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_This being the second year for me in a Ragnar Relay, I was ready for what was to come.  A few things were different: 1. I was not going to be running the longest leg, 2. my team was going to be all male, and 3. we were starting in the afternoon.

The 2012 theme was Running Out of Time, a play on the Mayan calendar ending in 2012.  Our car was decorated with Mayan runners, a pyramid, and a Mayan calendar.  As usual we had the most original car and theme. Thanks to Robert for all the great work on it! As for the costumes, no we didn't wear them the whole time.

The 2012 team consisted of 2 of my teammates from 2011 and three new teammates. Our new teammates were so amazing, I definitely felt inadequate.  Some of these guys have qualified for Boston and have race overall wins.  Given my inferior athletic ability to my amazing teammates, I was perfectly okay letting the studs take the hard legs.  However, one of our teammates got injured in the middle of the race and we had to adapt to that.  More on that later.

This year all 6 of us were at the start.  It was somewhat warm at the start, luckily I wasn't running for another couple of hours, so run Jeff run!  We did have a mishap between leg 2 and 3.  We got struck in that wonderful Miami traffic and was 5 minutes late to the exchange.  Luckily everyone was in good spirits and we just used it as motivation.  I ran the dusk leg as my first one.  I kept a good pace, but made sure not to go too hard because of the miles to come with the lack of sleep.

When we finally go to the Keys, we ran into a issue.  Everything was closed, restaurants and grocery stores.  This made it difficult to eat.  We had to eat the awful food at the gas stations.  Needless to say, no one was particularly happy about this.  But, the body needs sustenance and so we had make due with what we had.  After eating, I was able to sleep a total of about 2 hours.

My next run was at 4am. Let's just say, you aren't thinking that clearly at 4am normally, just think how much more that is amplified.  This run was through what seemed as uninhabited islands, in the middle of the night, with almost no other runners around me.  It was actually quite peaceful and cathartic.  When I finished I was beat and starving! Lucky for us, McDonald's was about to open and we could get real food in our stomachs.

For my third and final leg was my injured teammates leg.  Instead of running 4.7 miles, I had to run 6.2 miles.  While this normally is not an issue, when you have 2 hours of sleep and around 20 miles under your belt, any extra mile literally makes you want to cry.  Add on top of that the heat, sun, and complete like of shade, I and every other runner around me was just screaming to themselves to just make to the exchange.  In these dark times, you make crazy deals with yourself.  At one point I was just making deals to make it to the next bridge; you can have a double whopper if you don't walk.  Needless to say, I made it to the exchange without walking!

As we got to the end of the race, we had one team near us that started at the same time.  This meant Rob was going to have to leave everything out on the course in order for us to beat that team.  As we crossed the finish line with Rob, the other team was no where to be seen.  As we learned later, we beat the other team by about 45 seconds.  Rob was a beast to run in that heat.  While we didn't win, our team put in a great effort and we had a blast.  Thanks to everyone who helped make this race a success and congratulations to our female counterparts who won the female ultra division.

 


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