Ragnar Florida Keys…..Thru My Eyes

2013 Ragnar – Florida Keys – Part II

When I signed on to join a 12 person team for the Ragnar Florida Keys race, I knew that I was signing on for a “train wreck”, so to speak.  I knew that everyone was expecting fun, fun, fun but I also knew that a different type of “fun” would be the reality.  If you aren’t a person who can kinda “roll with the punches” then this may not be an event for you.  The team members and the personalities of the team can either make or break the event.  A good group of team members will get you to the finish as smoothly as possible.  A bad group, well…. I don’t even want to think of how that would go down.  As I said, I had a good team and we made it to the finish.

Ragnar Keys_team at finish

We started with 12 team members and were quickly down to 10.   The ability of this team to “roll with the  punches” meant that it was an inconvenience losing a couple people, but no big thing in reality.  We divided up the remaining miles and just planned to do what we came to do …… run.  We moved toward the finish, as efficiently as possible, one leg at a time.  No big thing, we came to run.

Running a long distance relay, with 9 other people means that you hurry up and wait.  We were either waiting to run, waiting for another runner to get ready, waiting for another runner to come in, waiting to check on & offer support to another runner, waiting for the other van to move thru their legs, waiting in traffic, waiting to get some food, waiting to get some sleep……… waiting.  Hurry up and wait.  No big thing, we came to run.

When you do get to run, it’s not like a traditional race where you are surrounded by 500 to 40,000 of your very best friends but rather similar to a training run where you are out there, quite often all alone, slugging out the miles.

Ragnar Keys _bridge awaiting runners

It’s solitary.  Sometimes along a lonely stretch of highway.  Sometimes along a beautiful bridge. Sometimes picking your way along a gravel road beside a canal with gators. Sometimes in town, in the dark, trekking sidewalks, fighting off a pimp and his ho pedestrian traffic.  Sometimes on a desolate trail or path thru migrant worker fields where they shoot fireworks at you “for fun”.  No big thing, we came to run.

The SWAG for this event was average and included some fueling options (cliff shot blocks and a few other options that I didn’t really look at cuz I brought my own Rehydrate Gel), a Leslie Jordan tech tee & a Ragnar tattoo.  No big thing, we came to run.

Ragnar Keys_swag

At the finish line we received a Ragnar 2013 sticker  and our medal, which happens to be a handy bottle opener.  I have already used it to open a “few” Corona Lights.  Cool but nothing too exciting.  No big thing, we came to run.  

Side note……the bottle opener medal is actually a VERY cool thing to me.  I don’t display or hang my medals and this is actually something I will use on a frequent basis.  However, others might not get the same type of “use” out of it that I will and therefore may not get as excited over it as me.  Personally, I’d run another 200 miles just for this medal/church key to have a friend which I could throw in the boat.  🙂

Ragnar Keys_medal - sticker  image Ragnar Keys_medal-bottle opener

There was a finish line party.  We all received a free beer.  There were a few vendors and a place to purchase food & beer.  The party was on the beach.  Cool but nothing too exciting.  No big thing, we came to run.

Ragnar Keys_finsh panaramic

Ragnar Keys_finish - water- hotel

Ragnar is a runner’s race.  Its a self supported event where you (and your vanmates) need to take care of everything from start to finish.  If you expect a party and a lot of hoopla, you might be disappointed.  If you come to run, then you will be thrilled and elated at the finish to have completed an amazing adventure. 

Ragnar Keys_ me finish - water

  ** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

8 thoughts on “Ragnar Florida Keys…..Thru My Eyes

  1. Nice pics. With all of that waiting to run, I was wondering what your thoughts were on running it again, but with a smaller team? That way, you’d get to run more.

    • Possibly with a slightly smaller team. Possibly in a different location. Possibly. I’m still fresh off the event, kinda like fresh off a marathon, so I’m still in the “never again” phase. And honestly, for my current level of fitness, the temps and the fact that my foot is better but I’m still nervous about it….. I wouldn’t have wanted to run this event with any fewer people. I only had 21 miles but it was enough for me, for now. It was a tough 21 miles. I’m still sore & tired.

  2. I am still so sad I wasn’t in miami when everyone was here all weekend!! wish I could have met you 🙂 I have had fantastic experiences, but i think the team totally makes or breaks it

  3. Sounds like an awesome adventure! And what a great place to run! How do you get started in a Ragnar group? Do you just get a group together and sign up? I would love to run it one day!

    • You either start a group or join one. I joined one both times for Ragnar Chicago (which I ended up not running due to injury) and this one. Lots of people looking for teammates!

      On Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 11:59 AM, TooTallFritz

  4. Pingback: The Countdown …. Chicago Marathon 2013 | TooTallFritz

  5. Ragnar Key West is one of my bucket list races…KW is one of my favourite places in the world and I know how amazing the drive is on the Overseas Highway. I love the challenge of a Ragnar as well, I just need to find a team I guess. Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

    • Lots of teams lose people at the last minute. You could go. Last year this race was the weekend before Disney so a lot of people I knew hung out in KW for a few days after the race, then went to Disney for Goofy. I think they moved the date this year though.

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