I'm calling this my sweet 16th. My team regrets not baking me a cake. But everything else in this race was about me, so it's ok. So, people who don't know me are probably going to hate me after reading this report. And that's also ok.
Shannon Downs invited me to be on her Vegas team. She was the captain of my Vegas team two years ago and our So Cal team last year. She made a Facebook page for our team. At one point, she asked us all to submit a name for our team. Only one name was submitted.
Our van consisted of Shannon, her husband who was doing his first Ragnar, Shannon's friend Sharrell who was on Shannon's Vegas team last year, Sharrell's husband Chris who is a cop for the City of Mesa, and our superstar Betsy who was on my Vegas team three years ago. We took my van and drove up up to Vegas. We picked up Betsy at the airport. It was fun listening to all of Chris's cop stories.
We stayed the night at the Mount Charleston Resort. It was nice and had a beautiful view, but horrible wifi. We played Uno. I slept on the floor, which made me worry because my back didn't like it when I slept on the ground the previous week at the scout camporee. But my back did all right. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay in one position very long and tossed and turned a lot which caused me to snore. Oh well. Burt rules at snoring, too!
Before we left the resort, we decorated the van. I had printed out some black and white pictures of a handsome Burt Reynolds. Little did I know that Shannon had printed out some quality pictures of me. She must have got them off my Facebook page or something.
Our start time was 9:30am. It wasn't nearly as cold or windy as it was last year. Matt started us out and did awesome. He handed off to Chris. Chris is not to fond of running, but he did great. He started sprinting when he hit the 1 Mile to Go marker. We had to boogie to the exchange so he didn't beat us. Chris handed off to Sharrell. It was so romantic. Sharrell handed off to Shannon. Everyone was doing great and we were getting ahead of our predicted times. Shannon handed off to Betsy. Poor Betsy. She had just run a 3:24 marathon two weeks prior. Her ankle had been bothering her ever since, so she tried to take it real easy up until Ragnar. Her first leg was 9.4 miles. She got about 2 miles in and knew it wasn't going to happen. The bad thing was, this was a no-support leg because it was out on the highway. Anyway, another van saw her limping along and called it in. We got a text message from Ragnar telling us that our runner was injured and we needed to go get her. It said she was about 4 miles in. So we drove back down the divided highway, but couldn't find her. Near the halfway point there was an overpass that the runners had to run up and back down on the other side. We pulled off there and asked the teams that were waiting there if they had seen our runner. They had not. Then as we were driving on the on-ramp we saw another van pulled over. We asked if they had seen our runner. They had. They were the ones that called it in and they said there were some emergency vehicles tending to her. So we figured they had taken her to the exchange. We got back to the exchange and found her. I felt so bad for her. I told the volunteer to mark me down because our runner was hurt and I was taking off. My first leg was 3.6 miles. I didn't have a GPS with me, but it felt longer. I made it to the first major exchange to find Bethany waiting there for me with my picture on her back. I gave her a "good game" slap on the tush because they didn't think I would do it in front of her husband. Luckily someone snapped a picture right then and has immortalized it on Facebook.
Our second set of legs were at night. Betsy still wanted to participate so we switched things up a bit. Sharrell had a two mile leg. Betsy ran/hobbled that one. What a trooper. My run was 10.0 miles with 828 feet of uphill. It was no-support. The first 6 miles felt great. But then it seemed like the hill got a little steeper. I knew there was some downhill coming after 7 miles so I just pushed myself to get there. The downhill was nice, but it wasn't much of a relief. I thought the last three miles were downhill, but only two of them were. The last mile was back uphill. That kicked my behind.
By now it was getting cold. I slept in the passenger seat of the van for a while. There were no showers and I didn't feel like baby-wiping off in the cold. So I just sat there and stewed in my own filth. I ended up wearing the same outfit for my final leg, which is something I've never done before. I actually didn't shower until I got home. So disgusting. Anyway, nobody needs to know that. My last run was early in the morning. Night time hours were over, so I was lucky enough to only have to run one night time leg. My last run was 3.5 miles. My back was kind of tightening up, so I put my T.E.N.S. Unit on for a while. But my hamstring was really starting to bother me. That worried me. Anyway, I stretched it out real good and that helped. It didn't bother me at all. My final leg was real nice. Mostly downhill and glorious. Shannon and Matt split Betsy's final leg. Everyone did great. After we finished and while we were waiting for Van #2 to finish, we went to IHOP. Betsy snuck out and paid for everyone's breakfast. She's the best. I love her so much. I know she felt bad, and I told her how I couldn't finish my legs last year because I also got injured. I told her how much of a loser I felt like and how I didn't know if I deserved a finisher's medal. It didn't seem to help her.
As a team we finished about 30 minutes before what I predicted we would. We were in the top 27% of our division. I think that's pretty good. I am proud of my effort. I wish I was in better shape, but it's hard lately with as much as I've been working. But I will say that my team rules!!