Friday, January 20, 2012

Ragnar Florida Keys Part 3: Running THROUGH Marathon

So to pick up where we left off...

At the end of my last post I was sleeping in van down by the river in the parking lot of Coral Shores High School in Tavernier. Meanwhile the first half of our team was traversing their way through the rest of Homestead and Key Largo, finally ending with a handoff to our Van.

It was a little before 7:00 when the final runner of Van 1 reached us. With the sun rising over the water, it was go time again. Now it would our our job to carry the torch get the timing bracelet across Islamorada.

The first leg of this set was approximately 10 miles long. We had shuffled the line-up at the last minute so Elijah (runner #7), wasn't expecting to run this far at one time. He had anticipated running 10 miles for the whole relay! He stepped up to the challenge though..

And like good teammates, we did the sportsman like thing.....Patted him on the back, said "Go get 'em buddy" and "We'll see ya in an hour and a half after we're done having fun." 

I kid. Sort of.

We directed our van driver to Robbie's Tarpon Ranch. It's a quirky little place Mr.Blondie and I like to stop every time we go to the Keys. For $3 you get a bucket of bait fish which you can feed the ginormous Tarpon that congregate around their dock.

Ok, maybe our runner didn't miss much after all. Hey, we thought it was fun at least.

We also got lucky and saw this guy.

Elijah (runner #7) finished up his 10 miles like a champ, and we had some time to kill after that. We joked around and took some pictures while we were waiting for our next 3 runners to finish their segments.

Adelle (runner #9), with our team captain John who paced her, arrived right on time and handed off to Mr. Blondie.

I helped him get on his way.

Mr. Blondie survived his 3.5 miles, then it was time for me to run my 7-ish miles. My leg was through Marathon Key. How apropos right?

It was a little past noon at this point and the temp was in the low 80's. It had been about 60 degrees when I ran the night before, and that was perfect. I knew I was going to struggle in the heat for this part.

My calves were tight from the night before, and I felt stiff for the first mile. Breaking out the calf sleeves really helped in the beginning until I loosened up again.

Things were going well until mile 3. Then the heat and my sub-par breakfast (pretzels and Powerade Zero) started getting the best of me. My stomach was angry. I knew I was going to get sick, I just didn't know from which end. Let's just say I let the evil out once I reached mile 6, then held on the best I could to finish up.

I handed of the timing bracelet and it was Van 1's turn to again. It took about an hour for me to cool down and feel normal again. Then I couldn't wait to get my hands on a normal meal.

We stopped at another place we like for lunch when we visit to the Keys. It's at the base of the 7 Mile Bridge, hence the name. The have an excellent grilled grouper sandwich if you're ever in the area.

Once again I think Van 1 had it rougher than us. It sounded cool on paper, but in reality we were sooo glad not to be running the leg over the 7 Mile Bridge. It was blazing hot, and traffic was whizzing by with nary a shoulder to run on.

Someone almost got killed. A car had flipped over trying to avoid a runner earlier in the day. I think everyone was able to walk away ok, this happened before we got there.

Our Van 1 runners managed to stay strong, and got through their next 6 legs on target. Then it was back to us.........

Next post: Bringing It Home


  1. I've read some other blogs about this event. You guys are insane, but good for you! It sounds like a once in a lifetime marathon. That's a great start to your 2012 races.

  2. I've read some other blogs about this event. You guys are insane, but good for you! It sounds like a once in a lifetime marathon. That's a great start to your 2012 races.

  3. Ohhh... that's terrible to get sick! You still kept up a great pace - totally impressed!. :)

    The more I read about this race, the more I want to do one.

  4. That sounds like such a cool race! Your 7 mile leg in the heat sounds pretty brutal though.

    Chris would have loved feeding the tarpon at Robbie's. Right up his alley.

  5. this looks like so much fun!!! congrats!

  6. This is probably worse than a chain letter but I have tagged you in my 11 things post!

  7. It looks like you had an amazing time!! I'm sorry you didn't feel well. Can't wait to red the rest of the story! :)

  8. I've been working on it! Enjoyed reading yours and having fun coming up with my own. Will post later this week!

  9. Hi!
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blog posts about Tavernier to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you :)