Well, 13 is not a lucky number. Especially in Vegas.
I finally ran my 13th Ragnar on a team from my ward. I've wanted to do it for quite some time. My Bishop likes to run the Ragnar relay. He captained up the team. Unfortunately, a couple of days before the race, his boss told him he could not miss work. So he ended up not going. He was runner #3, and I was runner #2. I decided to run his first leg which would give me a total of 10.1 miles and 3140 feet of downhill.
We had a 6:30am start time. The course this year started up at the Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort which is at an elevation of 8659 feet. It was COLD and the wind was blowing hard. In fact, it was snowing and the snow stung our exposed faces. I'm kind of glad I wasn't the first runner. My neighbor Mike that lives behind me was. He did pretty good as he got us down the first 2079 feet of elevation. Then he handed off to me at elevation 6490.
Remember that wind I was telling you about? Luckily it was a tailwind. No, wait. That was unlucky. I knew I needed to take it very easy going down the hill, but the first two miles were so steep and windy that I couldn't. I managed to injure myself, but didn't know to what extent at the time.
Mike ran the last mile of his leg so fast that I didn't have time for my Garmin to locate satellites. I didn't know how far I had gone, but I did see a sign that said "ELEVATION 5000" and later another that said "ELEVATION 4000." My calves and feet started to hurt bad. Mike asked if I was okay and said he would take over for me. Thinking I was about 2.5 miles away from the exchange and knowing I still had another 13.2 miles to go, I conceded to him. When I got down the road in the van I realized I only had about 1.3 miles to go. Had my Garmin been working and I knew that, I probably wouldn't have stopped.
My calves continued to be sore, but I knew I could run through the pain of sore calves. My next run was 6.2 miles of rolling hills. As soon as I started running I felt some serious pain in my right knee. I think I strained my ACL. Or something. I could barely run. I was wearing my compression sleeves. I pulled them up and wrapped them around my knee. That helped a little. But it wasn't long before I couldn't run at all. I tried walking as fast as I could. I did that for as long as I could. I felt like once again, I was letting my team down. I didn't want to quit. But after 3.5 miles, I had no choice. We were already down a runner, and now I was out. Once again Mike picked up the slack for me.
We shuffled runners around some more and even had runners from van #1 run a couple of legs. We managed to cover all the ground on foot. Kudos to my team.
Some of the fun things were seeing a bunch of people I knew including RAD, writing, "WE DID NOT VOTE FOR OBAMA" on our back window and driving that through a very democratic area, and eating at Red Robin after the race. Yum!