Ragnar Chicago Relay: Recapping Leg #13

This was one of those ZOMG THIS IS AMAZING I LOVE RUNNING kind of runs. Seriously. This leg of the race MADE the weekend for me. Reaffirmed my LOVE of running. Not only did I KILL my projected pace, I enjoyed every minute of it, even if it was scary as all hell.

We were at exchange 12, where Marty would pass things off to me. It was misting, very foggy and very dark. Had all my reflective gear on – vest, headlamp, tail light and of course some red glowstick bracelets and necklace.

I headed out from Wales Community Park toward the Glacial Drumlin Trail. The first quarter to half mile or so was through the neighborhood near the park, so there were some streetlights. This did not at all prepare me for 4 miles of complete darkness on the trail.

Leg 13 was billed as a “non-support” leg, meaning the course made it too difficult for team vans to “leap frog” runners. So it was just me, my iPod, water and a pitch dark misty night.

I have to admit, I felt so badass on this leg of the run. I mean, really, who does that? Who SIGNS UP to run in the middle of nowhere on an unlit creepy trail in the middle of the night? WHO DOES THAT? This girl.

The only time I could see farther than 5 feet in front of me was when a fellow Ragnar runner came up behind me and passed me. The other runners were very cool on this leg. Many said, “Good job” or “This is freaking nuts” or “ohmigod this is scary” or the like. I noticed runners would sort of wave their hand in front of their headlights as they approached me, which was a nice heads up that someone was approaching (a tip I told my fellow runners when I got to the van).

I ran with a woman for a li’l bit and we were laughing at how ridiculous and scary this leg was. When I say I ran in complete darkness, I’m not kidding. The foggy mist didn’t help things. It was like a scene out of a horror flick.  “What if someone attacks me? I’m in the middle of nowhere. There are no lights out here and it isn’t like there are groups of people running. No one would ever know. GAH!”

On this leg, I stopped to walk only TWICE and each was for approximately 30-60 seconds. I felt so good on this run.

When I got to the next exchange point, I once again failed to properly hand off the reflective slap bracelet to Matt J. (seriously, I was horrible at the exchange).

As soon as I finished, Rochelle Tracey G. Jordan H. Anthony M Van H. and our driver (my dad) asked how the run was. The first thing I said was, “That was the most freaking ridiculous thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.”

And it was.

Start Time: 9:16 p.m.
Goal pace: 16min/mile
Splits: 14:27, 14:43, 15:06, 14:22, 3:09 (.22mi 14:08 pace)
Average pace: 14:38
Total time: 1:01:49
Finish time: 10:17 p.m.

Note: Read the rest of my Ragnar Journey here.

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