So Van 1 made it to Exchange 12, took showers, naps, and waited around for Van 2. As we hung out Van 2 texted us updates and when Runner 12 headed out for his leg, they let us know to expect him at 6:30pm, 45 minutes ahead of our pace calculator. Everyone, but me, had been exactly at pace or ahead of the pace calculator…I had something to prove on my upcoming leg.
I had also discovered kills. Yes, you read that right kills. If you’ve done a Ragnar then you know what I’m talking about. Don’t worry, nothing actually gets killed…well, maybe some pride, because a kill is when you pass someone while you’re running your leg.
Anyways, I had discovered kills and realized that some people on our teams were racking up kills and I had so far made just 1 kill and I’m sure she would have passed me again, had she not fallen on the trail and thus decided to stick behind me in the pace line to avoid future tumbles…and could I really count someone falling (no worries she wasn’t hurt and I stopped to check on her) as a real kill? No. I wanted to pass someone due to my own speediness!
So my goal for lucky Leg 13 became to run faster than my pace calculator projected and to make some kills. At exactly 6:30pm, Matt showed up at the exchange. I was ready to go!
It was still sunny, but night-time running hours started at 6:30pm, so I was also wearing the required vest, headlamp and flashing lights.
I headed out of the exchange with all 11 Team Together We Tri members cheering me on…that is a cool part of being Runner 1 and Runner 6, your exchange always has all runners there to support you!
Leg 14 was a 4.7 mile run and the profile showed that it was an overall downhill run with a few little hills. I don’t know if it was the the overall downhill grade, the motivation to cut minutes off my estimated time or the desire to kill (it feels so weird to write that!), but I crushed the estimated time, running a steady 9 minute/mile pace the entire time.
The run was through a little town, then you crossed the street and ran on an interstate all the way to the next exchange. It was beautiful to run as the sun was setting and as I reached the top of the hills I could see nature all around me. I kind of wished I had stopped to take a picture, but I caught sight of a few runners ahead of me and made it my mission to record at least 2 kills. I almost got to a 3rd kill, but she made it to the exchange right before I could pass her.
My teammates were waiting at the exchange, surprised at how fast I ran (it was 2-weeks post-Ironman so I had estimated 10:15 pace). Runner 2 went off on her leg and we headed out to cheer her on.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the race:
A van, a flag (you get 2 of them and need to carry them whenever you cross the street), the vests, funky headware, headlamps and the 4 Van 1 boys showing some love to our runner. That’s really what Ragnar is all about!
As we headed to the next exchange, it became dark. Our nighttime running had begun and Pablo was pumped to go!
He headed off on his run and we knew we had no time to stop, because even though Pablo said he was going to run “easy,” I don’t think he know what that means! Runner 4 went on his way and we gave him some low-level cheers and cowbell a few times along the route as to not bother the locals. Runner 5 had a long leg, in the dead of the night. He had never run at night, so we made plans to check-in with him a few times along the route.
We met up with a few other vans at safe stopping points and cheered with inside voices. He was keeping a good pace, so we stopped one more time to cheer, handed him hydration a couple of other than headed to the exchange.
The next exchange was rowdy and I felt bad for the owners of the house across the street from us. One of the other vans had pizza and I realized how hungry I was. Runner 6 headed off on his second leg, a big hill, with the reward of the Creamery which was serving burgers and milkshakes on the other side. We headed to the creamery to meet up with Van 2 and wait for our last runner.
It was close to midnight, but nothing sounded better than a burger and milkshake!