As you know, the Ragnar Florida Keys event begins in Miami and finishes in Key West, Florida at the “southermost” tip of the continental United States. The event covers 196.9 miles over a 24 to 36 hour period.
I must say, this route looks as if it can’t possibly be anything but scenic but I am a realist and know that despite the beauty, it will be difficult and windy once we hit the causeways heading toward the Keys. But still beautiful.
I filled the slot for Runner #1 for our team, 2 Bros & 10 Does. I’m excited to be leading off the race, starting in “hopefully” nice cool temps at 7:30 am, and getting my first leg out of the way before I lose too much energy to nerves. Leg #1 is 5.7 miles and designed as HARD, probably because mile 1-3 are on the Rickenbacker Causeway. There is a steep incline to get onto the causeway (think a very long entrance ramp to a freeway) which I believe I was told would be approximately a mile in length. Yes, 1 mile of pure burning climb. Hmmmm….wonder how this will effect my pace? Once the mile long climb is complete, then it will be smooth/flat running
unless the wind pushes me over the edge til I descend & leave the causeway. What goes up MUST come down and that’s what I try to remember as the inclines are zapping all power out of my legs.
My second leg will then commence after my 12 teammates take a turn killing “a few” miles. I will be back on the run with Leg #13 in Homestead, FL which also happens to be the hometown of my friend, fellow Tough Chik, & teammate, Angela C over at Life Beyond the Chaos. Leg #13 promises 8.8 VERY HARD
boring miles. Awesome. This leg, besides being longish, guarantees an amazing gravel road with large rocks & massive potholes which will be VERY difficult to run. Sounds great, right? It could only better if I get to run it in the dark! According to our calculations, if everyone is on pace which will be impossible, then I will finish this leg at 6:43pm. So I have a chance of some daylight during this section. A “chance”. If everyone is on pace. Yep, I plan to run it in the dark.
My third and final leg of the event looks awesome! It will be run leg #25. A “mere” 3 EASY miles. Elevation change = 0. Those miles look like a piece of paradise in Marathon, FL. However, I do wonder how much fatigue my legs will be exhibiting at that point in the event. Focus on the
end beauty, right? If all goes well, and we are once again “on pace”, I will be running this section at 8:38 am. Yep, I’ll plan to run mid morning.
Then I wait til the team cycles thru our 12 runners again and look forward to the finish line ceremony. At the finish, both vans and all teammates assemble and run thru the finish together for
beer and pizza the finisher medals and photos.
Although, it all looks easy enough, I know to expect the unexpected. Everything matters in relay running: each runner, weather, elevation changes, fueling, terrain, etc. If you think of all the random things that can happen to 1 runner in a race, now multiply that by 12. Lots of variables. I’ll just be hoping for the best and focusing on hydration and fuel.
**Happy Relay Running** Amanda – TooTallFritz * email@example.com