Surviving Ragnar

Posted: January 8, 2012 in Pace and Racing
Tags: ,

It’s 6:30 a.m. here in the Keys as I am waiting for my flight to Atlanta and then another home to Austin, TX.

Bits and pieces of the last 36 hours are starting to work their way back to the forefront of this tired runner’s mind and body.

10.3, 13.5, 12.5 mile runs at 1:00 p.m. Friday, 9:00 p.m. Friday night and the final legs at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning.  All totaled about a little less than a marathon and a half run over a 19-hour period.  Going into the event I thought that running as a 6-person ultra-team rather than the 12-person two-van team that we had last year would be slightly more difficult from a running perspective

An 8-mile leg vs. a 12-mile leg isn’t really that big a deal I told myself.  But of course as most things are in life.  You don’t know what you don’t know until you experience it for yourself.

A full race report will come in the next few days when all of the thoughts and memories of an amazing 199 mile adventure from Miami to Key West make their way all the way back from the recesses of this tired runners mind.

There was the first bridge to crest coming out of the starting area that didn’t show up on thee course map.  The crowded sidewalk I ran navigating foot traffic, vehicular traffic and even what I’m certain was “drug” traffic in one of the not-so beautiful parts of downtown Miami over my first legs of the race.

There was the rocky, pothole filled canal road in the dark of night through the Everglades that required my signing of an “alligator waiver” prior to starting the race.  Seriously.

There would then be the final run, slightly less than a half-marathon in length up and over the 7-mile bridge with the bright Florida sun beating down on the concrete and Gulf  of Mexico sending heat and temperatures from warming to the start of the run to toasty in the middle to downright deadening by the last few miles.

All in all the running was good, 6:58, 7:07 and 7:09 were my overall paces for my three runs, the company was even better and last night I had one of the top-10 beers that I have ever drank in my life, shortly after perhaps my number one shower.

The Team covered the 199-mile course in 27 hours and 21 seconds.  In truth we ran 201 miiles as one of our runners went on an extended adventure on one of the overnight legs, but you’ll have to read the race report for those details.

It was not Allligator related, but it still makes for a great story – afterall, if it was easy – everybody would do it.

Steve, Ally, Jenny, Thomas, Sean and our driver John – thanks for the memories – you guys are the greatest.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to my next training run on Tuesday morning preparing for Boston, but I am looking forward to the next Ragnar in 2013.

I think we need a couple more runners next time though.  And less Alligators.

  1. Jim in Maine says:

    No doubt that is a solid team … good atheletes, great people. Glad you came through this unscathed (no serious ankle issues from the second leg) and already looking forward to where ever Ragnar takes you in 2013. The full report will be fun to read but not as much fun as you getting home safely and reuniting with Dawn and Landry. Take care – another terrific effort and results Joe!

    • Joseph Marruchella says:

      Hi Jim! Man it was miles and miles of fun, but the 6-man ultra was definitely not easy.

      Happy to be flyin home healthy and just a little tired. Texas Half Marathon in 20 days. We’ll be rested and ready.

  2. David H. says:

    I enjoyed checking out the tweets over the weekend. Get some rest! Looking forward to more details coming out. I definitely have to put Ragnar on my list of things to do.

  3. Great thoughts on this recap, Joe. Love it. Can’t wait to read more!

  4. Andy B. says:

    Congrats on the run. I hope you saved a copy of that alligator waiver for the scrapbook. That’s fantastic. I’m glad I did one of these ultra-style, but I’ve got no desire to do one again like that.

    Any more races pre-Boston? I’ve just got 3M on the docket. Looking for a 1:22:59 to get an automatic entry into NYC.

    • Joseph Marruchella says:

      Hi Andy! Man, this one was a lot of fun. The Alligator waiver was pretty classic. I’ve got three half-marathons on deck, one in January (The TX Half the day before 3M), Austin in February and then Shamrock in Va. Beach in March.

      I wanted to run a “neutral” course for the race in January so I can use those times to help me predict pace at Boston and if I’ve made the progress I need to in order to break 3 hours. 3M will be super-fast for you, I think you have a great shot at that NYC time – you just have to not give an inch on Burnet Road – and keep pushing.

      Keep in mind they changed the finish area this year with the construction at Waterloo Park, so you have to finish the same way that the Austin Marathon does, with that final steep climb at the capital. It will add maybe :15 seconds to your time late – so you’ll want to make sure you account for that ….

      We need to hook up after that weekend of racing and get a couple runs in – just let me know!

      • Andy B. says:

        Sounds good. I’d love to catch up on a run after 3M. The good news is that the route has changed some again for that race. Mostly down Shoal Creek now instead of Burnet. And going east to Duval on 45th. I’ve run most of the route a couple of times now to know what to expect. Even better is that we’re finishing at the Bob Bullock, so no big hill at the end. If the weather cooperates, I like my chances.

      • Joseph Marruchella says:

        Very cool Andy – that sounds like it might even be “faster?” – if that is possible.

        Knock it out of the park! Hopefully I can show those guys up in Dallas how we roll here in Austin 🙂

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