Last weekend, I tried something new and ran a relay race. The Ragnar Cape Cod race covers 192 miles from Hull to Provincetown, MA. Each team has 12 runners (or 6 if you’re an ultra team) who take turns covering that distance while the others leapfrog them in a van. The entire process takes anywhere from 20 hours (for the winners) to 30+. As you can imagine, sleep takes a back seat while you’re participating.
My team, The Longest Beer Run Ever, had 12 runners divided in between two vans. I was Runner 4 in Van 1:
My legs were 6.2, 4.0, and 5.6 miles long, for a total of 15.8 miles run over 2 days.
The first run I did was around 11 am or so, meaning it was hot and sunny. I had two brutal hills on my route, but otherwise it was a pleasant run that went through country roads and residential areas.
My second run was around 11 pm, when it was totally dark. I sometimes run at night, but where I live there are tons of streetlights and people, so it never feels deserted. Not the case here. At some points, I was basically totally alone on a very dark, unlit street hoping I hadn’t missed a turn. This was my fastest leg because I wanted it DONE.
After our sixth runner finished the second exchange, we had a chance to grab some sleep. I got about 1.5 hours in a tent, while others stayed in our sweet van:
My third leg came pretty early on Saturday morning. I was lucky: It was mostly flat, through a lovely protected bike path in Brewster and Orleans. It was a really pretty run and I didn’t have to stop for traffic.
One detail that communicates how gross a relay race is: After my first run, my hair never fully dried again until after I had showered. That was not my cologne you smelled.
Van 1 leapfrogged ahead of Van 2 to the finish line, where we were able to check into our hotel, shower, and change into our team shirts before receiving word that Runner 12 was on her way. We were ready a block or two from the finish line to jump into the course with her and cross the line as a team.
Our team finished the 192 mile course in 29:32:48.2, or about 9:14 minutes per mile. Not bad! We were the 249th team out of 456 running.
Team The Longest Beer Run Ever, with medals and team shirts:
After the teams cross the finish line, they can go into a park area where everyone gets a free beer and some snacks. We met up with our volunteers there as well for some drinks and good times before relocating to our charming bed and breakfast for a nap before dinner and celebrations.
I’m really glad I gave a Ragnar race a try. It was a unique experience and I enjoyed myself. I made some new friends, had some laughs, and outran a vegan (the secret is eating protein). I don’t know if I’ll do this again or not. The fact that I’d consider it when it’s so time consuming and exposes one to so many bad smells says a lot!