192 miles later, the finish arch.
There was a little confusion as soon as we finished. There were pictures to take and medals to be awarded and flags to turn in and t-shirts to exchange and gear to buy. But we got it all together and made our way up to the actual post-race celebration, which was up some stairs (cruelty!) and through a Provincetown, MA museum and up more steps (more cruelty!) to an open area with tents and beer and chowdah for relay finishers. The ladies in van 1, who had it a little more together than us van 2 Ragnar n00bs, found a table and we all finally sat down for our celebration beeah. We also got to meet the volunteers Dayna recruited to save our bacon, and our wallets, and we all got to thank Nikki and Alex personally. They were like, "no big woop," but it was. It was a huge woop.
The view from the finish line party area was worth the run.
One thing I left out of this recap so far has been the weather. Usually when I run a race on the first weekend of May it's either hot and humid or hot and rainy and then humid. This race was chilly, and by chilly I mean it was perfect running weather. It was cool and cloudy, and while it was a little breezier than I'd prefer I loved it. I ran in shorts and long sleeves and I was fine, although it warmed up enough to run in short sleeves for my last leg.
However, it was like running three blocks from the Arctic Circle to the women of van 1 who log most of their miles in Southern California. And it was cool and a little breezy during the post-relay affair while we were sitting around. One of the women in that van, Rebecca, was having trouble with her knee and that in combination with the weather didn't make her feel too festive. You can't really blame her for that. She was the Wendy of Van 1. When she said she was going back to their van to chill out that kind of signaled the end of our time as a team. We all hugged, said our goodbyes, and promised to keep in touch. That may actually happen, because we might try to either recruit or join some of those ladies for a Napa Valley relay down the road (hint).
Anyway, Wendy had to get home, and Dayna and Kristi did too, so after a little nut clustery we men in the van met up with the ladies and their cars so they could get their stuff. We said our goodbyes and everyone went their own way. Not only was our time as a team over, but so was our time as van mates. Sigh.
The ladies from van 1 were smart and were hanging out in Provincetown for the night while we guys were headed back to Hull and our hotel at the start line. It was about a two hour drive so we got on the road. My usual post-race routine is to clean up and then go out to enjoy a celebration bacon cheeseburger, but we were all so tired -- especially Patrick, who was working on even less sleep than my hour AND he was driving -- we just stopped at a Friendly's on the road and built our own burgers. I asked for double grease on my burger and I'm pretty sure they obliged. Hoo boy was that thing a grease bomb. Anyway, this is how with it I looked during our burger stop:
From there were made a beeline to the hotel, split company, and I crashed. Hard.
We met up again early in the morning to clean up and turn in the van. The area across from the hotel that was set up for the Relay and milling with activity just two days before looked like this:
Ragnar Relay? What's a Ragnar Relay?
Patrick, Mark, and I turned in the van, did some touristy stuff, got a lobster roll because New England, and then Mark and I were deposited at the airport to put a definite end to the weekend. The Ragnar Relay Cape Cod was the most fun running thing I've ever done, and I owe it to my old running buddies Patrick and Mark, and my new running buddies Wendy, Dayna, Kristi, Courtney, Carrie, Rebecca, Carrie, Tara, Gena, and Joelle. We weren't the fastest team (327 out of 355 teams). We didn't have the best decorated van, and we weren't the most outwardly spirited, but we were the best team. I'd run with any of those people anywhere. Even the effin' hippies.
I usually like to do a list of things I noted during an event, but like I said things were just a blur once the relay started and being so tired just made things more blurry. But here are a couple things:
1. One of the neat things about Ragnar is how everyone gets into everything. It's ostensibly a competition, but it's probably not a lot of fun if you're too busy trying to win. Kind of like the Warrior Dash. One of the things people do is tag other vans with their team's name or logo or something. Some teams even had magnets made that they'd stick on other vans:
These teams were here.
2. Some teams really enjoy the creative aspect of van decoration. Our was not one of them. This one was:
I like the effort, but enough with the zombies already.
3. Some teams also like putting motivational slogans on their vans. Or taunting ones, whatever:
4. Every Ragnar volunteer I interacted with was terrific, even the ones standing outside in the middle of the night shivering.
5. Running a Ragnar Relay is a grind, but I didn't want it to end.
6. I do want this recap to end.