If you’re looking for a challenge, banter, epic views and a lot of sugar Reebok Ragnar Relay is for you.
I was very lucky to have been asked to join the Women’s and Men’s Running Magazine team. To be honest I got the message when I was in Canada, drunk, and thought YEAAAA why not! Some of my best decisions have been made drunk and this certainly was one of them.
A lot of you have asked me how it all works. I was confused too!
– Total mileage: 170
– Maidstone to Brighton
– Team of 10 or 6 if you’re a team of ultra runners
– 2 vans with 5 runners in each
– There was a total of 30 exchanges, every 10th exchange was a “major” exchange as this was where you would start your rotation again (i.e from the beginning). When the boys were running i.e 1-5 we would go to exchange 6 and wait for them and so on . This allowed us some time to eat, relax and get ready.
I was mostly nervous about the night run. I couldn’t guarantee that I would be running with someone. Start times were staggered so unless everyone stayed together and at the same pace, that wasn’t going to happen, it was a race after all! Alas it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I did pre warn Mike that he might be getting a call from me at 3am either lost or scared or both! Thankfully 10 minutes into my night run I spotted a flash light 200 metres ahead, I literally sprinted as fast as I could to catch up. I did scare the life out of them but they did agree to stay with me!
The signage was hit and miss, good for my first and last run but not the night run. To be fair to the organisers they had to deal with drunk idiots who thought it would be hilarious to either hide them or face the other direction. Fortunately I kept my phone with me( the app had the map on it) but two of our team members got lost. We did rip the piss out of them! I’m generally atrocious when it comes to directions, a lot of people can vouch for me on this but miracles happen and I stayed on track.
Two things I struggled with…
– Lack of sleep
– Lack of shower
I love sleep and I got 2ish hours of cramped sleep in the back of a van, in sweaty gear. YACK. Baby wipes were my closest friends but come the end of the race there was nothing a baby wipe could do, to hide the smell!
My favourite part, aside from the overwhelming sense of achievement was the banter and support not only within our team but from others too. We were all in it together, we were all just as crazy and determined as one another.
I ran just over 30km and while it was less than a marathon, the thing that made it hard was the constant stopping, waiting and going again. You had to mentally prepare yourself for every leg, particularly the last. My legs were sore, I had two hours sleep, my stomach was not appreciating all the sugar and it was so warm.
But guess what, I did it, we did it and we came 7th overall. Now we’re deciding what challenge to do next. My biggest learning from the race was to never underestimate my ability. There’s nothing stopping any of us from achieving what we think is unrealistic whether it’s job related, fitness related or relationship related. GO GET IT!