(You can read Part 3 here.)
We made it through our first runs on Friday afternoon. We made it through our second runs in the early hours of Saturday morning.
But we still had one more set of runs to complete, and they were going to be our toughest, yet. While we showered and napped at our team hotel room, our other van ran their last legs. They were every shade of awesome and got the job done. They also spent some time capturing the experience in pictures and on video.
Here's some of the great images of them running through the Napa countryside.
It was nearly 11am when it was our turn to run again. The heat was already a factor and it was only getting hotter. We made sure we each had plenty of water before we headed out for our miles, and we needed every bit of it. By the time I ran, the heat index was over 100 degrees.
My last run was 5.5 miles through the vineyards of Calistoga. The course was mostly flat, which was good, but it also offered very little shade. I was going to get direct, late afternoon sunshine most of the way. I filled my Camelbak and waited for Runner 11 to get to the exchange. At 3:36pm, I started the final leg for our team.
A couple of miles in to my run, I noticed a woman ahead of me. She was walking, and I decided I would take a quick break, too. As soon as I started to walk, though, I noticed she started running again. Well, I couldn't let her get away, so I began to run, too. I caught up with her, noticed she was running without any water, and shared some of mine with her. We started chatting as we ran, and we ended up motivating and encouraging each other the rest of the way in.
The details of our conversation will stay between she and I, but I will say this. Once again, through the meeting of a complete stranger on a race course, I am reminded that the running community is made up of the most amazing, inspiring, and incredible people I've known. Not since the Marine Corps have I met people so willing to put themselves out to help others, so determined to see others succeed, and so motivated to meet any challenge. Thank you, Tabitha, for being a great running buddy. I hope to see you again on some other course someday.
After 5.5 miles in the hot sun, I was very happy to see my team waiting for me near the Finish Line. We formed up and crossed together.
After the big finish, we headed out to celebrate. None of us had a lot of energy left, but we managed to pull it together to enjoy a Napa Brewed Beer and some dinner. (Did I mention that the Ragnar Finisher's Medal is also a bottle opener?)
And that was the end of my Ragnar Napa adventure. All I'm taking away is my super cool costume and some great memories.
Thanks for following along with my Ragnar Blogs. I hope they've given you a better idea of what it's like to run a relay race. And I hope I've inspired you to say "yes!" to your own adventure!