Three plus months have passed and I have yet to recap my Ragnar Napa experience. Perhaps, the delay is due to the fact I did not want to acknowledge the experience, with five months of great anticipation, had come and gone. What I have come to know, in the months proceeding our 205 mile journey from San Francisco to Calistoga, CA, is that our Ragnar experience was just a kickstart to a wonderful relationship with 11 fellow mother runners.
Despite being separated by many miles and numerous state lines, we continue to engage in daily dialog with each other via our private Facebook group, emails,text, skype, and even an occasional conference call. Technology is great!
It was a tremendous honor to be selected as a participant on this team! I will forever cherish the memories or our CA weekend and look forward to creating more memories. In less that 5 months, almost 1 year to the day we found out we were selected for the team, 8 of us will be gathering in Pittsburgh, PA for the Pittsburgh Marathon weekend. While we will certainly miss SBS, Dimiity, Kelly, and Lisa. They will not be forgotten and will certainly be there in spirit.
I thought the best way to recap the weekend was through sharing the official AnotherMotherRunner.com Ragnar Napa Valley recaps. While this was a team effort, each of us had our very own unique personal experience. We covered the gamut with racing highs and racing woe’s. Enjoy the race recaps from my fellow team mates.
AMR Blog Post– Ragnar Napa Valley: The Mother Runner Recap
AMR Pod Cast– #129:Napa Valley Ragnar Relay
My pictorial recap!
Van #1-Erin, Dimity, Jen, Kelly, Kim, Lisa. Kicked up off bright and early Friday morning! We stayed at the lovely Marina Motel, San Francisco. The gardens were beautiful and the staff was so accommodating to our needs and our over sized vans!
Van #2- Sarah, Me, Mel, Laura, Jodi, Smitha. We got to sleep in and start running early afternoon ( In the HEAT!)
The “Mother of all things Relay” We were so fortunate to have Mel, whom has numerous relays under her belt, in our van. Seriously, think she brought everything we could possibly need except a portable air conditioner.
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on the way to our first exchange.
Van #2- READY!
Team shot minus Mel with one of our numerous sponsors NUUN. Perhaps one picture too many! But hey life was good and we were happy!
After heading in the wrong direction from the exchange, as a result of my poor navigation skills, we finally got back on track to met Mel at exchange #8. To make matters worse due to road construction Ragnar decided to make the transition area “floating”. Basically meaning you would meet your runner along a unmarked half mile area. CONFUSING FOR ALL! We waited, and waited with no signs of Mel. Whom decided because it was only three miles not to take her phone, garmin, or water. What could possibly go wrong? Well, due to the unmarked transition and no team in sight Mel kept running. Cannot say I blame her I would have done the same thing. After much waiting and contemplating, we decided we would set Laura off on her leg (we did not want her to miss her miles) and we would head to the next transition and hope Mel was there.
As we were waiting SBS found a penny! She was so excited! She also instructed Laura on her first “pop a squat”
RE-UNITED! We found our Mel! Hot, frazzled, and worn out we found our girl at the next exchange! Such a Relief! We did contact Ragnar Race Command to seek assistance of a lost runner and they were ZERO help!
Smitha and I waiting for Laura after her first run! It was HOT!
Finally off on my first 9 miles leg. So HOT! the spectators with the water sprayers were the BEST! The second time I saw one of the groups I had the m snap this photo!
Before he handed me back my phone he snuck in a quick selfie! So great! They made my day!
Re-united with Van 1 at exchange!
Aaron at the community center saved me by having batteries for my headlamp! ( Next time I will keep batteries out of lamp for travel, and bring extra)
Laura and I attempting sleep in the field of the community center. I am pretty sure SBS was snoring! That woman can sleep anywhere! Perhaps it was her Saucony body suit!
Ready for our second legs in the very very early morning!
Great 9 mile run. Super treat was watching the sun come up and finishing in the vineyards! Or is it a “Wine Yard” as Smitha called it lol!
Laura eventually got some sleep!
After 30 hours of awake time, I took “Personality rest time” My eyes were open but my mouth was shut! Powering up for our last legs of the relay!
“Smitha would you like some?” “No Thanks what is that Fat M&M’s?”…..I proceeded to almost pee myself in laughter. My sweet little Indian Princess had never seen a Peanut M&M! Life altering moment! We had hours of laughter at her expense! Forever referred to as FAT M&M’s!
Wasting time at the worst exchange ever. A dusty field, no shade, and a bunch of honey buckets ( Port-0- Potties) We passed time by bartering Fat M&M’s out for whatever we could get!
The day was getting hotter by the hour! Quick group shot before sending Jodi off on what turned out to be a horrific leg!
Me and the vines. It was so hot the camera was even sweating!
Killing time in Yountville! What a cute little town We did not stick out a bit in our tutus
After Jodi’s horrific hot run and reports of Ragnar rationing water at the aid stations The Mother of all Relays (Mel) declared WAR! She stormed the local grocery for water, ice , and ziplock baggies. If Ragnar was not going to take care of the runners we were! The runners were all so appreciative! ( We did call Ragnar race command and they did respond saying they would get more water on the course. Just poor planning as they forecast had not changed)
Finally, we set our sights on Jodi! We were so relieved to see her!
SBS looking BadASS after her 11 miler! We were all so Proud of her!
After SBS Beasted her 11 miles in the Sauna, due to temps and time Ragnar gave us the option to skip to the next exchange. We took the option! Smitha and I ran the final leg together! Warrior paint and all ( not whiskers) were were ready!
Probably the most entertaining 5.3 miles of my life. Singing, dance running and entertaining the cars stuck in traffic! We finally made it! Smitha , sandbagging, most of the run finally “Let it Go” and we sprinted to the finish!
DONE! 205 miles!
Delayed several hours due to the heat, and Ragnar running out of finisher medals…it was not the finish any of us had envisioned. But we were done! We did it together and had a blast! Unfortunately, we had to cancel our dinner plans and head straight for our hotel 2 hours away. We would have to wait to toast our finish at another time! ( all the more reason for a reunion)
Glowing from her finish! Mel popped our tops in our fab accommodations! I seriously considered sleeping in the van! Instead we toasted to our wonderful journey with Smitha, Lisa, and Laura!
Sad faces…All good things must come to an end. Van clean up!
Quck stop in San Fran to pick up our luggage at SBS’s friend Kate who let us store our luggage in her apartments. So helpful! We said our good byes to the those headed to the airport!
Sharing my Hoka love with Smitha!
Rounded out the trip by spending the afternoon and evening with my Van 1 peeps!
Tremendous thanks to Sarah and Dimity, AnotherMotherRunner.com, for pulling together this amazing team of 11 mother runners. This trip will forever hold a special place in my heart not only for the experience but most of all the friendships it kickstarted! Love to all my BAMRS! Cannot wait to see you in May!
Check out recaps from fellow blogging team mates:
Project Lovely Laura A four part mini series recap!
The Faux Runner- More Fat M&M’s and Wine Yards!
Two Princesses on the run- The one and only Princess of Ragnar 🙂