Monday, January 7, 2013

Ragnar Relay Florida Keys, Part 2


(...continued)
In the morning, we drove to the next major exchange point for Van 2 to hand-off the bracelet to us. Because of the issues they were having, it didn’t look like John would hand off the bracelet to me until much later than anticipated; and I was worried we weren’t going to finish the race before the cut-off time.

We called the Ragnar officials, and asked them about our options. They told us that we could have Van 1 start before Van 2 was done running, and we just had to keep track of our leg times so that we could still have an official time at the end. That way, all of the legs would still be run, but we would finish earlier. We decided that John (runner 12, the last runner in Van 2) would start his leg as normal, but when he started, I would start the next leg at the same time to get Van 1 rolling again. Hard to explain, but it worked out.

I started my third and final leg at around 9:15 a.m. It was only three miles, and Angela strapped a camera to my head to wear during the run.

Since it was only three miles, and it was my final leg, I decided to push my pace, even though I was tired. I ended up passing a couple of guys, one of whom said, “You’re making me look bad!”

It was extremely humid (once again), but the course was easy and I finished my last leg with an 8:42 pace. 

We went to McDonald’s to use the bathroom and get some coffee and hang out for a few minutes before going over the 7-Mile Bridge to the next exchange point.The bridge was really cool, and I've never seen anything like it; but I certainly didn't envy Meredith for running it, because it was SO hot and humid, and that was an "unsupported" leg (meaning vans are not allowed to stop to support runners, and there were no water stops, so she had to carry water with her).

While we were waiting for Lealah to finish her long (very, very hot) leg, Angela interviewed us--just a couple of quick questions about the race itself.
Behind the scenes with Andrea's interview
I was SO happy to be done with my runs! I wasn’t “allowed” to change out of my sweaty clothes just yet, though, because the Today Show wanted to interview us at the finish line. I used baby wipes to clean up the best I could, but I still felt gross. We went to the next major exchange point to hand off to Van 2. Jennifer was the first runner in Van 2, and since she'd had a bad run the night before, we wanted to give her extra support.

It was so amazing. I can't even talk or write about this without crying. We all wanted Jennifer to have an amazing run, and gain some confidence back, so all 11 of us went to cheer for her at the exchange point. We were chanting her name as it was time for her to start, and I just felt this amazing love for all of my team! They are SO supportive.

After that, I just relaxed in the van until it was time for us to drive all the way to the finish line while Van 2 did their third legs. When we arrived at the finish line, we parked the van and went over to where the Today Show was set up. I met Kerry Sanders, who would be interviewing me. He was very sweet. I felt a little rushed during the interview, and I’m not so sure it sounded okay, but at that point, I just didn’t care! I was way too excited to be at the after party. 

After Rik and Ada were interviewed, we finally got to go party! First, we went to the Ragnar shop, because I wanted to get a shirt or two. The hoodies were really picked over—they had all XXL’s, and two XS’s—nothing in-between. I tried on the XS, and it actually fit, so I got a hoodie; I also got a t-shirt. It was hard to choose, because I wanted everything!

Then we sat down on the beach with the spouses, and we had a couple of rounds of drinks while we waited for Van 2. I had a mojito, which I’d been craving ever since we talked of Ragnar Florida Keys.
Ada, Andrea, and me
Finally, at around 7:00, we went to the finish line to wait for John. He was runner 12, the last one, and when he came down the street, our entire team joined him. We all grabbed hands and slowly ran the last couple hundred yards or so together.

I can’t even describe how amazing it was to cross the finish line with my team! We all started hugging (and crying) and I just felt this amazing sense of camaradarie. I love all of them so much, and they made this experience amazing. Rik handed out our medals, we did some more hugging.



I don't know what our "official" finish time is, but it was about 38 hours. We had been told by The Today Show that they were going to do some photos of the team on the beach after the race, so we had to do that before anything else. But when it came time, they only wanted Rik, Ada, Carly, and me to go. I was really upset by that, because I wanted it to be the whole team. Maybe it was the drinks, maybe it was the emotional finish, maybe both, but I started crying and I just said I didn’t want to go without the whole team.

My team was fantastic about it, though, and they kept telling me to go, that it was ridiculous for me not to and that I had to “represent” all of our stories. So I ended up going, but my eyes and nose were all red from crying, so I can’t even imagine what it’s going to look like.
They just had me stand there while they moved the camera all around
When we were done with that, we dropped Ada off at her hotel, and then we went back to the finish line party (which was overwith by that point). John said he wanted to go out and I really did too, so John, Jerry, and I went to a bar/restaurant for some dinner and drinks. I tried tuna steak for the first time in my life, and it was pretty good. I liked it a lot more than I thought I would.

On Facebook recently, we were talking about how we should treat ourselves better; that we deserve to do nice things for ourselves (inspired by this post from Jennifer). John said (on Facebook), “When we get to Key West, we should all order a top shelf drink”. I jokingly said, “Sure John, if you’re buying!” So I wanted to buy John a top shelf drink, but he ended up beating me to it, and bought me a top shelf margarita (which was fantastic!)
The restaurant kicked us out at around 11. I was tired and planned to go back to the hotel, but when we got down to the street, John saw a bar that he wanted to get a drink from. It didn’t take more than a “Come on!” from John to talk me into it ;)  So we sat and had a beer on the street.

Notice the words right above John's head ;)
Duval Street in Key West is… well, an experience in itself. It was so much fun to people watch! The crowd was very interesting, which is the only way I can really describe it. John got a cab back to his hotel at around 1, and Jerry and I walked back to our hotel (about a mile away). I took a shower (finally!! I had two days worth of sweat and grime on me) and then crashed in bed.

The Ragnar was AMAZING! I will write more about my thoughts on the whole thing later; for now, I'm living it up in Key West! 

28 comments:

  1. Your team sounds so amazing. It's rare to meet one person and get that kind of support, but the fact that there were 12 of you all supporting each other is fabulous. Congrats on getting through the Ragnar.

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  2. Congratulations!!!

    Your posts are definitely inspiring me to get a team together for later this year - I've already checked out Vegas and Napa! Or 2014 (probably the latter for planning purposes!).

    Your team is amazing; all of that love and support for one another is something I'd guess not all the teams had. Your team really seemed to show the true meaning of what it means to be a team! I can't wait to watch the documentary and the Today segment!

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  3. Congrat's to you and your team!! What an accomplishment! Can't wait to watch you guys on the Today show!!

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  4. I loved reading the recap. When I read about you guys crossing the finish line together it literally brought tears to my eyes! What a great experience for you all. :) Thanks for sharing it with all of us!

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  5. It sounds like such an amazing experience - something you'll never forget! Glad you had (are having) such a great time. You deserve it!

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  6. Sounds like an amazing experience Katie. Thanks for sharing it with us. I can't even imagine the sense of camaraderie you had with your teammates, that must have been wonderful! I can't believe an XS hoodie fit! That in itself is amazing and a testament to what running and clean eating can do to a body. When I see a size XS in the stores, I think, "Who is SMALL enough to wear something that little?" And now I know who is! YOU!!!

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  7. It sounds like an amazing experience. Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

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  8. Congratulations! I'm so glad you had this opportunity and are enjoying it!

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  9. Congratulations! Can't wait to see it all on the Today Show.

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  10. Congratulations Katie! I can't wait to see you on the Today Show! Enjoy Key West, it is one of my favorite places. Don't miss the sunset party, and try not to eat too many chocolate dipped key lime pie slices!

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  11. So proud of you and your team!!!! Well done Katie :)

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  12. Congrats Katie! Live it up in The Keys, you deserve it. :)

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  13. Congrats to you and your teammates!

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  14. I loved reading this - I thought about you and your team all weekend! Congrats to you and your team mates, I am teary reading this - I can feel your excitement and emotions through your wonderful writing! (and as a side note, you really do have a gift for writing... among other things!). Love your blog, you are so inspiring (and adorable to boot)!

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  15. Looks like an amazing time! So happy you enjoyed it.
    I ran Ragnar earlier this yr as an Ultra team of 6 gals... and remember it a pure hell. lol

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  16. So glad you had such a good time! Congrats to your whole team!

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  17. Congrats! you should be so proud!!! I can't wait to see the segment on the Today Show. I enjoyed the pics and updates on FB as well. This is very inspiring! I started running a year ago this month. I completed my goal of running a 5K by running three of them. :) Then I had hip surgery in Dec. You are totally making me want to RUN!!!! I hope my hip recovers well enough that I can run. I'd like to do a half. Again - WAY TO GO!!!!!! I can't tell you how inspiring this is.

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  18. I am SO proud of you. Congratulations.

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  19. Words can't describe how special, wonderful and amazing this all was - I couldn't thank you more for the love and support from you and the team when I needed it most.

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  20. Reading this literally made me tear up!! I'm so excited for you that it was everything you'd hoped it would be. The way you supported your team, and the way they supported you, is inspirational. Way to go team!!!

    Bridgette

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  21. Congratulations Katie! You are one of my greatest inspirations and your blog has motivated me so much! So proud of you!!

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  22. Great post!! I'm so glad you had such a blast!!

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  23. Amazing! So proud of you! Enjoy Key West, you deserve it!

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  24. Loved that last picture with your pillow! You look so content and happy. Congratulations on all of your hard work!! Enjoy your time there.

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  25. I'm tearing up just reading this! It sounds like an awesome, incredible, and fun journey. Wow. You guys are so inspiring. Congrats to you all :)

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  26. Congratulations to you all! You are amazing - I didn't quite understand just how long and draining a race it would be till you wrote about it - you should all be so extremely proud of yourselves!

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  27. Congrats! You should be really proud. Looks so much fun too.

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  28. I heart you, Katie! So glad you're writing these race reports. Couldn't have imagined a better time and I'm so glad we were able to meet!

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