Team Advntur Looks Back on Ragnar Wasatch Back 2015

Team Advntur Looks Back on Ragnar Wasatch Back 2015

In June 2015, Advntur sponsored a team of runners at Ragnar Wasatch Back in Northern Utah. It was hot, restless, and unforgettable for everyone involved. When the race was over, we asked some of the team to share their experience of this 200-mile relay, from the excitement of their first legs to the physical and emotional hurdles of tackling Ragnar Hill. Each runner experienced a different part of the race and, in doing so, had a different story to share. Whether you’re a Ragnar veteran or a hopeful first-timer, we hope their stories will provide you with a sense of comradery and give you something to look forward to at your next race.

If you’d like to join the fun and have Advntur sponsor your next race, drop us a line. We’d love to connect.

 

Runner #3: Overcoming Mental Barriers

I have never considered myself a runner. Really. I’m not a super-human speed demon like some people I know. Some people … like my dad.

He’s been running basically his entire life, starting with cross country in high school many, many years ago. Hearing him complain about being a “slow, old man” when he runs a 7-minute mile makes me snort in part humor and part disgust as remind him I have never run a 7-minute pace, ever.

Any pace 10 minutes or under is an accomplishment for me. The 8:55 mile I ran my sophomore year of high school during gym class is my personal best. So, yeah, it’s easy to see who the “true runner” in our family is.

That being said, being involved in an event like Ragnar Wasatch Back changed my perspective of who can run and who can enjoy running. I ran my first Ragnar in 2012 after seeing how much fun my speed-demon dad and other family members had in 2011. Training for that Ragnar was awful. I hated running. So. Much. I kept asking myself, “Why did I sign up for this?” That was, until I experienced Ragnar. It gave me a complete about-face in my attitude toward running.

Now I love running. I ran Ragnar again in 2013 and again this year in 2015. It has become one of the most highly anticipated events of my year. But how? How can something as intense as a 200 mile, two day, one night, hot, sweaty, challenging relay race shift my perspective on running? Running Ragnar on Team Advntur was a good reminder.

To me, Ragnar symbolizes the experience of conquering your physical, mental, and emotional barriers. These are the things that make running worth it.

Running a total of 19.6 miles – the longest I have ever run in a short amount of time – was one of those barriers. This year, my very last leg of Ragnar was another huge breakthrough on those barriers. After running two previous legs (The first 6.7 miles, the second 3.6 miles. Both in the dark and a lot more uphill than anticipated.), I had my longest and hardest run. At 8.3 miles with bigger hills, no van support, and more elevation gain than any of the previous legs, I knew was in for it.

In Ragnars past, my longest run had always been my first when I was still well-rested, fresh, and full of energy and excitement. I had never run my hardest and longest leg at the end. This was a completely new experience for me. I was nervous to take this on, and it turned out I had created more mental barriers than I realized, making the beginning an awful run. Simply awful.

Running, I’ve come to find out, is just as much a mental game as it is physical. “I didn’t train well enough.” “I can’t do this.” “Man, I’m going to be so slow, I’m going to mess up our team’s pace even more than I already have.” “I am so not a runner.”

These are some of the thoughts that crossed my mind as I battled the first 3.5 miles up steep, narrow, rocky dirt trails. Runners blew past me, many encouraging me as they did so, but they quickly disappeared as they took this leg by storm. Those were 3.5 LONG miles and I was at my wits end, telling myself, “There is no way I can do nearly five more.”

I resorted to the last thing I had in me to get through this awful run – I said a prayer. A little while later, a guy around my age passed me, but unlike the previous runners who left me in their dust, he stayed a few feet ahead of me. I realized I could pace myself with him, and that was enough to push me past the internal dialogue that kept telling me, “I can’t.”

I paced with him for about a mile and was able to get into my groove for the rest of the leg. The downhill portion was wonderful. It felt so good to break from the incline and run this distance in such beautiful scenery. I was able to sprint to the end and slap that 80s style slap band (the official Ragnar relay baton) onto the next runner with the enthusiasm of someone who just completed the longest and hardest run of their entire life.

It was thrilling to conquer that leg. I may not be the “ultimate runner” like my father (whom I am very proud of). I may not run sub-seven minute miles. I may suck at running hills and continue to remind my father I have yet to match his “old man” pace. But now I know I can run 8.3 miles at once. I can take on hills, even if it takes me longer than the average runner. I also know I can continue to run, train, and get better at tackling those hills, making the next uphill run a little easier, a little more fun, and a little more thrilling.

Running Ragnar with Team Advntur was an experience I won’t easily forget. It was filled with moments that helped me realize running isn’t as awful as I thought it once was. And maybe one day, hopefully soon, I can consider myself a runner like my dad.

Horse Grazing at Ragnar Wasatch Back

Runner #6: Powering Past Injury

I’m a huge fan of quality time with my cousins, and thanks to Ragnar, I am able to get just that. This was my third year on a family and friends team, and I almost didn’t make it.

The truth is, I’ve never liked running.  Since I’m in the National Guard, I have to pass a fitness test twice a year, which includes running, so I do it.  The results aren’t bad, so I tolerate it, but despite my best efforts, I have never been fast or experienced the “runner’s high” people talk about. Five years ago, I thought if I did a marathon I would surely have one of those positive running experiences … but nope.

Instead, at about mile 20, my hip started to hurt. I finished the race, took some time off to recover and settled back into my normal routine of running for a few months each year in preparation for my twice-a-year fitness test, with occasional “fun runs” thrown in to keep me motivated. If I pay money for a race, you can be sure I’ll at least half-heartedly prepare to avoid injury, of which I have had a few. Especially that hip.

I thought I was healed after taking time off, but my hip kept nagging me.

Last fall, after running and preparing for the fitness test, it was becoming downright painful. The pain always stopped when I quit running, but came back with a vengeance when I started back up. So, this spring when I started running again, it hurt to the point that I was limping for a day or two after each run. This was not good. I finally broke down and went to see a sports medicine doctor who said the dreaded word: fracture.

Luckily, nothing showed up on the x-ray and the MRI was also clean, except for some possible cartilage damage, so I was cleared to start running again and directed to physical therapy. At that point, I knew I could do Ragnar, even though it would probably hurt more than usual. I also convinced my friend Cindy to join the team.

I didn’t have much time left to train and I wasn’t able to get into Physical Therapy right away, but once I finally started adding those exercises to my program, the pain began to diminish. I claimed the shortest Ragnar legs due to my injury, but still expected 11 miles to hurt and expected I would post horrible times. Well, miracle of miracles, my hip didn’t hurt! I could feel it pull a little once in a while, but there was no hip pain on any of my runs – uphill, downhill, or straightaway. That was a huge relief. I also posted better times than I expected and had a great experience with good friends and family along the way.

Ragnar’s “Choose Your Own” exchanges were new this year. My first run started in the first of these exchanges, near the top of Avon pass. I’d done that run before and knew what to expect, but I’m not sure how far I went.  The downhill switchbacks were great for making up some time, and I leapfrogged with a runner who had been on a previous friends and family team. The mutual encouragement from both team vans was great! Temperatures climbed as we descended into the valley, but it was a gorgeous run into the first major exchange where we handed off to Van #2 and took a break. My second run was at about 1 a.m. the next morning, and by then I was exhausted and nearly delirious from lack of sleep. The monsters at the edge of my head beam didn’t get me (I was coherent enough to keep my wits about me) and the cooler temperatures sped things up a bit, but I was certainly glad to hand off to Van #2 again and get some sleep at the Oakley Rodeo grounds. It’s amazing what a couple hours of sleep can do when you’re running on empty.

The next day, we caught up with Cindy’s father and brothers volunteering at one of our exchanges, which was lots of fun. They’d done good work clearing out a major traffic jam.

My final run was into Park City. I won’t claim I ran all of it as the uphill climb was brutal, but I kept moving and passed more people on this short run than my previous two combined. Running down Park City hill was amazing. I felt almost as though my feet were flying. It was fabulous to finish strong as we handed off to Van #2 for their final runs.

One of the great things about Ragnar is witnessing all of the runners and support vans – everyone is so motivated and excited to be there. I saw friends from my neighborhood, acquaintances, people from work and even my sports medicine doctor’s race van. It’s a great community, and while I don’t claim to be a real runner (I’m more of a slogger), this is something I love participating in. It’s always a great adventure. Thanks so much, Advntur, for sponsoring us! I hope we did you proud.

 

Runner #7: Tackling Ragnar HillRagnar Wasatch Back Course

I was Runner 7 this year – the first runner of Van #2. I took this leg for basically one reason – winning the medal for running the toughest Ragnar Hill ever in the first year it was offered. I have wanted to say I ran the whole Ragnar Hill, and this would allow me to do it.

In the past, I ran the Ragnar Hill from the Heber Valley Side. This time I would be running the entire hill from the opposite (Park City) side.

My first leg started on Friday afternoon around 2:30 pm for 4.7 miles. This leg had a downward slope to it. It was a bright, HOT day, but I was not concerned about the heat. I had done a lot of running in the heat. I figured if I could do a 9:30 to 10:00 minute mile face with the van meeting me at the end, I would not need support during my leg.

Well, when I was done, I definitely noticed the heat, but the most surprising thing about the run was my pace. It was around a 7:15 to 7:30 minute mile. I had not done that pace for about two years, and it was way too fast. I knew I would pay for it later.

My second leg would be Saturday morning around 2:30 a.m. After little to no sleep (or deep sleep, at least) my mind was hearing noises. Van #1 had fallen behind the estimated times and there was much noise from the exchange announcer with his blow horn.

This course was basically flat along an old railroad line I had run multiple times in the past during different races. Running from the street to the railroad line was interesting. It was down a steep-sloped, weedy hill, and I was running in the dark (with the exception of the cyclone light on my baseball cap). I was again planning on a 9:30 to 10:00 minute mile. With the even terrain and a small hill at the end, I hit my pace … not that I had much in me to do it faster. I wasn’t interested in that. I just wanted to finish the run.

My third leg would be the hardest of the three and the hardest I have ever done at Ragnar. This is my fourth Ragnar in five years, and this 10.3-mile, uphill leg was a challenge to say the least. It started at 5700 ft. elevation and ended at 8892 ft. with 2608 ft. going up and 436 ft. going down. I would be happy if I did it without walking. I had never walked on a Ragnar leg.

Prior to this race, I contacted a few 50 and 100-mile runners and asked them what to eat and drink while running. I even purchased a water belt with a small pouch for energy food, as well as a cooling towel to help stabilize my temperature.

I had never considered purchasing these items for a run or a race. I have run half marathons and seldom drank water while running them. I decided the challenge of the “Granddaddy of Them All, I Ran the Hardest Ragnar Leg Ever” leg would be a different bear. Ragnar said there would be staff traveling the route offering assistance to those who needed help or a ride to the end of the course. I was “ready” for the leg to start.

I had energy beans, energy GU, and a Garmin watch a fellow runner had provided to let me know my miles and time. I expected to take 2+ hours, likely around 2:20 to 2:30 hours. I had two 20-ounce bottles of electrolyte, another 20-ounce bottle of diluted electrolyte drink, and a 20-ounce bottle of water. My cool towel was wet and my shirt was soaked with water to help keep my temperature down. Ragnar information stated there would be one water station and this was a non-support run, meaning the van could not provide assistance while running. I knew that one water stop would not be enough support. After all, I would be running in the heat of the day starting around 2:00 pm.

A short time before Runner #6 came in, I was told there would be three water stops and one would be at the 3-mile mark. That made a lot more sense, and I began to think things would be okay. I decided to drink some of the water and pour the rest on me. I would later regret that.

While waiting for the Runner #6, I noticed several other Runner #7s take off like rabbits. I thought to myself, “They will be slowing down very soon.” Then, Runner #6 came in and the exchange happened. I took off at a safe, steady pace, knowing the first mile was relatively level with a small incline. The next half mile was steep. It went up about 1300 ft. and knew I wanted to make the first 1.5 miles without walking, but that uphill run was steep on a dirt trail with tall grass. It was harder than I thought it would be, but I kept running.

When I reached the 1.5 mile mark, I was done running. I was tired. I walked for about 1/10th of a mile, then reached the pavement where things flattened out and went downhill. I started to run again when I reached the pavement. While running, a cyclist passed me going downhill. I told him he was going the wrong way … and could we trade! He came back and we spoke. He told me about some of the runners he had passed near the top and said it was going to be hard at the top. He was right.

I drank the electrolyte while eating some beans/GU and made it to the 3-mile mark easily, but I was really looking forward to the water station.

When I got there, the volunteers said they had just run out. I was not happy, but what could I do? So I ran by the volunteer and gave her a high-five. There was a police officer on a motorcycle going up and down the road. I told him about the lack of water at Mile 3. About 1/2 mile later I had a switchback with another officer on the road. I told him I had two things for him: first, thanks for his service and second there was no water at Mile 3 and he needed to radio the staff.

The long, slow climb to the top continued. I maintained a roughly 11-minute pace the first 7 miles. I felt comfortable, but I was missing the plain water I had disposed of before the race began. Right around the 6-mile mark, there was a good downhill run to the water station. I ran by the station slowly, drinking water and pouring it on me. That water tasted good.

Around the 7 mile mark, my stomach started to gurgle from the electrolyte drink and 20-ounce bottle. I was thirsty, but I was getting sick of the electrolyte drink. Not to mention, my mind and body still felt okay. I could say things to other runners as I passed them. I even tried joking with them.

Around the 7.5 mile mark, the slope of the hill got a lot steeper and the mental fatigue began to set in. I had passed about 40 runners by then, but I was having trouble keeping count. I had also been passed by 2 or 3 runners. Not long after taking count, I stopped caring about this information and just wanted to get to the top. I typically keep track of these numbers to help the time go by while I run. However, mentally and physically, it was getting tough. A staff member drove by and asked if I wanted a ride. I said no. I wanted that extra medal.

I had gone too far to quit now.

Ragnar Wasatch Back Pine TreesAt the 8-mile mark, there was a switchback, which meant a steeper hill. Luckily, there was a water station there. I do not know if it was an official station or if some teams had stopped and set one up to help. Someone asked if I wanted my electrolyte bottle filled up. I said no, but I would trade her for one on the water bottles on the ground, to which she agreed. It was emotionally hard to speak to her.

She quickly picked the cold water bottle off of the ground and gave it to me. I gladly got rid of electrolyte bottle. The water was difficult to drink but it tasted great and felt even better as I moved the bottle from hand to hand and rubbed it against my neck to cool down.

Around 8.5 miles, I went around another bend in the road and approached a steep hill. I stopped running and started walking at a pace that was probably still faster than my running pace. While walking, I was passed by two runners, one of which I had passed and been passed by earlier in the race. Now he and the other runner were on pace together. I walked for about 2/10ths of a mile, then started to run again. I finally reached the top where the route flattened out and had some rolling hills.

I started to pick up my pace and promptly took out my belt electrolyte bottles, squeezing them to get rid of the weight. I began to remember the rolling hills I saw on the course map and told myself, “If I come across another hill, I am not going to be a happy person.” As I passed one runner, I told her “you can kiss my a** if I do this again.” Profanity is not something I use often, but mentally and physically, I was too tired.

I began to pace vehicles on a backed-up road. My mental strength was starting to come back, so I told them to pick up the pace.

With my stamina returning, I started to close the gap between me and the two runners that had passed me earlier. I decided I was going to catch up to them, so I ran even harder. About 100 yards from the finish, I caught up with them. I told them not to take off. We could cross together like three amigos, and we did.

The other runner said he had been following me up the entire hill, and I was stud. I remember hearing his trailing footsteps a couple of times earlier, but they never passed me until I began to walk.

Runner #8 was present at the finish, so I gave him the wrist band and stopped the Garmin timer. He gave me a bottle and said he had no idea where the others were, then took off. Much to my surprise, Ragnar staff quickly gave me my extra medal. I looked at the time: 1 hr 58 minutes. I had broken 2 hours, even after that bit of walking. I was happy to say I had now ran/walked the entire Ragnar Hill. Not bad for a 53-year-old male.

When I stopped running, I could barely breathe or speak without my voice cracking. About all I could say was “holy smoke” – the same thing I said after going up the lower part of Ragnar Hill in 2011. Both times I ran very hard at the end, and boy did I feel it when I stopped.

The support asked me what I needed as I walked, and I said air. I think I said that in 2011, too. I tried to explain what had happened at the 3 and the 8-mile water stations, and I about cried. I was spent.

I walked to the vehicle and sat down, trying to breathe and get my emotions back in check.


 

Runner #8: Short, Sweet, and Lacking SleepRagnar Wasatch Back Sleeping Area Sign

Here’s my two cents:  overall, an enjoyable experience. The day runs were hot. “Sleeping” at North Summit High School was questionable at best as the exchange announcer called out team numbers on a megaphone throughout the night. Earplugs should be added to the list of necessary items.

Minor sunburns on my calves and a knot in my right calf during the third (downhill) leg of the race were the only problems … other than the lack of sleep.


 

Runner #10: Taking Care of Your Fellow Runner

First and foremost, thank you for the opportunity to join such an awesome team. Never have I run with such a great group of people. Thank you! This whole experience has been such fun. Going in, I felt ready because of the amount of time I had to train. However, I have learned I need more sleep when entering such a physical and mental challenge. I ate right and attempted to stay hydrated, but I think everyone felt that heat!

One of the most memorable moments from this race was watching my team stop to give me cold water, only to turn around and help another runner who collapsed from heat stroke. So thankful I had such a wonderful team and that my fellow runners on that leg were so willing to sacrifice their team times so we could all help a runner in need. Watching her fall mid-stride and remain fairly unresponsive despite being pretty scraped up was such a shock.


 

Runner #12: Taking the Lead

Ragnar 2015 was the same as previous Ragnars, yet different. I have now completed five Ragnar Wasatch Back relay races. Every year I learn and do something new, but I walk away feeling the same. I love it. I love the #Advntur.

Ragnar prep work begins a month prior to the race, as does training to run a Ragnar relay race. I took on the role of Team Captain, which meant I was also responsible for a bit more than prep and training.

Preparing the Team

We needed 12 runners to complete the team. At first it seems easy – lots of people want to do Ragnar— but then, uh-oh. You find yourself texting and sending messages to all of your contacts, trying to find someone to join the team. People who were once interested fall off. Friends that run and “would like to do a Ragnar” have vacation plans.

The Ragnar team I run with consists of mostly family, but we couldn’t find any other family members to fill the team, so we turned to friends. Our team consisted of eight family members and four friends, who became like family by the end of the weekend.

Once our team was set, I had the task of encouraging everyone to register and train (no injuries please!) while putting together everyone’s contact info, finding three volunteers, choosing a start time, making runner leg assignments, putting a pace chart together, finding two vehicles and drivers for the weekend, gathering safety gear, passing along team captain meeting notes, and working out logistics for race day. LOTS of emails were sent. It can be exhausting to manage, but race day still comes!

Ragnar Wasatch Back VanThe “Mother” Role

I chose to be in Van #2 this year. The past four years, I have been in Van #1. I was excited for the change and to see parts of the race course I hadn’t seen before. The course had also changed, so it was going to be different anyway, but I was still excited.

Being in Van #1 the past four years, I took on the mother role. I bought all of the food for the weekend, decorated the van, took care of logistics, and made lodging arrangements for the night before the race (among other tasks). However, since I was Van #2 this year, I did not need to be the Ragnar mom. I was with adults my age or older and unfamiliar with what “works” in Van #2, so I was able be a bit more relaxed. We had rookies in Van #2 who had never done a Ragnar, but I didn’t need to mother them. They could figure it out.

Ready for Race Day

The night before Ragnar came, and I slept in my own bed. When I woke up on Friday morning, I showered, only to put on workout clothes. (Who does that?!) Then I dropped off my kids with a friend, and started my Ragnar weekend.

I was Runner #12. Last!

Something I have learned from previous Ragnars is that it’s important to eat and hydrate when it works for you. I was not running until after 7 p.m. and I left my house at 10:30 a.m. I had a lot of time until I ran.

The afternoon sun was hot, so I covered up, kept drinking my water, and continued to eat my snacks. I was excited to get on the race course and see our team runners out. I love the scenery of this course. I love the sportsmanship as we cheer on other runners. I love spraying down runners and looking out for family, friends, and acquaintances also doing Ragnar. I also love text messages from home and friends.

As 7 p.m. passed, it was finally my turn to run. Yes! Runner #12 had 4 miles to run into Morgan High School. This was a major exchange, which meant lots of people around. At 7:30 p.m., I carried my water and iPod Shuffle (I was unsure if the music on my phone would be reliable) and did my 4 miles. It felt good.

It was definitely still warm, almost hot, so I made sure to drink enough water and poured water on me. I was happy with my pace. Happy with how I felt. Happy!

No Sleep in Coalville

After that leg, I was off for food (a Subway sandwich at the high school) and drove to Coalville for a few hours of sleep on grass by the middle school. The night was clear, and the stars were bright and pretty. Trying to sleep is never easy. It’s hard to relax, and there are sounds around you of people and cars coming and going, people talking, and the announcer at the exchange.

We found the right spot to hear the announcer broadcast when teams were coming into the exchange. We were not too close to the announcer, but noise travels and bounces off buildings. We didn’t hear the announcer when we first got to Coalville, but as we were trying to rest, it started and did not stop. Ugh.

Van #2 was texting me updates as their runners were on the course. Between the sounds and anxiety of missing a text from Van #2, all while hoping not to lose any of my teammates in the dark of Coalville, I didn’t sleep much. But this is what I expected.

Back at the Course

We were able to make the handoff of the baton from Van #1 to Van #2 in Coalville, and Van #2 was back at it. Darkness. Quiet. Cool air. People weren’t quite as happy as when they started, not as excited, but they were still polite and in the moment together. Most of these runs are no-support runs. We could not stop to help or cheer on our runners. We would drop off a runner, pick up the runner that just finished his/her leg, and promptly get in the van to head to the next exchange. From there, we would relax a little, then start it all over again. Drop a runner off, pick a runner up, repeat.

At one exchange, I didn’t leave the van, hoping to catch a little more sleep. Our runners were pleased with their night runs. The weather was cool and no one got lost or hurt – pretty successful.

My second run began shortly after 6 a.m. This is the time of day I typically wake up to run, so this was the run I was most looking forward to. The weather was perfect, it was a good run, and the scenery was incredible. I love rural Oakley, Utah. There are large vacation homes, farms, a river, and shade. I love it.

This was my longest distance, 5 miles, and I was dressed fittingly for the weather. It felt good. An aunt of mine was also Runner #12 during this race and started running before I did. I caught up to her once I got started, and she was in her groove. I was really surprised she did not even want me to run or chat with her. I laughed and went on my way to pass her. When I came into the exchange, I was happy to be done. I felt good about the run, good in general. Maybe I was just as happy I remembered what my teammate looked like so I could hand off to her!

After the day’s run, I was off to Park City to eat, rest, change clothes, and wait. Van #2 was running. We tried to relax. At this point on Saturday morning/mid-day, we were still having fun, but it wasn’t the same type of fun. We were becoming worn out from lack of sleep and surplus of sun.

Ragnar Wasatch Back Team Advntur

Finishing Strong

It was time to finish up this race. Last leg for everyone!

Knowing we were at the end, there was new excitement in the air. Runner #7 had to conquer Ragnar Hill, so we sent him off and hit the grocery store for real food before heading up to the exchange. Wow. During the drive, I couldn’t believe I had never seen this part of my state. Watching the runners conquer that mountain was amazing.

We crept along the twisted mountain road in slow traffic on the way to the exchange. Once we got there, Runner #8 got out of the van and we continued driving to find a spot to park and wait for Runner #7. Good move! With Runner #7 on the course and Runner #8 waiting at the exchange, two of us walked to the exchange while two runners and our driver waited in the car.

While walking, I stopped to help someone parallel park. (It was an extremely tight exchange!) From there, I looked up the hill and saw Runner #7 coming in. My brother made it to see the exchange complete. The hardest part of Ragnar was done! Runner #8 took off running, and I caught up to Runner #7 and my brother. That was a special moment. Runner #7 was my uncle. He rocked the run, but as family members/friends/teammates, we wanted to make sure he was okay, which he was. He was emotional (which was a side of him I had not seen) and physically and mentally tired. He was also experiencing runner’s high.

We kept him moving and walking down the hill. He was catching his breath and shared parts of the run with us. It was great. I texted his family to say he accomplished it and, not only that, he completed the run under his goal time. It was a big deal – inspiring and special.

Runners #8, #9, and #10 completed their last runs. Runner #10 saw a runner go down. Then, Runner #11 finished his last run.

It was my turn.

It was HOT. Hotter than my run on Friday. It was also a non-supported run to the finish.

When I started my run, I felt okay, but the heat was uncomfortable. I carried water with me, but didn’t want to run out too fast. Those 4+ miles were hard, and I decided not to push it. My body did not want to. Heat and fatigue were setting in. Mentally, after hearing of a man passing away on the Ragnar course and thinking of Runner #10’s experience witnessing a fellow runner pass out, I decided not to push it. I wanted to finish, so I walked most of my leg. Happily, I caught up to my aunt again. She was in the same pain and discomfort as me, so we ended up walking most of our last run together. It was nice to have the company. We talked about the race and how this was her first time running Ragnar. I texted my team so they knew I would be slower than expected, but I did not want to leave my aunt. I did not need to pass her and finish before her. We finished together, and I was completely happy and satisfied with it, even though I walked.

I finished it. I did it.

From there, we collected our metals, took a few pictures, grabbed some food, and headed home.

Ragnar Wasatch Back was great. I didn’t hate being in Van #2 and I look forward to the next Ragnar, where I’ll be open to joining Van #1 or #2. Also, the legs for Runner #12 were just right for me and my training.

I was happy for the #Advntur of Ragnar. I loved it. Loved the memories. Loved the challenge. Thanks team and thanks Advntur.

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