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.
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.
|Ada, Andrea, and me|
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 ;)|
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!