Ragnar NWP Race Recap

Wow. This past weekend's Ragnar relay was better than I could have imagined. From the time I arrived in Seattle to the time I left, I had so much fun hanging out with people I knew and people I met over the weekend. The team was 12 Oiselle team ladies brought together by the idea of the relay, and I was the only one who had actually done a relay event before. The big change for me was being runner 11 in van 2, whereas during my Ragnar Napa last year I was in van 1. I really liked being one of the later runners this time.

When I landed on Thursday morning, Karla picked me up to hang out and I got to meet her new little girl, Hannah. She also took me to Target for some last minute items and suggested I buy my to-be lifesaver candy: Sweet Tarts Gummies. Nothing like those in the middle of the night for a little pick-me-up!

From there, I headed to Oiselle headquarters for the first time ever and it didn't disappoint. So many beautiful clothes for the future, great ladies to talk to, and a perfect location near Green Lake. I loved it. Around 6 pm most of the relay team plus other local ladies came for a meet up at HQ, followed by dinner and some van decorating. We split up pretty early because van 1 had a crack-of-dawn wake up call to get to the start line.

Van 2 (my van) was a little more relaxed in the morning because we didn't need to be at exchange 6 until around 1:30 pm. It was really strange knowing our team was starting and we weren't there with them. We picked everyone up, drove to Mt. Vernon for lunch at Calico Cupboard Cafe, and then went to exchange 6. I highly recommend Calico Cupboard Cafe for sandwiches and baked goods. Yum.

Van 2 lunch

At exchange 6, we checked in our safety gear, attended the safety talk, and grabbed our bibs. It was getting really hot outside by then, so our runs were going to be in the heat of the day for sure. We finally got to see most of van 1 for a bit, but not long enough. Seriously, the hardest thing about a relay is wanting to be with everyone the whole time and not being able to.

Van 2: Me, Sophia, Julie, Natty, Ashley, and Laurel

A brief stop for a whole team photo!

And with Becky's arrival, van 2 was off and running. We didn't have much time to our second exchange because Natty is super fast and was only running about 3 miles. Luckily, we made it with time to spare...and to give Julie a six-pack. 

It counts if it's blue, right?

Sports bra only running was way more comfortable in the heat and they even convinced ME to do it. As you'll see from the photo, my bright white stomach never sees the sun. Ever. Check out a few more of the van 1, leg 1 fun.

Natty coming into our first exchange.

Julie kicking butt on her hilly run. Seriously, the whole thing was a climb.

A little mid-run high five from Ashley.

Cheer time!

Sending Laurel off with a good action shot.

 Me, done with my first leg!

Sophia's leg, quite a nice field and mountain view

Sophia passed the bracelet back to Andrea, runner 1, and then we were on break for a bit.

Seriously cute photo of Andrea, waiting for her 2nd leg.

Our break was pretty low key. We grabbed food at Skagit Brewery in Mt. Vernon, then headed to exchange 18 to rest a bit. There was space to sleep in the gym, but we stayed in the van. I can't say I slept a lot, but I curled up with my sleeping bag and was ok when it was time to go again. It was about this time when Julie asked if anyone had candy and I remembered the Sweet Tarts Gummies. YES! They tasted fantastic. 

Soon van 1 was at the exchange and it was our turn to run again for the overnight portion; it was truly overnight beginning at 1:30ish am and ending around 5 am. I have to say, I love the night legs on a relay. It sounds scary before you do it, but once you begin to run you can see the blinky LED back lights and headlamps bobbing in front of you and it feels great. Yes, it's dark, but in a super cool way. My night leg ran through Deception Pass State Park and over the bridge to the island, which I loved. I also passed a bunch of people on the hills and felt like a rockstar. 

Natty checking off leg 2, and loving the van lights.

After we passed off to van 1 again, we headed to Starbucks for food and coffee. That Starbucks breakfast sandwich tasted great after a hard night of running. We rested at exchange 30 for a couple of hours and this time I used the gym floor. Aside from somehow waking myself up, sitting straight up and yelling randomly, it was good. I think I freaked out some people around me with that one...

The morning was gorgeous, cloudy and not hot with even a bit of mist in the air. Natty started us off again with an incredible 8 miler, which she ran faster than her marathon goal pace at 6:45 minutes/mile. Wow girl! You'd never know she'd already run 12 miles and had no sleep. Here are the photo highlights from van 2, leg 3.

Natty rocking on her third leg. Look at that scenery!

Julie with an(other) uphill finish.

Ashley during her last 6 miler.

Laurel, I love the flowers and color in this photo.

 A fun handoff photo.

 Me, downhill whee!

Yeah. I'm so done and I killed that leg.

Sophia finishing leg 36, with Laurel for a bit.

And now...the finish of course! The whole team crossed the finish line together at 28 hours and 11 minutes, for a 3rd place finish in the Women's Open division. We'll be getting a fun Ragnar award in the mail and I'm so excited about it!

Party Like a Flockstar at the finish.

Taking the ferry back toward Seattle.

Ragnar swag. I was impressed they had Brooks race shirts.

And conveniently, the medals double as bottle openers.

This relay is quite a whirlwind of thoughts and memories, all of which I feel truly lucky to have experienced. The ladies of Oiselle team Party Like a Flockstar are the best!

A big thank you to everyone on the team for sharing photos for our blog posts! I don't know exactly who sent each photo to give specific photo credits. Also, check out each of these ladies' blog recaps for more on our team: Sarah, Laurel, Andrea, and Ashley.

Comments

  1. That was a great recap, and it looks SO FUN!!! Congrats on a great relay! I am moving to Seattle in less than two weeks and fingers crossed I will make the Oiselle team - I applied this year. Wish me luck! :)

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    1. Thanks it was great! AND welcome to the team! (yes, I'm late on these replies...)

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  2. Great post and great photos of everyone running! You all make running a relay look like a piece of cake, especially in all that Oiselle :). Bummed I missed seeing you but you all were too speedy for us ultra ladies ;)

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    1. So sad I missed seeing you, you guys were awesome! That was one tough course.

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  3. Congratulations!!!! I love Ragnar, and it looks like you had SO much fun. That course is beautiful!! NWP is on my List.

    Great shirt, and I use my medal alllllll the time :D

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    1. I like this year's shirts! You should do NWP sometime, loved it.

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  4. Congrats on third! Thanks for the recap, I think this is the first relay race post from anyone that gave me a better idea what they're like. :)

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  5. Wow, those are some sweet views from the event!! And very jealous you got to go to Oiselle headquarters. I saw some pictures of their new line and I'm super excited!

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    1. I loved going to HQ, definitely a trip highlight. I was giddy and nervous, which is so funny, because I didn't need to be at all. Everyone is so awesome!

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  6. Nice recap Paulette! Wish I could have chatted with you this weekend. I was surprised how van 1 and van 2 didn't 't see each other too much. I was in van 1 for Nuun. Hopefully some other time!

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    1. I wish we could have chatted more too, another time soon I hope!

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  7. Great recap and pics Paulette! Looks like your team had a wonderful time! I loved the perspective from a van #2 runner (I was in van #1).

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    1. It was great, so happy you enjoyed it too. Also glad to meet you!

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  8. Congrats on a third place finish! I saw this pictures being posted to Facebook and I was so jealous. Looks like you had such an awesome time. I've only done one relay (the Detroit half) but I'd LOVE to do something like this someday!

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    1. You should definitely do a Ragnar or long relay someday, I love them. Maybe we can form a team from Michigan!

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  9. Looks like you had a fantastic time! Congrats on the 3rd place finish! I am doing my first relay in August at Hood to Coast. I am so excited!!

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    1. Thanks! You will love it - I hope to do H2C someday. :) Didn't get in this year!

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  10. Congratulations on taking 3rd! You ladies were super fast and obviously had a great time.

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  11. Wow, that looks like such a fun event! I'm sure a lot of great memories were made :) Congrats on getting the 3rd place. That's pretty damn good. So cool you got to run with an Oiselle team! I should have applied :(

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