Thursday, June 27, 2013

The final 5 {ok 6} Highlights from Ragnar Wasatch Back

The moment you've all been waiting for, the second 5 {here are the first five, in case you missed them} of my 10 Favorites, from Wasatch Back.  Without further adieu:

6. #ragnarisms/#hollyisms

It's hard to explain, but it's almost like you come up with your own team language when running a relay.  Some of our "isms" that we adopted over the 30 hours were:
-Get it girl 
-Shut the front door
-Vegas Legs
-So, what time did you start {my oh so kind way of figuring out if we were beating a team or not}
-Like a boss 
-Sh** happens

Not going to lie, there were some pretty great Ragnar dance moves too...maybe #Ragmoves??

The van talk can get quite interesting; let's just say Ned thought we were talking about circumcisions, when in fact we were talking about c-sections {I mean, they are pretty similar after all}..the things girls talk about! We quickly came up with the rule: what's said in the van, stays in the van {which Ned just as quickly broke}:

7.  #sowhattimedidyoustart

It didn't take us long to figure out that we had a chance of winning the ultra division {ok, let's be honest, we were aiming for a win as soon as we touched down in Utah}, so we were constantly trying to determine if the ultra teams were all girls, and if so, what time they started {or maybe that was just me?? competitive much!?}.  I had it down to a science..."How is it going for you guys? Are you running 3 or 6 legs? Wow, that's great! And what time did you start?" By exchange 13 we were passing teams that started at 8am, and we started at 10.  There was one #sowhattimedidyoustart moment that I will never forget.  We were wrapping up our 5th legs waiting for Lisa to come in, and there was a member of a men's ultra team standing there.  I instantly went into my schpeel, asking the guy what time they started {now keep in mind that these guys were athletic looking, and clearly strong runners}.  No sooner than he said 8:30 {or 9:00, I really don't remember} Bry started laughing and Vieve  just had this "are you serious!?" look on her face {neither one of them discrete at all}.  The guy stood there for a second, looked at each of us, and just walked away, without saying anything.  Can we say chicked!? 

8.  #funnyfarm

After finishing her 12 mile nighttime run, Meghan gave a big hug to the guy she had ran with; it was clear that a bond had been formed.  When she got in the van she told us all about Sam, this fabulous young man who had ran the entire leg with he was so sweet and kind, getting ready to head out on his mission, and on one of 7 teams {made up of all family members} running for his aunt, who has a brain tumor. Please take the time to read their entire story, it's so inspiring. At the next transition, Lisa  ran in with a lady and they hugged and talked about how wonderful it was to run together; and once again, there was clearly a unique bond formed between the two of them.  After they laughed and shared stories from their run, I'm not sure why I did, but I asked if she was running with her family, for an aunt.  She was, she was Sam's mother, Laurie.  {ok, it might sound obvious that they would run together, being that Meghan and Sam came in together, but they actually didn't connect until around mile 2}.  Fast forward to our final legs...Lisa came powering up the "ragnar" leg with, you guessed it, Laurie. What a blessing that our team was blessed by their Ragnar Story; a story of heart, love, family, commitment, support, dedication, & perseverance. 

9.  #ultragirlscaneat

"I'll take a side of this, a side of that, oh and a side of that too!" Let's just say ULTRA girls can get their eat on.  And no, there weren't a lot of leftovers. Now, in their defense, it was a good thing they did some major carb loading prior to the relay because we seriously ate like birds in the van....our fuel mainly consisted of peanut butter pretzels and peanut M&Ms.  

And oh my, a Lil Ceasar pizza never tasted so good as it did when we finished! We were given a certificate for a free pizza at the finish line {note to Ragnar, ULTRA teams should received double the pizza because we ran double the miles}, which was devoured within minutes of us sitting down.  As soon as the last piece was eaten, Lisa looked over at me and asked if I could work some magic and get us another pizza. I took the challenge, turned on my charm {ok, that's a lie, I was just myself} and came back with another pizza; a big shout out to my friend Ozzy for hookin us up. We ate that, and then headed to dinner...

10.  #qualitytime

When running an ultra relay, especially with 6 legs as opposed to 3, you are constantly on the go...running, cheering, stretching, cheering,  running, getting ready to run, recovering from a run, cheering, running, maybe napping for an hour, and there isn't much time for those deep, meaningful conversations. Don't get me wrong, there was some phenomenal bonding that took place in the van, but the conversations outside of the van were just as meaningful.  Friday night after the relay and Saturday morning when we went to the airport, we had the chance to just chat, and get to know more about each other, outside of running. We shared our struggles, about our families, we laughed, we cried, and we made saying good-bye that much harder! I don't like good-byes, I prefer "until next time"    

OK, I lied...their are 11 highlights, I couldn't keep it to just 10!

11. #teamworkFTW

Yes, some people ran "harder" legs and faster paces BUT it was a 7 man effort to get us from start to finish, and we couldn't of done it without each person giving it their all. Did I mention we WON the women's ULTRA division!!!? Each runner truly fought with heart, passion, and determination and left it all out there on the streets of Utah! You noticed I said "7 man" because we truly could not of done it, the way we did, if it wasn't for Ned. Not only did he navigate us from exchange to exchange, he quickly became a part of our team and was our biggest supporter and cheerleader.  Ned believed is us, and was always beaming with pride. "Thank You" does not seem sufficient for all he did for us...a true blessing to #highNUUN. 

While there are no words to truly capture the essence of our experience, for me it was truly one of the most amazing running experiences I have had. Running a relay is different from accomplishing your personal A goal or running your dream race,  but they both greatly enrich your life, and leave you walking {or should I say running} away a better person.  This team will always hold a special place in my heart. 



  1. Holly you captured Ragnar!! I loved this post and couldn't stop laughing about our "ism's" and about my horribly rude moment. I have been forever changed from this experience.

  2. SO freakin' fun! I want to run a relay so bad!

  3. It was epic.. so grateful to be a part of such an amazing team

  4. awww reading your highlights makes me happy that you ladies (+man) were able to form such a strong bond and have such a great time! Congrats on the WIN :) I am DYING to run a relay next year... sooo exciting!