It is with great uncertainty that I approached running the Ragnar Wasatch Back last weekend. Running it has long been a dream of mine. However, I am a diehard solo runner. Running is my me time and my hour of escape each day. I had no idea what to expect from running with a team of 11 other people, of traversing 200ish miles and spending nearly 2 days stuck in a van with 5 total strangers.
Who knew you needed so much stuff for a race…and this is only part of it?!
Standing at the start line and cheering for our first runner, I realized that I was getting the opportunity to see a side of racing that I typically don’t get to see. I’m usually the one behind the line waiting to run. Having the chance to cheer and and support other runners was fantastic. Have my own personal support team on the course was kind of nice, too. 😀
I completely understand now why people are diehard Ragnarians. I don’t know that I am dying to race another, but would happily run one again if afforded the opportunity. In some ways, for me, it was too much like working…sleeping when you can, eating whatever you’ve packed, running sleep deprived, living out of a bag and being stuck in a vehicle.
The views of the Wasatch Back were absolutely amazing. I grew up here and usually take the mountains in my backyard for granted. Used only for judging the seasons by the amount of snow on the mountains. Yes, I felt a fool for taking tons of pic, but with views a like these how can you not?
Today’s Ogden Marathon was a fight against Mother Nature and my very uncooperative right shoelace.
Despite the fact that rain and wind were both predicted in today’s weather forecast, I don’t think any of the runners where quite prepared to face it today. Especially after last year’s cold and rainy marathon. Despite the fact that it drizzled the entire time we waited for the start, it was relatively warm and free of wind. I kept both the towel and garbage bag I had brought with me hoping to stay dry as long as possible. The towel I dropped in the first mile. The garbage bag I wore for 21. While it did little to actually keep me dry, it was an added layer to protect me from the 20+ mph wind. At one point, the wind and rain were so strong, they stung as they struck my face and it was all I could do to make any significant forward progress.
Then there was my stubborn shoelace that wouldn’t stayed tied. And as I discovered, it’s nearly impossible to tie your shoes when you can’t feel your fingers. I stopped probably 4 times before it occurred to me to double knot them. The incessant shoe tying cost me valuable minutes that I was unfortunately unable to regain. The plus side is I didn’t lose any more time during the race.
Finally at about mile 18, the rain stopped and the wind mostly died down. The good thing about wicking fabrics is they dry quickly! And while it wasn’t my fastest marathon ever, I did manage to claim my first ever Age Group award in a marathon…and redeem myself after an awful Boston by requalifying for Boston next year!!! (Hotel reservations have already been made.)