Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wasatch Back Ragnar 2012

How lucky am I??  I have wanted to run the Wasatch Back, but getting a team is almost impossible.  As luck would have it, my old friend Ken Bluemel (neighbor from Lehi) needed another runner and he let  me join his team.  The team was called, "Chuck Norris never ran a Ragnar...until now".  I met some of the most awesome people and had such a great time!  I hope I can join his team/people for another race sometime!!
This year it was June 15-16th and so my second leg started at midnight on my 48th birthday.  Awesomesauce!!  I get older and definitely better.  Celebrating with a 4 mile run straight up a hill seemed like a perfect start to a great birthday!

Pardon my obsession with Picasa's new features (well, new to me) I just had a blast with it!!

 Heather writing on the van.  She does yoga.  Just watching her makes my hammies scream.
 Charlotte and Nate decorating the van. We decorated it with lots of Chuck Norris sayings.  It was great.
Love the back. Nate drew Chuck Norris.  He did a great job!!

Ken as Chuck

There are so many things wrong with this picture.  I don't think even Picasa could help.  First - what is with that smile?  I know my braces were hurting, but I've never seen such a pained smile.  My boobs look INSANELY huge.  Maybe now that I've lost weight I should get some shirts that fit better.  Who knows?  If you can get past all that then this is a picture of me just before my first leg.  I was way nervous.  I have no idea why.  I spent the night before dreaming that I never made it to the exchange in time.  At least I was prepared!  Over half the time they never even announced our team!  I was lucky I saw Billy as he flew into exchange 6.
Waiting.  Waiting.  Looking for Billy.  Waiting.
Off I go!!!  I always forgot to hit my Garmin on for the first tenth of a mile.
Billy on cool down.  He ran it smokin fast - I remember he told me how he OWNED that leg, but I can't remember how fast.  Like 6 min/miles.  (BTW - I didn't take any pictures that are of me from a distance.  I haven't mastered that magic yet.  Thankfully Heather or whoever was around would take pictures for me!)
Coming in for the big exchange after my first leg run.  The girl in blue did beat me but the gal in yellow tried to pass me up.  Oh nay nay!!!  I smoked her and slapped that wristband on Heather for her first go!
Men in tutu's.  Come to find out, my friend from the SICU, Valerie, made these for her team.   I can't believe that I didn't see her run in!
Lovin the shorts/cowboy boots.  That has got to chafe somewhere!

Here comes Heather!!
There goes Charlotte!
Charlotte coming in to hand off to Nate (her husband).
Nate coming in strong on his first leg.  He's super fast for such a big guy!

Slap bracelet off to Ken!
There goes Ken!  Seems like all he gets to run is hills!
Speechless.  I hope he has something on under that outfit.  How do you run with it?  Chafe....he's gonna chafe.
Adrianna taking off after Ken handing off.  She is only 19 and she runs awesome!  Makes me wish I had ran at that age!
Ken's cool down walk

Beautiful exchange 12!!  

Pretty sure this is Mike.  One of the three runners that have been running together for 30 years.  They were in the other van, but what I did see of them I thought they were AWESOME!  He's waiting for his hand off!
Adrianna coming in to hand it off to Mike.  
After my night run.  It was 4 miles uphill.  I was newly 48 years old AND I felt great!!  Love the Honey Bucket's behind us.  Oh how I love the Honey Bucket!

The nighttime exchange.  There was a DJ and it was lighted up like a runway!  
The DJ was hilarious too!
Next day, waiting for my last leg.  I tried taking pictures of all of our night runs, but that didn't work out so well.  All you can see is a lot of reflective gear!!
Standing in the chute - waiting for Jeffrey.  He ran for Billy on his last leg.  Billy's IT band bailed on his second leg.  Heather is standing there waiting for Jeffrey.  Jeffrey has MS and needs a little help after his run since his muscles are so exhausted.
Coming in!!!  Last leg!  Hot hot hot!  Glad to be over!!

Heather on the home stretch of her last leg.  It was freaking hot.  I think she dumped 3 or 4 cold bottles of water on herself.

The exchange.  I love this picture.  They are both laughing...which is good!  Everyone on the team appeared to be making the best of it and being happy or at least not "bitchy".
Heather - ready for van support and 2 cold waters for Ken.  Like I said - it was HOT!!  Ken and Nate's last legs were wayyyyyy up hills. Of course they did great - but we tried to be there for them and keep them cool.  We didn't want a man down!

Heather walking with Ken while he cools off with water and Ken at the end of his run, coming in strong and holding the slap bracelet in anticipation.  A good move, something I would do.  

Nate ready and waiting in the shade.  Yes, he has sunscreen on.  Hard working man with a farmers tan.  Because that is how Chuck Norris ROLLS!

I met Ken at the end with 2 bottles of cold water and following him while he cooled down.  He's soaking wet from dumping water on himself during the race, but it was necessary, given the heat. 

Hard to see....but there is Nate in the middle, taking off up the hill.  

Just an idea of how the hills were on Nate and Ken's last leg.  They call one of them the "Ragnar" because it is so steep.   I don't get it, but I don't have to!    There is Nate at the top of the hill!

 A beautiful scenery pic from my place in the back seat of the van.   So beautiful!!

What a cute girl!  Charlotte getting ready for her last leg.   Her and Nate are married and they have a little boy that is about 18 months or more.  I can't remember exactly.  I just remember all the pictures and he is adorable.  Ahhhh.......to be young and in love!

Nate coming in and handing off to Charlotte.  You can see Heather holding a cold water bottle for him.  

Off goes Charlotte on her last leg!  All downhill!  Good? Bad?  I know she said it wasn't easy!

The exchange was up a hill that we were not allowed to go up (at least not all of us).  There is Charlotte passing off to Adrianna (who is her sister) and Nate (who is Ken's brother in law) taking a picture.  
Come to think of it, I was the only one not related in the van.  Hummm

Off goes Adrianna on her LAST leg and the last leg of the race!!

And around a corner.  Awkward.

Nate and Charlotte walking down the hill.

The girls and our Ragnar tattoos!  Mine busted when I flexed my leg (wink).  Totally hilarious that I actually look tan in this pic.  I thought I was pasty and proud!!

On the bus with Heather.  We are done and we are tired, but excited to run through the finish line.  They bused us from the last exchange to the finish line.  There wasn't enough parking for both vans 1 and 2.  
Me with my medal.  Thanks, Matt, for coming up and taking pictures.

A picture grabbed before the "move it along" Nazi got us". 

Before or after the Ragnar's pics.  I think at this point I only had 2 hours of sleep in two days..no shower in 3 and I was hot, tired and delirious.

The Picture we posed for the Ragnar Photographer
Van one.  Mike, Jeffrey, Billy, John, Kiki and Matt
(Praise be, I hope I'm right on the names!)

Van two.  Kathee (ME!), Ken, Heather, Nate, Charlotte and Adrianna - she isn't crying, she just looks like it in every pic.  We also called her Susan.  (shrug!!)

The OFFICIAL Chuck Norris WB 2012 picture.  John took video and apparently he puts out a video montage of us.  I can't wait!!!  This one he got off his video that Matt took.  Woohoo.  Adrianna/Susan is still not crying - but she could play a crying runner on TV.  haha

Thank you to Ken for inviting me and for my van for putting up with me.  They are a quiet group and well, I'm not.  I only swore 4 times and all 4 were the "not so bad" swear words.  I have to say I am proud of that.  Still, the best of times.  Good for me to hang out with people that aren't nurses/health care.  Although Heather is an ER nurse and she understood when I announced that I couldn't just go behind a bush because I had to POOP.  I'm pretty sure Charlotte blushed.  It was fun getting to know Billy - who parked his car at my house and we did a lot of shuttling around together.  We didn't ride in the same van and I was kinda sad about that, but it was fun getting to know him.  His wife does an awesome running blog.  

I wasted 1/2 a cell phone battery checking it out.  The three (aah em) older guys in the other van were so funny.  Lots of stories and Jeffrey is such an inspiration!!  Taking a chronic illness and making the best of it.  ANY kind of best of it!  

I could go on and on, but I've spent the whole dang day on this thing already.  Long blogs wear me out.  I dont' feel like I did the experience justice either.  I guess it's one of those things you have to do, get lucky to be with people that are willing to be happy when they are tired and hungry, and experience it first hand. 

Blog on................

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