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    Hi! My name is Leah and I like food! Welcome to my blog about mostly healthy eats! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at leftoversforlunchATgmailDOTcom.

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Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage 2012

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And another Ragnar bites the dust! W00t!

For those of you that don’t know what Ragnar is, it is a 12-person (or 6 if you are Ultra Awesome), 200-mile relay race. Our race went from Blaine, WA (the border of Canada) to the south end of Whidbey Island. It took us about 29 hours total to complete!

This was our second year running and we had a blast. It was a little bit different of an experience since we weren’t rookies this time around and ended up fulfilling most team captain duties but it was just as much fun and just as challenging. (Last year can be found here!)

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{Pre-race carb fest at our house with most of the team and our fabulous volunteers!}

Like last year, Huz and I were Van 1 but we were different runners than last time so we got to experience different legs. We were also in a van of all new vanmates and two of them were runners from our team last year but in Van 2. Then there were the two rookies!

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{L to R: Ellen, Marissa, Me, Nicole, Blake, and Huz}

We ended up borrowing my dad’s F-150 for our “van” and boy was it cozy! But Ellen and Nicole swear it was better than using a Durango like they did last year – more leg room! Our team name was None of the Above and we were going with the Americana/political theme. (If you don’t get the reference, you need to watch Brewster’s Millions again.)

Friday morning was very gross out. Pouring down rain, thunder, windy, hot mess. It made trying to decorate the truck interesting. We buzzed through check-in then shivered in the rig until making our way to the start line.

{Ellen in full get-up!}

The rain let up a tiny bit and I got it all started!

My first leg was my longest. I thought it was going to be 6.8 for some reason but it was only 6.3 which was a pleasant surprise.

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It was pretty boring, actually. Flat, straight, highly trafficked, raining. Not all that much fun. I was glad to be done. I handed off to Ellen and got to enjoy spectating and supporting our runners for a few hours.

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Ellen totally rocked her leg and while she was out running, we befriended a pirate who liked my pinwheel.

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Blake was our 3rd runner and is a total speed demon.

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Fabio is jealous of that hair.

By this time, the rain had let up and it only sprinkled so no more super soggy runners!

Pretty quickly, he handed off to his sister, also a speed demon.

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Marissa, one of the rookies, took over from there.

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Then the Huz was up!

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He was a little nervous about running (we all know what happened last time he pushed himself) but he did great and kept up an awesome pace.

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When he pulled into the next major exchange, our van had a few hours to kill before gearing up for our next legs so we headed to Boundary Bay Brewery (again!) and met up with a couple of our Superstar Volunteers for a late lunch.

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Each team is required to have 3 volunteers or they have to pay extra. David and Shannon volunteered to help us out since they couldn’t actually run the event and they were totally great sports. Mucho thanks! (Our 3rd volunteer, Ben, was at the finish line!)

The down time went pretty quickly and before we knew it, night hours were approaching and Van 2 was telling us to get ready! My eyes were definitely starting to get tired – 5 hours of sleep the night before wasn’t the best.

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I started us off again with a cranky 6-miler (almost). It was only supposed to be 5.1 miles but there was road construction so I had a detour and it ended up being 5.9.)

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My run was right at dusk. There was the one nice long hill climb that I cursed my way up and was so glad to see the “1-mile-to-go” sign.

At this point, it was pretty much dark and our energy levels were tapering off and the camera didn’t really get pulled out  but we continued in the same order and all did really well and didn’t sustain any injuries. Ellen almost puked sprinting at the end of her leg but that was the most excitement we had. And a few wrong turns that were a little stressful to navigate.

We finished off this segment of running in the early morning. I think 1:30ish? We headed to the next major exchange, rolled out sleeping bags on a gym floor, and got 2 hours of shut eye again before heading back out.

I was feeling like complete crap and didn’t know if I was going to make it but I felt better as soon as I started running. The last one was the shortest of my legs but had the gnarliest hill too.


It’s kind of funny… at the beginning of the race there was so much energy and chatter and excitement and towards the end, you are falling off, the van is quiet, tension is high, people are stiff and sore and (in my case) very nauseous.

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Delirium sets in and you start to find everything very entertaining. Like slugs that are nearly a foot long. And twisted safety vests.

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We were all thankful to be done by 11am. Jodus brought it home strong!

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We all showered up, got some lunch, and headed to the finish line to party in the *gasp* sunshine! So glad that the sun decided to come out and play!

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Van 2 definitely got the short end of the stick – they had the longest, hardest legs at the roughest times BUT they also happened to have the gorgeous runs. I was only a tiny bit jealous.

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Meeting up at the finish with our other van was so great! You hardly get to interact with the other van at all except for 10-15 minutes at the major exchanges while you wait for the last runner to come in. We were blessed with such a great group of people, I wished we could have hung out more!

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We all ran across the finish line together, got team photos, then plopped our tired butts down in the grass for some mimosas! It was fabulous.

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We made our way back to the ferry and headed home. It was an exhausting but really fun weekend that is so hard to translate into a blog post. You can find all of my pictures here and there is also a little slideshow that Marissa put together!

Yep, we are already thinking about next year. I’m addicted to Ragnar.

6 Responses

  1. Awesome! Way to go! Was the elevation fairly easy? It looks like you had rain too (bummer). Are you recovered? It took me about 10 days after Hood to Coast for the insatiable hunger to go away and only about 5 days for the soreness to go away.

    • My legs were pretty flat but there were some monsters out there. I ran yesterday and feel mostly fine… A little run down still and knees a little cranky.

  2. SO Awesome Leah!!!! Congrats!! Looks like a blast!

  3. You guys impress the heck out of me, great job, you make it look kinda fun…kinda 😉

  4. Looks like you guys had a blast!!! I was runner #1 too…bummed I didn’t see you out there! We started at 9:30, right during the peak of the rain, ugh!! This was my first relay, and I’m hooked now! Are you doing any other Ragnar’s!?

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