Running the Ragnar: Life on the Road

This past Friday and Saturday, I had the great pleasure of running this 200 mile road race from Wickenburg, AZ to Tempe, AZ with a group of 12 on our Expedition Team. What a time we had, and here goes.

Friday morning, Carolyn, Jordyn, and I get up and head out the door at about 4:45. We arrive in Tempe, drop Jordyn off at Caitlin’s with Roxy the lovable dog. Coffee and a good low cal breakfast sandwich from Einstein Bros and I’m ready for a long ride in a van. We meet up with our teams and jump in the vans and on the road to Wickenburg we go. Arrive in Wickenburg at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and another low cal sandwich. Head over to the start and Van 1 gets us going at 10:00. So in van 2, we have time to kill and of course we end up at Chipotle’s for more food. So far, I have taken in the calories without doing anything but lay around and wait to run. The six runners from Van 1 get finished and now Van 2 hits the road. Already tired my first leg begins around 5:00. It is lonely on the road, running through the heat. I don’t feel real strong and my leg of 4.9 miles starts slowly with me getting dropped off at the exchange late. So we lose a minute or so, and I have to run across the lot to get the baton and I am already thinking, “Tim, what are you thinking? Why do you do this?” I finish my leg running about 8:34 pace, disappointed and beat down. Back on the van for 3 more runners before we can rest again.

Anyhow, we hand over the running to Van 1 and cruise over to Tom’s place where his wife and mother-in-law have fixed us this incredible meal. Sleep slowly comes as they put Carolyn and I in a guest room while others hit the floor. Being the oldest on the team, I guess that warrants the guest room. Sometimes it pays to be old. Well we are already on the road by 2:00 a.m. and my next leg comes up of 3.3 miles and I actually get faster in the dark running 8:06 pace. 4:30 a.m. and I’m running. Nuts. Well we finish our legs and yes we eat again. I have never eaten this often. Probably gaining wait while running.

Our van driver’s parents live close to the route, so over we go for a short nap, before we have to be back in Fountain Hills to take the baton from Van 1. It gets warm in a hurry and I’m back running at 1:00 another 3.3 miles and this time, I crush it. 7:43 pace and that little slight down hill has me pumped. Our team has this goal of getting done by 4 which puts us at 30 hours. We suffer through injuries and I take over the final leg when one of our runner’s injuries is too much to overcome. I run close to 3 miles at a 8:40 pace which for me was ok because I was not quite ready to bring it. Anyhow we finish at 4:04 and the disappointment was big since we did not quite make our goal.

We did beat the other team from Payson and did ok overall about 45th of 200+ teams in our mixed division. So would I do it again? Oh yeh. I am sore, still tired, not recovered from lack of  sleep but I am glad I did it. Once again, hanging out with the team and getting to know others better and having those bonding experiences is enough to keep me going.

As my blog line says, I’m still running against the wind.

About timfruth

Longtime public educator who recently retired from public education. Messed around in politics as a town councilor and vice mayor. I am a father and a husband who currently works in a new active career in Human Resources. Love the outdoors and rapidly adjusting to a new me.
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