Wednesday, January 12, 2011

RAGNAR: day two

After a big plate of pasta and a too-large piece of cake, we grabbed a restful four hours of sleep in the van. On waking, my stomach felt quite full, a little too full. I debated, should I get up and move around to try and improve the situation, or stay prone and try to grab another 30 minutes of sleep? Eventually, other team members decided to get up so I did the same. Unfortunately, my stomach my dinner continued to argue and ultimately my stomach won the argument, kicking the dinner out to the curb. Additionally unfortunate was the fact that I was supposed to run first, for 9 miles down US 1 on Islamorada. Unable to step up to my duties, Shannon covered my leg and I tried to sleep and recover for the rest of the race. When I eventually woke again, I was greeted with this sight, which unfortunately could have been my view during my run.

Sunrise over the middle keys
I kept some water down and waited my chance to pay Shannon back by running a leg for him. Eventually I took over a similar length leg and rested for my last leg in the third rotation.

Hydrating before moving on to the next exchange
We ran the 191 miles using 11 people. Several teams did the race as an ultra, using 6 or less. Two men, however, did the race alone, all 191 miles from Miami to Key West. One did it to raise awareness of childhood obesity and one did it to raise money for a child with cancer, each took about 70 hours to complete the race. I can only imagine how sapped they might have felt at the end of the race. While we still had some energy towards the end, the coordination did fall off a little bit.

Due to our late start and despite a moderately good pace, we were behind by a couple of hours when we were expected to make our last exchange. We discussed our options with the race staff and ended up deciding to use the honor system to track our times, which would become unofficial. The benefit is that we could go ahead with our final legs and cross the finish line at a reasonable time. Unfortunately, this meant I would start my last leg of the race about 2-3 hours early. Should not have been a problem except that my GI transit had not really improved  and I had just downed Gatorade, water, and a protein smoothie. Anyway, my leg was a short 3.5 mile run/walk and I will just say that I was glad to be done with it. We shuffled quickly through the last legs and came across the very last "one mile to go" marker very nearby the Southernmost Buoy.  

Finally, one mile to go
I ran the last mile in, making my total mileage about 23 miles over two days. Afterwards, my legs felt okay, but it took a while longer for me to be able to enjoy some of the great food options in Key West. Thanks to Team Sox on the Beach, I had a great time. We finished 124 of 291 overall and 58 of 141 in our open mixed division, in 29:50:27.

Still standing and proof that the reflective vests work

Yes, the medal is also a bottle opener

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