Ragnar & Epic Relays

Today my husband, my son & i packed stuff up to go fishing at East Canyon Reservoir. Fishing here is stirring up alot of memories & it’s making me really depressed. 

You see, East Canyon is a major exchange between van 2 & 1 for the Ragnar Wasatch Back.

If you’re unfamiliar with what Ragnar or the Epic Cache-Teton Relays are, let me enlighten you. 

The Ragnar Wasatch back is a 220 mile, 36 hr relay run through the Wasatch Mountain Range. You usually have a team of 12 runners. If you have 6 runners, you’re considered an “ultra” team. I’ve always wanted to have an ultra team. 

The Epic Cache-Teton Relay is the same type of race, except it goes from Logan, Utah to Teton Village in Jackson, Wyoming. The views throughout this run are breathtaking. The views of the Grand Teton National Forest are beautiful!!

What i like most about these races are the camraderie between you & the others on your team & other teams. You’re having so much fun, you forget you havent showered or slept in 2 days. I just dont know how else to describe it. 

I didn’t see any runners as we were driving to go fishing. But i saw the directional signs & i saw the 1 mile to go sign. I just miss it. 

Sadly, i can’t even run right now. I can’t run because i’ve got that herniated disc in my back & because of that, it makes my feet go numb after running about 1 1/2 miles. 😦

Maybe i can run both these races next year. The company i work for sponsors a team for both of these races. 

I’m almost to the point that i say “screw it” to my back & start running again any ways & just get used to running with numb feet. 

I might have to do that because there’s a sprint triathlon i want to do on Nov 4. And if i’m gonna do it i need to start training now. 

Oh, & the only fish that was caught while we were fishing today was caught by my husband. 

Epic Relay Recap

This last Friday & Saturday I got to participate in the Cache-Teton Epic Relay. You have your team of 6 (Ultra team) or 12 (My team) and you run from Logan, UT to Teton Village near Jackson Hole, WY. It is an absolutely STUNNING course…unless you’re running at night & then you can’t see crap! Lol.

I love doing races like this. You make new friends, you have a good time, and you find out how well your body can run under little to no sleep. Lol.

I did this race 2 years ago and I was runner # 1 in van 1. This year, I was the first runner (runner 7) in van 2. I was excited because I got to see part of the course I didn’t get to see before.

Our van. A couple of relay races ago he was named Chuck the Champion Chrysler. We definitely stand out.
Our van. A couple of relay races ago he was named Chuck the Champion Chrysler. We definitely stand out.

I was supposed to start running at 11:30 a.m., but van 1 was a little slow going (it’s all good) so I didn’t start running until close to 1:00 p.m. on Friday. My first leg was 7.3 miles with lots of hills. I was nervous. First off, I was scared to death I was going to get lost. I had NO clue where I was going. Thank you to my van for staying close by so I didn’t get lost.

As I started out on my first leg, I started out too fast. I always do that. It can be frustrating. Then, I just wasn’t nutritioned enough. About mile 1.5 I stopped at my van & got a granola bar. That helped a little bit. I kept getting a side ache during this run though.

Finally about mile 4.5 it became all downhill!!! Yay!!! The bad thing is, I had the terrible side ache, so I still had to stop & walk every so often. I almost twisted my ankle on this leg too because as I was getting ready to run downhill, I looked to my left and there were probably 6 or so male deer. It caught me by surprise & they were so pretty that’s all I was paying attention to. Oops. Lol.

One thing that threw me off about running my first leg is I was the only one out on the course. This relay is a lot smaller than the Ragnar Relay’s. There were only 91 teams total. Because our team was running late (literally & figuratively), I was the only one out on the course at the time. It’s kind of nerve wracking.

I found it kind of cruel that when I got about .5 miles away from the exchange, you have to run by a water park. It was SO hot outside all I wanted to do was stop & go down the water slides and jump in the pool. Lol. I finished my first leg with an average 10:53 pace. Not ideal, but I finished.

I handed off to runner # 8 and we were ready to head to the next exchange. Everybody seemed to run pretty strong their first legs.

Because we had such a late start, in order for us to catch up so we didn’t finish the entire race at 11:00 p.m., after our last runner finished and we handed off back to van # 1, we had 2 hours to get something to eat, change our clothes & make it to the exchange. So…no sleep.  Thankfully our team captain, her Aunt and Uncle live in Soda Springs, Idaho, so we were able to stop there and change our clothes, and take a shower if we wanted.

Before I knew it, I was running again. This time, it was at 11:30 p.m. I had my headlamp on and my butt light. They decided to deck me out with Christmas lights too. This run was 8.5 miles long. I actually felt stronger on this run, but my time was slower. I carried an 11:15 pace. I attribute part of it to having to stop for a few minutes to adjust my headlamp. It was too loose & kept slipping down my face. We had finally caught up with the rest of the teams this time so I was running with a lot more runners. What a difference it makes when you see other runners. It makes you run harder & faster because you want to catch up with them, ya know?

The first 2 miles of this were on pavement, the rest was on a dirt road/trail. I wish I would’ve known because I would have brought my trail running shoes. I could feel every pebble I stepped on. I ran up some of the hills, but had to walk some too. But was able to run the flats and downhill’s. I just wish I would’ve had a better time. I had one guy pass me & my nickname ended up being “Christmas”. “Come on Christmas, you got this!” Lol. Made me laugh.

BEST. SIGN . EVER!
BEST. SIGN . EVER!

After I got done running this leg, it was my turn to drive. I finished driving the rest of the way to the next exchange. We didn’t get to the next exchange until 7:00 a.m. and we were finally able to get some sleep. Well, I got about 1.5 hours of sleep…on a baseball diamond. We couldn’t sleep on the grass because it was wet from sprinklers.

I was super nervous about my last leg. It was my shortest run, but it was my hardest. It was Noon when I started running, so it was REALLY hot. It was a total of 3 miles, but the first 1.75 miles, I gained 750 feet in elevation. It was HELL. I wanted to run it really bad, but I just didn’t have it in me. Sadly, I ended up walking a lot of my last leg. My average pace was around 13:00/mile. I was just tired, plus it was my hardest leg. Plus, every time I’d try & run, I’d get my side ache.

This picture doesn't do the hill justice. It was tough!
This picture doesn’t do the hill justice. It was tough!

I finally got done with my last run and hopped in the van. Sadly, the next runner couldn’t run his leg. During his second leg of running 0.5 miles in to his run, he twisted his ankle really bad. Plus, we were running late, so we just had to skip that leg.

It was fun getting out and supporting our runners with water and the water gun. One nice thing about the Epic Relay is it’s a smaller race (team wise) and so there is more camaraderie between all the different teams. I had teams stop and spray me down with water and cheer me on, etc. You don’t get that quite as much during the Ragnar.

I’ve decided one thing I like about being in van # 2 is when you get to the finish line, you’re done, where when you’re in van # 1, when you get to the finish line, you have to wait around for van # 2 to get there.

Where the finish line is at
Where the finish line is at

One thing that was a bummer was when we got to the finish chute and we ran in to it, there were multiple teams running through at the same time, so we ended up walking across the finish line.

The view to the finish line.
The view to the finish line.
Team "Have You Seen the Junk in my Trunk?"
Team “Have You Seen the Junk in my Trunk?”

The after party is awesome though. First off, beautiful scenery. Second off, free beer…local beer!! Third…ice cream sandwiches!! Yes!

We didn’t hang around the finish line too long. We stayed for a beer or two and then headed to the hotel so we could shower, then off to dinner. We ate at Snake River Brewery. I had some local beer and it was delicious!

Snake River rapids
Snake River rapids

After dinner, a couple of folks wanted to go to the Million Dollar Cowboy Saloon, but thankfully we were able to talk them out of it. I just wanted to go back to the hotel and go to bed. I was TIRED.

Finally got some sleep and then we headed home in the morning (5 hour drive). The only negative thing about this race is you’re literally in the car for 3 days straight. When you do the Ragnar Wasatch Back, you’re literally 1 hour away from home at any given point. With the Epic, you’re not. But, it’s still worth it.

I didn’t train very well for this race, I’ll admit. I’ve been in a funk since Boise 70.3. But, I would love to do this race again and do these same legs and be more trained for it & see how different my time is. I would actually LOVE to do an ultra team, but I’m having difficulty finding anybody to do it with me.

Have you ever done a relay (Ragnar, Epic, etc)? Have you ever done an Ultra relay?

“Have You Seen the Junk In My Trunk?”

I’m SO excited. I wanted to do a Ragnar Relay or the EPIC Relay this year, but I just couldn’t see affording it. My friend, and previous boss, has put together a team for the Epic Cache-Teton Relay and they are short 3 members. She already asked me once if I wanted to do the relay with them, but I had to tell her no because I couldn’t afford it. She just texted me the other day and said that if I would run it, they would pay my way!!! I feel bad that they are paying for me, but she said for me to look at it as them paying to not have to run a full marathon. Haha!

I’ve done this race once before and it is absolutely beautiful! You start out in Logan, UT and finish in the Teton Village in Jackson, WY. The first time I did the race I saw parts of Utah I didn’t know existed. Plus, what’s better than finishing the race in Teton Village? It’s SO gorgeous up there.

They don't call it the Grand Teton's for nothing!
They don’t call it the Grand Teton’s for nothing!

It’s a 2.5 – 3.0 hour drive back to Salt Lake City from where we finish at, so we always get a hotel for the night up in Jackson. Plus, then you get to do the touristy things, like go to Million Dollar Cowboy Saloon.

The bar is covered in silver dollars.
The bar is covered in silver dollars.

I don’t know what runner I’m going to be yet, I just know I’m in van # 2. I’ll probably be either runner # 7 or runner # 8. Last time I did this race (2 years ago), I was runner # 1.

I can’t wait to do this race. My team name? “Have you seen the junk in my trunk?” Haha! I love it!

Do you do relay runs? Which is your favorite?

Epic Relay

Last year I got to do a super fun race. I got to do the Epic Cache-Teton Relay. It is such a beautiful race. It’s just like the Ragnar. You have a team of either 6 or 12 and you run from Logan, UT to Teton Village in Jackon, WY. I had such a blast doing the race last year. Doing this race last year is actually how I met Candice. I was tweeting about the race and using a hashtag that she was using as well and that’s how we hooked up. Come to find out, she lives about 5 minutes away from me.

Anywho, I REALLY want to do this race this year, there’s just a couple of things holding me back. First off, I don’t have a team. Ya gotta have a team. I don’t know if I could put together a team either. I don’t have alot of running friends here in Utah. The only other thing holding me back is I have a sprint triathlon the week before and an Olympic distance triathlon the week after. I did the same exact thing last year with 3 races 3 weeks in a row and I wonder if it made me too tired. I don’t know. But it makes me think before I do the race this year. I just don’t know if I should try and find or put together a team or not. Last year when I did the relay, I had to run 4 legs instead of 3 because one of our runners got injured. But it was SO much fun and I’d do it again in a heart beat. I’d actually love to do an ultra team on the relay.

Any way, here are some pictures from the Epic Relay last year.

Me running my 2nd leg. It was a gradual, long hill.

Our team at the finish line.