Friday, January 27, 2012

Ragnar Florida Keys Part 4: Bringing it Home

Now that I've drawn this out as long as possible, I suppose I should wrap this thing up. I have one more batch of Ragnar pictures if you'll hang with me, and then we can return to some regularly scheduled blogging :)

When we last left off, our van had just completed our second round of runs, and were having lunch near the 7 Mile Bridge. After we finished we still had hours to kill, so we directed our van driver to Bahia Honda State

The water was colder than we expected it to be, and changing into bathing suits and getting all sandy was more effort than we were willing to put forth by that point. We opted to stroll along the beach, and then walked to the top of the old Flagler Bridge to take pictures.

After a couple hours at the park and one more coffee stop, we made our way to Sugarloaf Elementary School. It was the last major exchange point. Van 1 would be completely done, and then it would be up to us to finish the last 6 segments.

As we milled around the school parking lot, we were trying to size up our position. We had made up some time, but were still one of the last 30 teams on the course due to our late start time. Some of the checkpoints were already being disassembled as we came through. It was a little disheartening. We just wanted to be DONE.

Around 4:30, the last runner of Van 1 handed off the timing bracelet to Elijah (runner #7), and it was "go time" again.

The next exchange zone was in the parking lot of this place. No, it wasn't open, I'm sure to the dismay of some.

The last 3 legs were short...2, 3.5, and 5.6 miles. Unlike the residential sections near Miami, when we hit grid lock traffic going into Key West, we had no alternate ways to go.

Scared we wouldn't make it to the final exchange point before Mr. Blondie got there, I decided I'd just run with him.

The shoulder was to narrow too run side by side. I let Mr. Blondie lead the way. It fun to be out there together.

Together the miles went by quickly, and then I was on my own to bring it home. 

The last couple miles refreshed my memory of what it's like to run a marathon. My body was exhausted, I felt delirious and was seeing weird shapes and shadows in the dark. 

Oh man, am I really going to attempt another full marathon later this year? 

Granted it would have been much easier to run 25 miles straight, instead of being broken up over the course of 30 hours. I couldn't stop asking myself that question though.

Total mileage run: 25.4

Coming into home stretch was pure exhilaration and emotion. Our entire team joined hands and crossed together.

There was beer at the end (and only beer, everything else was gone), but we were more interested in finding Key Lime Pie on a stick.

We took the obligatory pictures, then went back to the hotel to clean up.

We were exhausted, but the night wouldn't be complete without hitting Duval Street. One margarita at Sloppy Joes was plenty for us. After our drink we made out way back to the hotel and flopped happily into bed. We were deep asleep in about 2 seconds flat.

Morning came too quickly, but we had to get moving. We had a team brunch at Camille's (which only has THE BEST pancakes and french toast ever, I'd been looking forward to it the entire trip).

And after just missing each other at checkpoints the entire race,  I finally got to meet the fabulous Jena in real life!

The vans had to be back at the Miami airport by 4 pm, and we had flight to catch. Fortunately we had no problem getting a flight home despite it being a busy Sunday night.

Even though we just made it in before the cut-off time...seriously, they turned off the clock and started taking down the finish line about 30 minutes after we finished.....we didn't do so bad overall. We came in 101st out of 246 teams in the "mixed open" division with a time of 31:37. We would have been closer to 70th, had we not lost about an hour when our runner got lost on leg #16.

We're already discussing which Ragnar we're gong to do next.


  1. Come run Socal! It's a lot bigger. Last year there were nearly a 1000 teams including two Biggest Loser alumni teams. But it's in April, which is soon.

    Loved reading your recaps - it's getting me psyched for April!

  2. Great job with that many miles! And what a great location to do a Ragnar. You guys did a fantastic job and well earned that key lime pie on a stick!

  3. Congrats! I've enjoyed reading about your journey. A friend of mine did this too but I haven't had a chance to catch up with him on his adventure. Great job on your 25+ are right, I certainly think a full marathon would be a lot easier to do all at once! :)

  4. Very cool looking race. I kind of want to do a relay now after seeing this!

  5. You get mad props! I was just thinking about how I need to start running! You have motivated me! But only Just a mile or two : ) Saw your blog on Baby Makes Four!

  6. 25.4 miles! Wow! You're an animal!

    Sounds like an awesome experience. I'm glad you had fun. It is really cool that you got to meet Jena too. Do you guys have matching sunglasses?

  7. Out teammate Elijah ran SoCal last year, and had a blast. said there were a lot more freebies too!

  8. This was so much fun to read! I was in Key West the week before Ragnar this year and hit many of the spots you did: Bahia Honda, Camille's, Sloppy Joe's of course! So much fun!
    I'll be doing my first relay in June: Ragnar Madison to Chicago. Cannot wait!

  9. Nice job and a grea pace too! I enjoyed the write-up.