tailing slightly behind him as we made our way over to the shoulder of the roadside.  Once he noticed us, he hurried over to grab some water and stop for a few seconds to chat.  While he was waiting with us, the girl from behind “killed” him and alluded to the fact that he was her first official kill.  We joked briefly with him and her before he set back out on course and yelled to the girl that he was coming back from the dead to kill her.  

We were all cheering and laughing from the van as Nick blew past her.  Bless her heart….. she was a good sport for taking it so well.  

IMG_2425IMG_2419Back to the van we went and on to the next exchange…… Austin was up next

Now, I know from my first Ragnar that not every runner is ready and waiting in the exchange chutes when the “active” runner enters for an exchange.  And  we have come to accept that it’s just part of the race.  Sometimes you get lost, sometimes your next runner is still in the port-o-let, sometimes you’re just not dressed and ready, which in the case of our dear Austin, was the situation when Nick came through at exchange 15.  

And let me just say once again how much I appreciate all the volunteers that come out for these relays, we would not be able to do this without you.  However, the individual at this particular exchange was not very pleasant about Austin running late for our handoff.  OMG!  She was yelling her head off at us!  We got a little bit of a laugh out of it once it was all over with, but golly gee, was she upset that we weren’t ready for our exchange.    She actually mentioned to Nick, while he was waiting at the chute, that she thought he should be mad at his teammate for not being ready on time.  

{This was the same thing that happened to me during my night run through the everglades for the Key West Ragnar – In my instance, Jimmy was in the port-o-let}

Onward we go!

Being runner 6 is definitely fun, when you’re up and running, but the anticipation was killing me.  I was getting antsy watching everybody…  Being cooped up in the van was tough, so I got out whenever I could and walked around; that, and I had to pee a hundred times in between the exchanges.  

When you’re on a Ragnar relay, or any race course for that matter, you learn to embrace the port-o-let.     One of the good things about our early start time  for this race, was that we were some of the first people to use the port-o-lets along the course.  We literally had to unlock a whole aisle of port-o-lets at a few exchange points because we were only slightly behind the Ragnar crew.  But the nice part was that they still smelled purdy and had plenty of T.P.  

{Small Victories}  

Dusk was closing in on us and the temperature began to drop so I decided to get dressed and begin gearing up for my leg.  I decided to dress in my lululemon Run Inspire crops and a Run Swifty racerback tank.  I pulled on my Brooks running jacket and my new purple Procompression socks.  Of course, I went ahead and donned my yellow reflective vest, as to not forget it like our van mate did for his first leg.  

We stopped to take a few more pictures at a church along the side at one of the exchange points.  

IMG_2435 IMG_2434


Austin finished up his 8 miles and handed off to Matt and then we headed off to the first support stop to wait for him.



Northcal Ragnar Austin to Matt

We parked off the roadside at a feed store and waited for him. Soon enough, we spotted Matt coming from down the road and began yelling and hooting at him.  This was his longest leg of the relay and we knew he was happy to see the familiar faces during such a lonely stretch of the course.  We handed off some water or gatorade to him and then he was back out on the road by his lonesome self.  I got a little anxious thinking about my leg up next.  We stopped once more to offer support, then we drove to the next exchange which was located near a shopping plaza.  I needed to pee again, so I went inside the store to empty the tank and grab some chocolate milk for an after race fueling.  {Chocolate milk is my all time favorite post run treat}   I threw those in the cooler and began walking to the chute.  

While waiting for Matt, I overheard a few people talking about the previous leg for runner 6.  A gal was debating with a teammate about how difficult the directions were for her to understand.  I chimed in, like I always do, and agreed with her.  I was still a little salty about how poorly the directional signs were placed for my first leg.  We bonded over our mutual agreement, exchanged names, her name was Sheraton, and chatted briefly about our encounters but then I heard my number called over the megaphone so I said goodbye  and got ready to take off.  As I was hustling over to meet Matt with the slap bracelet, Sheraton called out to me that she was coming for me….. so right then and there, I made the decision to absolutely not let her pass me.    

Once I turned the corner and was alone out on the road, I settled in for what would be a fun little run in the rain.  I had just under 6 miles to go to the next exchange, and my team said they’d meet me every two miles for water, so I felt safe and secure.  I wasn’t too worried about the darkness anymore, because as it turned out, I was running through a pretty populated part of Santa Rosa.  There were neighborhoods and strip malls all around me.  Never did I feel like I was vulnerable to wildlife or any other elements; if anything, I was more concerned about the directional signs again.  I even called my husband twice during my run because I wanted to make sure I was on course.  The one thing that I wasn’t prepared for along this course was the stop lights.  I have never had to deal with this many stop lights along a course before, and I seemed to have the dumb luck to hit every single one on my path.  So this is how Sheraton caught up to me.  

Right around mile 2, when I slowed down to take water from my van mates, I heard her yelling from behind me.  I glanced back behind me and decided water wasn’t as important as a negative kill.  I took a couple quick sips from the water bottle and then jetted off the sidewalk before she could catch up.  It was like the most fun game of cat and mouse ever.   I found it extremely motivating to have her so close on my tail.  After the initial stop for water, she caught up to me again at a series of cross walks where I got stuck waiting for a green light, but I will emphasize again, that she never passed me.  She was hot on my trail a few times, but I proved to be the speedier one every time.  

By the end of my fourth mile, the bottom had dropped out and I could hardly see in front of me past the rain pellets.  It was right around 9:00pm so it was completely black out.  The only light I had for visibility was shining from on top of my head, and even that only illuminated the pelting rain falling directly in front of me.  We were running from sidewalk to sidewalk mostly, but towards the end of the fifth mile, the sidewalk had become extremely narrow and hard to see.  I really struggled to find my footing a few times.  Between the rain, limited visibility and the crosswalks, my time was definitely hindered from my anticipated pace.  Nike_Map_Leg-2


As you can tell from my splits, I was all over the place with my speed.  When it comes to a Ragnar Relay, there’s no way to predict which elements you’ll be dealing with come your legs.  It’s just all about trying to embrace it and having a good time.  And it was.  This was definitely my most enjoyable leg of the race.  Rain and all, I had a blast this go round.  

{I even made friends with Sheraton. We exchanged numbers a couple days later at the airport when we were both delayed on the same flight – more on that later.}  

On the final stretch into the exchange, I pushed hard to make a few kills before handing off the slap bracelet  to Rhett.  It felt really good to finish strong despite my setbacks.  I met back up with my team and headed to the van to stretch and figure out where we were headed to rest up.  After a quick pow-wow with the crew, we decided to head over to a nearby hotel to shower and catch some Zzzz’s.


We booked a two room suite and everyone got to shower and change into clean dry clothes.  Most of us even got to sleep in a bed.  =)  

To be continued………

Hey there! Thanks for stopping by my little space on the web. I'm Haley. I’m a digital marketer & social media strategist, a running coach, compulsive movie quoter, wannabe photographer, Capricorn, and a slightly sarcastic, ultra chatty extrovert living in Tampa with my awesome family. I love spending my time helping folks find their best self through fitness, health and wellness. I strive to help you live your best life, and enjoy the journey. Sometimes I write. It’s rarely worth reading, but I like to put it out there anyways.

    Find more about me on:
  • facebook
  • googleplus
  • linkedin
  • pinterest
  • twitter

3 thoughts on “North Cal Ragnar Part 2”

  1. I haven’t done a Ragnar, but I did a relay across the state of Iowa this summer and it was the BEST experience! So much fun. I love reading relay recaps!! Looks like you had a great time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.