Let’s take a moment to rewind. Ragnar wasn’t exactly on my list of To-Do’s this year, that is, not until I went to the Huddle House with the family on November 13th. I noticed his this guy’s hat (something only a runner would wear) and started asking him a series of questions. I didn’t find out until later that he had a difficult time hearing, but he figured I was talking about running so when his wife, Liza, came and sat down we struck up a conversation. I also found out that Marshall had volunteered at a race, thus the hat :).
Here’s how the conversation went:
Liza: You run?
Me: Yes I do. I run ultras.
Liza: No way! So, are you busy this weekend?
Me: I don’t think so…
Liza: Want to run in the Ragnar Relay?
And that is how a friendship is born.
We started at 9am. First up was Liza, she was cruisin’ in her Vibrams then Carlos who was a real trooper since he doesn’t run. He did awesome thought. Then it was my leg. I wasn’t sure how my body would react to an all out 2.2 miles, but I was able to pull it together and do a 8:35 min. mile pace. We continued to drive to exchange after exchange and cheering on our team members all along the way. My next leg didn’t come again until 7:30pm. It was dark, but luckily the moon was at it’s brightest. The leg that I was most worried about was the fun nest. My teammates were there to cheer me on every couple of miles. I ran on unpaved back roads for the majority of my leg. 8.8 miles at 8:41 min mile pace. I wouldn’t be running again until 5:30am. There was no sleep that night. My anxiety was getting the best of me. Liza began her leg at about 3:50am. 6.6 miles through the hills in Apopka. It’s not a common sight in Florida. She had a 7:40 min mile pace. Considering that she got a bit lost at the beginning, she did AMAZING!!! Carlos’s turn came. My last leg of the relay. It was great to put it mildly. Running in the cool crisp Autumn air. It was like I was running in the Northwest. 4.7 miles at a 8:10 min mile pace.
I made some great new friends and lasting memories. I seriously cannot wait until next year!