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 **