What does 186 miles of bouncing tulle, sweaty cummerbunds, and windblown cake toppers sound like to you? That’s right! My Big Fat Ragnar Wedding!
Having realized how awesome relays are earlier this year, I jumped at the chance to join another relay team for Ragnar Napa Valley. It’ll be like the last relay, only backwards.
Our team, “My Big Fat Ragnar Wedding”, and our vans will be dressed for the greek wedding theme as much as is reasonably possible. If only we had magically dissolving plates we could smash along the way.
Ragnar Napa Valley was fantastic. Let’s start there. The team was fantastic. Lots of new friends. The theme and the costume was fun. We got a lot of love.
Team Name: My Big Fat Ragnar Wedding
Team Number: 184
Team Cheer: Opa!
Runners: 6 “Grooms” and 6 “Brides”
Total Distance Traveled: 186.4 miles
Start: 11:00 am, Friday at Marina Park in San Francisco
Finish: 2:06 pm, Saturday in Calistoga (north of Napa)
The Ragnar Relay series introduced the Napa Valley course this year. Ironically, it finished in exactly the same location as The Relay started. We ran The Relay on our anniversary this year and we got hooked on relays!
We were late additions to My Big Fat Ragnar Wedding and were invited in by our teammate from The Relay, JZ. So we got lucky, basically.
Jason and I only knew three people on the relay team. The rest we met in San Fran the night before the race!
This time around, I was runner 6, which means that I am the last to run in Van 1. The downside to this is that I get anxious watching everyone else knock off their legs while I wait for my turn. The upside is that I hand off to the first runner in Van 2 and so I enjoy the few moments that the entire team is together and they’re cheering me in!
In total, I only had 13 miles to run. I figure this was good preparation for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose half coming up October 2nd.
We had a rough start to the relay with missing our exit and being forced to cross the bridge without JZ. $6 later we were back to pick her up. Signage issues forced her to take an unexpected detour on the course also.
Runner 2- Paul is out and Norma is ready to meet him in polka dot run shorts and vail. Hopefully these next few exchanges will be less confusing.
My first leg (a “moderate” 3.8) included a LOT of waiting for cross walks. While I didn’t find it difficult to follow the road signs and get where I needed to go, I did find it frustrated to cross streets over when it seemed unnecessary. It was early afternoon and hot. I don’t know how many runners passed me because I couldn’t be bothered to count.
My second leg (a hard 5.4) was definitely hilly. It was midnight and the stars were out. My pace was decent and I definitely finished with a runner’s high. I passed 1 runner this leg – my very first road kill.
I love the night legs! My 5.4 was listed as a hard leg due to hills but, for me, the crisp coolness of running at midnight makes up for that.
Perfect running temp. Great downhill stretches and I even passed someone!!! That never happens. I won’t bother to mention how many passed me inmy first two legs though. I’m happy for my singular road kill.
Now it’s nearly 2 am and we’re off for a few hours. I have to try calming down and try to get some shut eye on a gymnasium floor full of zonked Raggies. Someone nearby is snoring. Grrrrr.
One more leg to go.
My third leg (a moderate 3.8) began early in the morning while it was still cool and I finished just as the clouds burned off and it was beginning to get warm. I finished in 37 minutes and was glad to be done with my part of the relay. I passed 2 runners this leg!
I have to say that I was very impressed by my teammates. They were very speedy and handled some brutal legs at very difficult times of the day/night. They also wore their costumes well! Us ladies made use of the runningskirts.com compression socks, shorts, and skirts, with veils and garters. The men kept their bow ties and cummerbunds for the most part, and a few of them put garters on their arms. Needless to say we got a lot of “congratulations”, honks, and “Opa!”‘s. Everyone was snapping pictures of our van.
We also managed to navigate around fairly well and not get lost or be truly late to make an exchange. It’s always a bummer when a runner comes in hard and there’s no one to hand off too so they stand around waiting for their team to show up.
I will try to get a video up soon.