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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Ragnar Adirondacks: Ultra Good Times (part two)

OK back to the #RagnarADK ... saw the on to the RUNNING portion of the Bondi Bandits Ragnar Adirondacks Adventure (check out part one here) ! The announcement (pre-race is here)!
Up we got at 5 to get to the PARTY started! 
We greeted each other, met Kim and Gail, loaded up the van, piled in the van and headed off to race check-in at Saratoga Springs.
This place was gorgeous! 
We jacked around, showed our safety gear and got our briefing and then saw off Lisa (runner 1) at 7:15 am. And thus began the UPHILL route. #awholelottahills in them there Adirondacks. I think the most uttered phrase MAY have been, "holy sh*t, it's hilly".
I was also amazed at the crazy weather. It was BEYOND foggy! It was also warm. It got quite hot actually by noon. Everyone's first set of legs went well and we were in high spirits. 
We had fun taking pics, selfies and snacking! 
In fact, we took so many awesome pics 6 pics taken by our team (3 by me, 2 by Jenny and 1 by Lisa were freatured on Ragnar's blog post on top 100 of #ragnarADK)! 
We bandited vehicles and our fellow Ragnarians delivering Bondi Bands and laughs!
Finally by around 4pm it was time for me to get ready to get my run on. As runner 6, I was taking on legs 11 and 12. I had 6.3 miles and then 5.4 miles - for a total of 12.7miles. It was sunny, warm and i knew I could get one leg done without night gear. The team would wait for me at the exchange so I could put on the reflective gear. As I waited for Kim, I got really nervous! I had had a WHOLE day of WAITING! But I knew I could enjoy this run and I was mostly in park pathways.

So first a nervous selfie
 It was gorgeous! This was rolling hills. My pace was not as fast as I anticipated. But I was steady.
And the views were good. 
Then I got to the exchange...and got the night gear on. 

And off I went for the last bit of my run...less than 6 miles to go.
No city roads. But a lovely pathway. 
At one point, I wondered if I was gong the right way.
And I saw this sign
So...if I turned left there was beer and BBQ. But if I stayed on the path I got to Ragnar exhange?
There was a short moment of hesitation! Truth be last mile was damn long. The hills were challenging from the get go. I felt em the last 30 minutes! 
 And then I was done. And seriously within minutes it was pitch black! 
And I had 10+ hours to wait til I ran again. I was thankful I had a short second set (about 6 miles).
There was some intermittent napping. We has a few night unsupported legs. An Jenny, Adam and Gail has some long runs with no shoulder, guard rail...and we couldnt pull over to help. But we tried our best to cheer. Or nap. There was some napping. but I swear not much. 

We jacked around night and day... 
And admired van artwork - our own and others. 
When I look at all the photos of us there were so MUCH smiles! 
No matter if we were at mile 3 or 30! 
Its a bit of a blur when I started my second set. Was it 7 am? It was foggy as hell! I remember being worried about Kim. She had taken a wee bit longer than we thought. But she has 16miles. Mostly in the dark. If I was feeling foggy...she must have been feeling like a dishrag! 
And then she arrived and off I went into the thickest fog I ever experienced! 
It was slightly spooky. 
When  I finished my run - just shy of 5 miles in 54mins I was pleased. But I worried we needed to make up time. Was I too slow? While I was running, the rest of the team had gone ahead to my second exhange area since I had short distance. When they got there, Ragnar advised us to double up (running legs together). That way we would still run the same amount of legs...and then 'catch up'. (there were only 11 Ultra teams and we were a little behind) Ragnar wanted us to finish in daylight, so suggested this. So Lisa and Jenny took off and ran two legs. Then Adam did his two legs. 

And then Gail and Kim joined me for my last two legs. It was 10 AND A HALF miles upFREAKINhill to the finish at Lake Placid. It was lovely but a little of hell on earth. And interesting enough someone (was it Gail or Kim) swore as much as me the entire leg! HA! I will say these two were the BEST to run with. We kept each other going. Each of us took turns saying WE got this! It was awesome. There was cursing. Eff You-ing to the hills and beyond. And a few "I am NEVER doing this again" uttered. haha. How soon we all forget! 

Gail was also kind enough to lead us in stretching at times

 The views were spectacular. 
And we were smiling! Mostly.
And then we were done. 
Holy hell it was hot at 3(ish)pm when we finished. 

I LOVE Kimberley's FAB video! It sums up our Bondi Band aventure perfectly!

Thank You THANK YOU BONDI for this awesome opportunity!
Honestly This was a whole lotta awesome and am so so grateful! 
And hella proudof all of us! 

Have you Run an "ultra" relay?