Going into Ragnar Relay Cape Cod last weekend, I really had no clue what to expect. I'd read some race reports in preparation, but could not grasp the whole idea of running 192 miles through the night with little sleep and 11 other (almost) strangers, 13 including our two wonderful drivers! The end result was an an epic running experience that will be hard to beat in the future. Ragnar Cape Cod was SO much more than a race! It was one of the most fun weekends I've had in recent memory.
Our team name was "Flock You Like a Hurricane" -- the word "flock" to rep the Oiselle bird theme, and a play on the song "rock you like a hurricane". During the relay, each of the 12 runners runs 3 legs, for a total of 36 legs all together. Our team consisted of the following awesome folks (in order of runner leg #'s).
Things kicked off Thursday evening at the Boston Logan airport where I met up some of the Oiselle team girls: Melissa (@melissalicia512) , Alison (@akfurton) and Carolyn (@carotherunner). We all flew in around the same time so we could hitch a ride with Jess (@runwhereyoulike) to the Cape.
After leaving the airport, we headed straight to Plymouth. We met up with most of the team at Union Fish for drinks, then headed over to Mamma Mia's for some carbs! Coincidentally, I would run down this same road on my first leg of the race!
We spent Thursday night at Stacey's (@capecodrunner) in Marstons Mills, which was conveniently close to the Ragnar course. Stacey was such an amazing host and team captain/ van 2 driver. Our experience would not have been the same without her support and horn honking skills!
On Friday, we in Van 2 were able to sleep in a bit because Van one kicked things off with the first six legs from Hull to Duxbury Beach. We met up with them at exchange 6 around 2:30 for the first official van 1 to van 2 hand off of the slap bracelet "baton".
Our van's approach to the race was to pass our runner while honking the horn and screaming out the window, and then wait up about every mile or two for the runner to catch up, then check if they needed water, food, etc. While Lindsay was running and getting "kills" (that's the Ragnar term for passing a runner) I prepared to get ready for my first leg.
I was all hyped up on adrenaline during my first leg, which was also my hardest and longest leg at 8.1 miles. The first few miles definitely felt fast, but they were also the prettiest, as I passed by Plymouth Rock and the "Mayflower".
The remaining half of my first leg was mostly uphill, and my flat trained, South Philly legs were NOT prepared. Regardless, I got through the tough hills with the help of my team!
Our first legs really seemed to fly by, even though we were out there for more than six hours. Afterwards, we headed to Stacey's house, which was only about 15 minutes from the exchange with Van 1. While there, we ate a LOT more carbs, and napped until it was time for our next legs, starting around 1:00 AM.
I was pretty nervous about the 5.6 mile night run, especially because I did not know the area at all. However, it turned out to be the most populated leg I would run, and my fastest. I found myself looking to catch up with the bobbing red lights ahead, and ended up getting about 9 "kills" during the night run!
After the night legs, we slept for another couple hours on some wrestling mats in a high school gym while waiting for Van 1 to finish their final legs.
Then it was time for our final legs around 9:30 AM on Saturday! I felt sad that our journey was almost over, but I was excited to run my final run (2.3 miles) along the ocean. My legs were definitely tired, but I was smiling the whole time.
We cheered on the rest of our teammates, and gave some extra cheers to Jessie who had the final 9.6 mile leg in the heat of the day!
When Jessie climbed the hill in Provincetown, it was finally time to cross the finish line as a whole team!
Afterwards, a bunch of us hung out in P'town for some free beer and food. Then we headed to White Crest beach ( where I had also started my third run,) to enjoy the a beautiful afternoon and bask in our happy accomplishments.
Thanks so much to all of our sponsors who helped make this an AMAZING weekend!!
I didn't know what to expect going into Ragnar Cape Cod. But I ended up coming out of the weekend with a renewed love for running and a bunch of new friends. I cannot wait to start planning the next one!