I guess it wasn't so much an accident as an adventure. But count that as my third Ragnar.
I'm currently snuggled up in bed suffering from a head cold, but figured someone's gotta update this blog and record this Ragnar.
So to keep my foggy head from thinking too much, I'll just give you 36 experiences from the Las Vegas 2010 Ragnar. 36 is representative of the total number of times someone had to get out of the van and put the shoes on the road.
Here we go!
1. Just call me"U-Turn" Wendy. I liked to get us close to the place we should be at and then complicate the situation with a series of U-Turns that just got us back to where we should've been. Kudos to Cheiko for holding it together while driving.
2. Have you ever seen the Valley of Fire? It's where we started the race. Here's what it looks like at 6am:
Yup, it's impressive. If you add in some nerves and reflective gear, it's even more cool.
3. Actually, here's a pretty good photo of what the area looks like:
(This is Lisa H running down hill after cresting a freakin' hard hill)
4 & 5. Yes, I'm only at 4 and I'm wondering how long this blog could possible be. But since I saw two of the following, I think that it will count. Of course I saw one alive and one dead. Either way, it was kinda creepy/cool and gave me a reason to stop running for a little air break. The live version was photographed and emailed to me by the Scouts.
6. Speaking of Scouts. This was one of my favorite teams! Apparently a Boy Scout group had provided service to Ragnar for two days previous to the race and then ran the race. I can't tell you how cool it was to see them out running. They all ran IN their Boy Scout Uniform shirts and with a hodge podge of shoes. One boy had skater shoes on. They were extremely polite as they passed me . . . . I do remember one scout who took off out of the 2nd exchange. He was young and amazingly fast! Very inspirational, actually.
7. Another note about my first run, it just happened to be the EXACT same first run as last year. I was STOKED to see that I ran it nearly 1 min 20 seconds faster PER MILE than last year. And it was 7.2 miles long! I was thrilled to see improvement. Now, do I credit the performance to a year's worth of running or the bag of Circus Peanuts I ate before I ran?? (You know it was the Circus Peanuts!)
8. When you are the 'inactive' van you get to go to the next major exchange and wait for your next turn. It's really tough depending on where you get to wait. How rough do you think this was?:
(We're hanging out poolside at a swanky casino on reclining chairs)
9. Another look at this exchange:
(I will say that from here on out the exchanges just got worse. Poor van 2 had a horrible sleeping situation at exchange 30. Unless you enjoy a rocky surface to roll your bag onto. Ugh!)
10. Red Shoes! That's a great memory for me ~ These are NOT my shoes, but they belong to a rockin' awesome runner who really did a bang up job at the race. Not saying that it was easy for these Red Shoes, but you have to respect them, and I do! Go ahead and guess whose shoes they are. She is RAGNAR!
11. I was again fortunate and HUGELY surprised to find that my second run was the same one as last year. Last year I was runner 11, this year I was runner 5. So having two of the same courses is quite odd. But, I was really grateful for this. My second run was the one where the man was killed last year. I took a detour last year to avoid the accident scene and was very emotional about it. There was no detour this year, and it was still pretty emotional. Cool though!
12. On that same second run of mine the man in front of me reported that he was struck by pellets from an air soft gun. A car driving by had shot at him. Freakin' people!!!
13. I didn't realize something had happened in front of me, I think it was because I was getting passed by one of the 1/2 naked runners in a speedo. That's an incredibly distracting event to have butt cheeks like that passing you, Just sayin'
14 & 15. Did I mention I have a cold? Let's call #14 my sister-in-law Tif who gave me 1/2 of the cold and #15 is the cold night I spent sleeping outside with a sweaty, wet head which caused the other 1/2 of the cold.
16 - 20. Ragnar Bling. I'm counting each of the toes . . . .except I'm pretty sure that one of these is going to fall off now. I'm thinking about surgically removing them ~
(Cheiko's evil eye -- P.S. Don't trust a word Lisa says in the van!)
22. After being the recipient of Cheiko's evil eye, I let it go after this happened;
25. Suppose I should make some mention of my last run. Let's just say it was bad . . . . We could also say that it was a lot like running on the canal. Except it was rockier. And it was uphill. It looked like this whenever I looked around;
And of course the rest of the trip wouldn't have been complete without the following:
26. Libby -- I think this may be the last time I talk Libby into something like this. Libby bailed early on our trip. I think it had to do with a hot car and a man.
27. Lisa -- I blame Lisa for EVERYTHING! It's completely her fault that I find myself sitting on a curb in the dead of night wondering why I'm there. It's her fault that I love crossing the finish line too . . .
28. Dena -- I love Dena AND Kim. I think the best part of my whole thing was riding around with Kim and Tifany at the end of the race. Kim was howling at the burros and dropping drawers . . . .Ha! So funny even now, good times!
29. Cheiko -- the previous photos say it all!
30. Brenda -- Nickname "red shoes"
31. Cyndi -- I so wish I was in the same van as Cyndi. There's something really cool about watching someone do something hard and trying something new. I love hearing about how this was for her.
32. Jen -- 41 hours with no sleep. Thank goodness she finally fell asleep. I was worried she'd be up all night. Jen was putting out crazy miles/min and was still going strong with no sleep. AMAZING!
33. Kellie -- How's this for my fabulous friend who has followed me through all of these Ragnars? Beautiful!
34. Jaime -- Queen of decorations. Sorry you got stuck doing this twice out of the three times we've gone. But you are great at it!! Looking forward to that marathon next year . . . .
35. Tifany -- Crazy Tif! You fly out from Iowa each time we do these. I can't tell you how much I rely on you running in with me for the last bit of my legs! Thanks sis!
36. Melanie -- Thanks for everything you did to help things flow smoothly between the vans! You are great at helping out and seeing the needs of the people around you. Thanks for letting me run in with you on that last leg. You did great!
Ah! I made it to 36.
My head is still stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey!
Not sure what my next BIG thing will be . . . but it's looking like a marathon next year. YIKES!
Guess it's good I'm headed to HAWAII soon! YIPPEE