Every year since 2011 I say this is the LAST TIME I run Ragnar!

Then you know what happens…

THIS HAPPENS!

Ragnar FL Keys pic 1

The company I work for, Fitletic, is sponsoring a few of the Ragnar Relays this year. We decided that we needed to put teams together for each of them and it worked out that Florida Keys was the first one! I love running Ragnar Relay, it is “the most fun you will have while being completely miserable!”

This was my first year running RagnarFLK. However for the past three years I have ran Ragnar Del Sol in AZ, one regular 12 person team and TWO ultras (6 person team)! I would definitely say I am a veteran Ragnar Runner now.

Ragnar brings all sorts of runners together and that is the main reason I love it. You have the person who has never ran over 7 miles, an Ironman, your causal fun runner and then you have the 100 mile running freak ALL in the same van!! It is like going to a party and meeting a bunch of people that love the same thing you do, RUNNING, then getting together and stinking up a van for 30 hours!

EXCHANGE ONE – THE START

 Ragnar FL Keys pic 2

Ragnar starts out different than your usual race, you go through ‘Gear Check, Safety Briefing, then the normal swag pick up, bib number and t-shirt pick up.’ Since there are over 400 teams racing everyone has a different start time depending on your teams pace. We got the 10:30am start time! Once you start you end up leap frogging with your two vans (6 runners in each van) so you don’t really spend much time with your other van.

MANDI RUNS

 Ragnar FL Keys pic 3

Friday 10:42am – 42min into the race

Leg 1 – 4.4 miles Coconut Grove

(36:43 ~ 8:16min/mile)

Leg 1 made me nervous, I knew my last leg would be the hardest and I wanted to try to keep some of my energy for that, so I ran it comfortably. Ragnar is not an easy race, even if you are used to running the distances, it is still a lot different than just running a 5k, 10k or half marathon. You have to run with little to no sleep or food and you are crammed in a van for 30 hours!

 Ragnar FL Keys pic 4

Friday 7:30pm – 9hrs 30min into the race

Leg 2 – 4.7 miles Middle of the Swamp

(5.24 miles 42:37 ~ 8:06min/mile)

So… as you probably know Florida has A LOT of gators. AND this was a night run through the swamp. There were gators… but more importantly I did not see any gators while running!! #yay

I got 19 kills (passing people during Ragnar is called ‘killing’). Two right before the finish line… right before I vomited everywhere!

HAHAHAHAHA it was not pretty but sometimes you just have to #BlowUpOrThrowUp!

I was pushing for those last two kills and my stomach revolted… thankfully I was not sick, only pushing a bit too hard on that last part of the run. 🙂

Somewhere in between Leg 2 and 3 I got about three hours of sleep in a stinky van… that sure was refreshing!! No, it really was I promise! 🙂

Ragnar FL Keys pic 5

Saturday 7:23am – 20hrs 23min into the race

Leg 3 – 9 miles The Keys!

(9.51 miles 1:24 ~ 8:50min/mile)

The. Last. Leg. This one was the hardest.

I was SUPER excited to run over the 7 mile bridge though! It is the entire reason I choose to be Runner Two. The bridge was going to be EPIC! AND it was… until 3 miles into it! The idea of the bridge is sweet, but the scenery does not change… talk. about. boring.

The water was beautiful, the day wan’t too hot yet and I was #killing, 20 kills total!!

EXCHANGE 30

This was our vans ‘Finish Line!!’ We choose to go to the first place we found and EAT! It was the best meal ever!! Then we headed down to Key West, took a quick dip in the ocean and waited for Van 2 to finish up the race for us.

 Ragnar FL Keys pic 6

THE FINISH

29 hours 12 minutes

49th out of 478

The entire team waited near the finish line and when our last runner came FLYING through we joined her and ran the last little bit of the race with her, crossing the finish line as a team!  THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN!!! It is a rewarding finish; racing for 29 hours is not easy and we did it!!

Once you finish there is a ton of stuff to do! Grab some after race snacks, water, NUUN, shop and of course the beer garden!

I think we lasted an hour in the beer garden. After the long race we were done. So the team drove home to SLEEP!

Can’t wait for my next Ragnar!!!! Follow me on my journey at MandiRuns.com!

Run. Rally. Repeat.

 

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