That is how I feel about the Ragnar.
Preparing and running the Wasatch Back was a life changing experience for me. I will never again be the same, and I am so happy to have had this chance to change my lifestyle for the better. As I was reading through the "Ragmag" I read about Jim Tschabrun, the man that streamlines the Wasatch Back logistics. He said what I was thinking exactly when he wrote, "I love being able to see all of the runners on race day, to watch the camaraderie, the effort, the fatigue, the hilarity, the humanity and kindness, the competitiveness, the shattered obstacles -- it's really a chance to see the fruits of your labors."
It was heart wrenching to see some of those people out there, who were obviously not runners, pushing it up that hill and working their guts out to be able to accomplish the goal they set for themselves. When they reached it, the whole exchange would celebrate with them because they earned their glory.
21.2 miles after I began, I earned mine. Finishing with an average of an 8 min 55 second mile, I have never been so proud of myself for accomplishing a goal. I've literally run my butt off for 6 months, and it was excruciatingly wonderful to slap that bracelet onto the next runner, my friend and running partner Audra Thomas, for the last time.
Van #1 of Footloose Friends ready to go: Kelleen Potter, Marissa Hermanson, Mindy Kohler, Cindy Judd, Amy Nicoll, Audra Thomas
I was a landmark for people on the first leg- ("Our runner is just after that girl in the pink socks!")
The nerves. They were eating me alive.
Audra- runner #2- coming over the top of her first climb. Mindy- runner #3- passing the bracelet to Kelleen- runner #4- at their first exchange.Cindy- runner #5- finishing up the nasty climb up Avon Pass.
Marissa- runner #6- making the descent into Ogden Valley. Seeing members from Van #2 at the first major exchange. Katie Nelson- runner #11, and Darcy Haas- runner #10 (the "Ragnar" leg) and our team captain. Meeting up with team Icy Hot that had a few of my cousins as well as my baby brother Clay. Pictured here are Joy Boaz and Laura McAllister at Snow Basin. Ragnar Cheerleaders Leslee and Kenny Wilson. (Behind every good runner is an even better support system). He's just so cute!
A lady in the line for the Honey Buckets at Snow Basin commented on how skinny we were. It's true. It must be in the genes. Trying to drown out the jitters in tunes before leg #2- the descent down Trapper's Loop. I was right to be nervous about it. It slapped me around, and I screamed at it when I wrapped it up- "Make it stop! Make it stop!" Dallas brought the kids up to Kamas to see me finish leg #3 from Oakley to Kamas. I've never been so happy to see their faces. This is Laura after she finished her last leg from Francis up to the top of Jordanelle. It's a nasty leg if it isn't your last one. She rocked it and was emotionally spent at the end. We all were.
Kim Wilson, Laura and Tyler McAllisterOur van; it was bright and colorful at the beginning, but was faded with sun and heat and dirt by the end. Just like us. Finished! Here we are at our final exchange. Cleaned up and headed up the gondola to The Canyon's Resort in Park City where we would be there to greet the rest of our team. Amazing what a shower can do for your spirits.
Running to the finish with Carissa Pugmire- runner #12- in the lead.