Thursday, July 29, 2010


Our day started off early. 3 a.m. The fact that we didn't get to sleep until midnight didn't help when the alarm went off. But we jumped out of bed, shaking off the sleep and began to get ready for this newest of adventures.

We excitedly piled our stuff into the big blue van, decorated with the name of our vanmates and team name.

As we drove around picking up members of the team, you could
feel the anticipation of those of us who were first timers, and the more relaxed feelings eminating off of those who were veterans.

We left Maple Valley with the sun still down, trying to get comfortable for the long drive.

The sun had risen as we pulled into the parking lot near the starting line.

The amount of cars and people milling around surprised me, I don't know why. Somewhere in my head I was sure we were the only ones crazy enough to be doing this.

But I was one of 24 people on two different teams. Obviously crazy runs rampant in Maple Valley, so why not other parts of the state and country.

We posed as a team, and I began to feel the onset of what would afflict me the whole race. The feeling of either extreme hunger or an extreme upset stomach. It began to be hard to tell the difference between the two.

My first leg was 4.1 miles around 11:30 in the morning. The sun beat down on me, and I literally felt that my body was going to explode from the heat. At one point I ran by a sprinkler and stopped briefly to run through it, hoping it would cool down my ever reddening skin.

My teammate Brett, passing the slap bracelet. Batons are so 1980's.

The best thing about running was my van mates. They would drive ahead about a mile and a half and wait with water and cheer me on. A lot of WOOHOO-ing and clapping and screaming my name. It kept me going when I thought I might die.

We did this for every member of our van.

Elise handing water to Lisa.

Laura taking the bracelet from Lisa. (sorry this is of your backside Laura, you look great!)

Just to help you understand (cuz I didn't understand until I was actually there), we have a team of 12. The first six in van 1 run the first 6 legs, or sections of course. We started at 8:30 a.m. and got done around 2:30 which is when runners 6-12 in van 2 took over. They run from 2:30 to about 7:30. In the mean time we have gone and eaten, showered and tried to take a quick nap at the hotel.

Then it's back to running.

This is Elise, kicking rear. She's really good at that.

She passed the bracelet to Jeff who ran as the sun was setting.

My next leg was also 4.1 miles. I started around 9:10 and came into the switch point around 10. (yes, I run REALLY slow, so what)

Our van finished around midnight. Which is when van 2 started their second leg.
We did this until 2:30 the next afternoon, running a total of 187.9 miles from Blaine, Wa near the Canadian border, down to Whidbey Island. By my final leg I had slept about 5 hours in two days and ran 11.2 miles in less than 24 hours.

My legs were shot, I was tired physically and emotionally, and as I leaned against the van to stretch when I was completely done, I broke down and cried.
I can't really explain it, it just felt right to let it all go.

This was without a doubt, the hardest thing physically I have ever done. I went into it not understanding how hard it is to run that much, on no sleep, up steep hills and alongside roads with little or no shoulder.

I couldn't walk well for a day or so, and it took me that long to feel well rested again. But would I do it again? You betcha.

I am witness to the fact that you can do anything you put your mind to.

I am not an athlete. I am still struggling with the baby weight from Nora. But I am not a quitter. And my mind got me through to the end almost more than my body did.

I put our Ragnar sticker on the back of our van and just stood back and looked at it. Proud of myself, proud of Jeff and proud of the amazing people I ran with and got to know better.
(You don't really know someone until you've sat next to them all sweaty and tired)

I watched these people that I normally see at church, herding their children, teaching lessons, looking cool and lovely in their Sunday clothes, dig in and tackle something difficult, sweaty and uphill.

And it was an honor. Truly.


  1. Great summary of the race Amy. I had a blast getting to know you and Jeff. We had such a great van full of people!

  2. So. Freakin'. Cool. I'm proud of you! I have never heard of it actually... just checked the website out, and think I'd like to do it next year! I've been riding my bike a lot lately and plan to get back into running. This will be a fun goal for me :) Way to go!

  3. I'm in tears reading your entry! I'm so, so glad that you were able to run this year. I know how hard it has been not to quit when you rolled your ankle twice! You are incredibly strong to never quit! I don't think I would be that strong! You are such an inspiration to me! Thank you!

  4. How fantastic! You must all be so proud of your accomplishments. I've never done a relay, but it sure looks/sounds amazing. I hope your legs are healing up. Won't be long and you'll be training for next time!

  5. Amy it was so fun to read your experience. you truly inspire me. You were amazing out there and to think of your road getting to Ragnar... you should be most proud of your performance. I just wish we could have ran together more...Thanks for keeping me going on that first run:)

  6. I hadn't looked at this page until today. I'm so glad you posted your experience with Ragnar. Not only will you be happy that you did,...but we are too since we all felt a lot of the same emotions during the duration of the race. You are marvelous Amy! You are one stubborn lady and I love ya for it. I'm psyched to see you next year.


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