Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Las Vegas Ragnar Relay Recap

What: Las Vegas Ragnar Relay- #2 in my Ragnar runs
Where: Lake Mead to North Vegas
When: Oct 21-22
Team # 100- "Too Legit to Quit" otherwise known as "Hammer time" to other runners (maybe it was our large hammers we carried around cheering our runners on??

Or maybe it was our Van decorations??

Either way it was hilarious at how many people came up to us either singing Mc Hammer songs, complimenting our outfits, or asking for photos--- a total win for team theme this time around. 

My legs- runner 3
Leg 1- It was supposed to be 5.2 miles, but ran long at 5.4 Total time: 51:00, 9:30 pace
  • you ever have those moments when you're in the middle of a REALLY BAD RUN and you start to question your sanity on why you torture yourself??? This was one of those runs unfortunately. 
  • Starting a run around 2:45 pm in the afternoon, in the dessert, while its over 90 degrees + blazing sun =  good times for Lisa. 
  • I learned that glitter body paint has alcohol in it... translates into the body parts that have been sprayed  (ALL.OVER. my arms) burn and make you feel like you're overheating. 
  • brought my water belt with me and filled it with nuun for the first time- wasn't enough and I ran out shortly.  
  • My leg was pretty much all up hill- then when I thought I had a break, it was an even larger hill. During one of my largest hills my van was kind enough to pull over at the top of it to cheer me on- I shouted to them "This SUCKS!"
  • night run thank goodness for PRISTINE cool weather. 
  • although the first mile was lonely because there was NO ONE around, once I started catching up to people, I was killing left and right. 
  • First time in a long time where I had multiple 7 and change minute miles
  • At one point I was pacing at 6:45 (downhill) and I saw my van pull over but they didn't get out yet. They weren't anticipating my pace so when I passed by I pounded the van and heard one person say  "holy shit whats she doing here so quick?!?!" - Ah Mazing feeling. 
  • I never hit the wall on this run, got stopped twice due to traffic lights, but otherwise I finally ran a consistent pace. This was a HUGE confidence booster for me. It's hard on your ego when you're competitive and share a van with guys who all run in the 6-7 min pace zone. 

Leg 3- 5.8 miles 44:24 - 7:39 pace (seriously on cloud 9)

  • had to use port o potty right before the run. unfortunately I wasn't planning on the lines taking as long. As I made my way toward the exchange I saw Russ looking around calling my name (oops) I shouted toward him and he ran to me and I was off- problem was NO ONE else on my team was nearby so I knew it would be awhile before they gathered up and would be able to cheer me on / give me water. 
  • First mile.... 6:47--- whoa girl! As you may guess, it was downhill :)
  • Second mile I was getting HOT- wore long sleeve because it was breezy, but it was warming up. I tried to take off my shirt but taking off my ragnar vest + a form fitting long sleep top isn't easy. To top it off I forgot to take off our snap bracelet baton so the sleeve wouldn't come off my wrist. I finally had to completely stop, redo it all, then tie shirt around waist- whole ordeal didn't cost me my time as my 2nd mile was 7:27!
  • Now comes the bad news, because I took off my long sleeve (it was bright fuschia) my teammates didn't recognize me. I saw my van drive RIGHT past me (our van was decorated in lights to distinguish and make it easy to spot) How disheartening to know that it would be a LONG time before they realized they missed me and turn around.

  • Sure enough it wasn't until I was into the 4th mile that my van passed me the other way shouting 'sorry we're coming back' and they U-turned and I finally got my water. I know it seems silly to be so needy with water, but the air is much DRYER and dustier
  • Did slow down in the last mile and got HAWKED passed in the last 400 meters by some insanely fast guy... proud to say out of all 3 legs it was the only time someone passed me-- woo! 
The team as a whole did AWESOME- We finished 19th out of 400+ teams with a total time of 
yay Team Too Legit to Quit
after finishing 

walking back to our vans 

So there are a lot of people out there that keep asking about the hype on Ragnar Relays and which ones to do etc. Vegas was personally only my 2nd, however majority of my team has ran Hood to Coast, Tennessee, Florida Keys, Wasatch Back, So Cal, Northwest Passage, and Great River- lot of experience there. So I thought I would give you a combined- the bad, the good, and the downright awesome on this particular relay from both my opinion and theirs.

We'll start with the negatives and end on a great note- brace yourself... way more bad than good.

The Bad

  • When running a relay you have support and non support legs- support = you can give your runner water and anything else they need during their run and non support = you can pull over if you find a spot and cheer from afar. Legs 1-11 were ALL NON SUPPORT due to being inside the state park. This was sucky because it didn't matter what time you started, it was HOT.  Aside from that there were also many more non support legs- much higher in comparison to their other locations. 
  • Hellooooooo elevation!!! When I think of Vegas I think flat. When I think of dessert I think even flatter..... not the case. The constant elevation changes were ridiculous (and I live in Nashville which is hill central) If you weren't running up a steep long hill, then you were running down one- very rare to have a flat leg. I was in van 1 and I can say with 100% confidence that between our 18 legs, there weren't any flat ones. 
  • Altitude- I was NOT expecting it to be a huge difference, but the first run my lungs were burning into mile 2. Maybe its me and where I come from, but they should warn out of towners- definitely would have took the first leg slow then. 
  • Dust- the dessert is dusty, and surprise you breathe that in. They did make a point to put on the website that if you have breathing issues to avoid certain legs for that reason- aka the 7 mile slow incline along a dirt path... majority of runners we passed we wearing a bandanna. 
  • Vegas--- what Vegas? I think there was 1 point during a night run where you could see the Vegas skyline in the distance... otherwise you weren't near it at all for the race. 
  • Huge lack of volunteers / water stations along the course.
The Good:
  • Scenery to look at which can be summed up in the pics below (I will say though, you do get de-sensitized to it after awhile)

Downright Awesome
  • The major exchange between van 2 to van 1- exchange 13 was held at Loews hotel- it was a GIANT pool party. Unfortunately I didn't realize this when I walked in and left my phone in the car, so 1 borrowed photo will have to do

  • this picture doesn't do it justice, but there were 2 huge pools, 1 hot tub, the opportunity to buy different pasta and sandwiches, vendors with free samples, and showers (although I never found them)
  • 1 free beer and free food at the end- not all Ragnars do this for free, so this was a great bonus for us. 
Thats it folks! Despite all the negatives of this particular Ragnar, I had an amazing time. I truly think its all about the company you keep that will determine the time you have. 

I learned 2 things from this race:
1- It doesn't matter what your team name is- its all about being easily recognized. If you have a cool name- great, but can you  incorporate it into van decorations or wearing something for running / cheering?? We had a team we were with for our first 6 legs called "Ma, where's the Meatloaf"- I think thats HILARIOUS, but no decorations nothing special. 

This was my FAVORITE van because it was colorful, I loved the saying on the back, AND they had 2 large speakers playing music on top of van---- not a clue what their name was

I did start yelling to my teammates eventually "Run Hard, Don't Suck"- classic!

2- I also learned that as long as I keep myself mentally tough, I have more potential to race stronger and faster than what I thought was possible due to my lack of training. My stamina is there, but my legs need to be stronger to tackle hills and not get so beat up. Helloooooooooooo weights!

Next up is the Tennessee Ragnar in 2 weeks- Go Team Trunk Monkey! 


  1. omg!!! you are incredible girl! to recover from that first run and absolutely dominate your next 2....seriously!?! you are inspiring to me! great work!

  2. great recap! Love the cons, pros, awesomeness - always helpful when thinking about signing up for one

  3. awesome times!! sounds like so much fun. one of these days I will do one!! was this the trip where the boy was???????? updates please. :)

  4. woman!!!! you ran amazing race legs!!!!!!! congrats, sounds like you had a blast (well after the nasty heat leg was over at least!) and your props are too awesome.

  5. I can't believe you're running TN so soon---you are awesome!!

  6. This report is so awesome!! Sounds like a really fun time, but I know if I did it it would have taken me MUCH longer. But I bet still fun. Your costumes definitely had to be the best out there. I mean shiny, gold Hammer pants? How can you not get noticed!

  7. awesome! cool pics, i had a fun time too, we were van 428 (the crazy ravers)