RACE #95: Ragnar Wasatch Back


I’m posting this much later than my usual race report. And, there’s a VERY good reason why.

After my last leg (4.8 miles down Ragnar Hill) I got SUPER sick. I wasn’t feeling well right, but I kind of manned through it until we got to the finish line. Then, I ate some post-race Little Caesars and that just did it for me. I got EXTREMELY nausea and just sick. Like horribly sick.

I ran into Cinder at the first exchange! She lives in Vegas so I don’t get to see her much, so it was a treat seeing her!

I started to fever and got the chills once I walked in the door later that night. It was horrible. I was pretty sure it was heat exhaustion. Something I took precautions to avoid, but it was so hot and miserable I failed at that objective.

So I downed electrolytes, some sodium and Excedrin to reduce my 102.5 fever. But, alas, it didn’t work. I was just as bad on Sunday and Monday. I debated whether or not go into InstaCare or the ER for an IV. If I knew I was going to get this sick I would have taken an IV at the finish line on Saturday.

But, oh well.

Bumper Bananas. The most delicious part of Ragnar.

I am alive and feeling better. I am going to gauge how I feel for my weekend’s races on Thursday. If I am not feeling well I really might have to ax them. Which would TOTALLY kill my goal to hit 100 on July 24th. But, we’ll see. At least one of the races is at night and I really take just take it easy if needed. But, we’ll see.

But, oh, how I love Ragnar. I love, love, love Ragnar! Sometimes I forget how tough it is in the moment. Whether it’s a midday or midnight run … it can be tough. And it usually always is.

But, oh, how I love it!

A dramatization of the time I swallowed a bug while running.

Two weeks ago I wasn’t planning on running Ragnar, but in my quest of moving my 100th race from August 15th (my birthday) to July 24th (anniversary and location of my first half marathon), I had to add Ragnar, because my July 4th race was cancelled. I only had a few free weekends and Ragnar weekend was one of them.

So, there you go.

I don’t regret it despite my outcome. But, I do wish I was feeling better. Especially since I missed an extra intended day of work. I hate missing work. But, that’s a whole different story.

It’s amazing how a cheap breakfast can taste like a four-star gourmet meal.

Going into the race, I didn’t know anyone who was running in our van, except Amy … who I met the previous week at Drop 13. So, I didn’t know what to expect. All of us were at least in our 30s which helped. We all were a bit more mature than a number of other younger teams. It was a perfect team of strangers.

I was in van #2 we didn’t have to meet up in Logan for a 5:15am start. Instead we met up at my house around 8am and then drove up to Liberty at the first major exchange. I have never been in van #1 … and I won’t lie, I’d rather not be, because I love the later start. But, obviously that has its’ pros and cons with the heat that I faced during the relay.

Angie Pace and I should be GQ models or something …

There are a bunch of stories and experiences I could write about (the nature of these kind of relays, right?), but I am to stick around my legs and my runs. It was a tough, fun and humbling experience, especially the couple of days following the relay. Here are my leg reviews …

RUN ONE (Leg #9 – Snowbasin, 7.6 miles)

Leg 1

To use one word to sum this leg up it would be … humbling. Seriously, it was humbling. My leg didn’t start until about 3pm in the afternoon and it was HOT. The temperature was about 93-95 degrees with nary a cloud in the sky. And, this leg isn’t easy either adding to its’ toughness.

I did this leg a couple of years ago so I knew what to expect. It’s a lot of climbing and about a mile (if that) of actual downhill running. It’s a tough run. But, having that compounded by the heat it was miserable. I was hurting, I was cramping and I was exhausted.

I tried to run what I could between my cramping, but it was pretty tough. So I ended up walking a majority of the leg. I did manage to get a good gallop going during my downhill segment. That was fun, especially because I got an awesome breeze. Sure it was a headwind, but I didn’t care. It cooled me down and that’s all I cared about.

The run was pretty miserable, but as of late I’ve been trying to ALWAYS look for the silver lining in my trails. I could have easily beat myself up and wondered why in the world I would EVER run something like this (that thought actually crossed my mind briefly) or I could change my thought process and surroundings to something more positive.

So I started counting the people that passed me. The tradition of relays to count the people YOU passed, but I switched it around because that wasn’t happening at all on this leg. I got passed by 128 runners during this leg. Yep. 128. Now that doesn’t seem too “positive” counting your “killeds” … but … I felt that if I wasn’t running at all EVERYONE would be passing me. Those 128 people that passed me is more of a testament that I did it and didn’t give up.

How many times do we not do something because its’ too tough or seemingly impossible?

It’s all about your attitude and focusing on one foot in front of the other.

RUN TWO (Leg #21 – Coalville, 2.1 miles)

Leg 2This was an easy run. Thankfully. I have never been a big fan of my midnight runs at Ragnar. In 2013 my run was a 5.5 run at 4am and then last year it was an 11 mile run at 2am. Not fun. Especially because they were unsupported.

So getting a 2.1 mile run for my night run was a godsend. And, what was even better was that it didn’t start until 6am. So it was already light and I didn’t have to rely on my headlamp too much.

The course was fairly flat and half of it was on paved road and then other half on a dirt road. Like, I said … easy, easy.

RUN THREE (Leg #33 – Ragnar Hill, 4.4 miles)

Leg 3

I did this leg last year … in reserve. With the new course changes the relay ended in Soldier Hollow instead of Park City. So, this also changed the direction the runners ran the signature hill and relay namesake Ragnar Hill.

I am still debating which direction I like better. I loved the challenge of Ragnar Hill last year, but I also loved SOARING down the hill this year. But, it wasn’t a run where you could put yourself on cruise control and just go. It was pretty technical because of how steep it was.

Since I didn’t want to kill my quads I went for the “drunk sailor” technique. This is basically running down hill in a “s-curve” instead of a straight line. For me, it helps with the minimal affect of the constant pounding of my knees. Plus, I swear I run faster using this technique on courses like Ragnar Hill.

This was a great run for me. The challenge was perfect and I felt like I redeemed myself from my first run. This is despite the fact I also got extremely sick afterwards that zonked me out for a couple of days.



In my quest to hit 100 races before July 24 I have had to add a few races. That is one reason why I am doing this back-to-back half marathon … well … essentially an All-Night Marathon. I added the Provo Midnight Run a couple weeks ago to my schedule knowing I was going to be running the morning after.

I have done this before and it is tough. But, fun.

I also have a game plan for the races. Basically, I am going to take it easy during the Provo Midnight Run and then take what the AF Canyon race will give me. Luckily, that race is downhill so gravity will be helping me out some. But, it will be a tough challenge.

As far as what I am going to do between the races I’ve decided I am going to simply campout at the AF Canyon bus pick up after my Provo race. I might hit up a Denny’s or IHOP for some food between the races, but there’s no realistic point of trying to go home, get a hotel room or bum a two hour nap on a friend’s couch.

It’ll be like Ragnar all over again.


Total Mileage Breakdown for 2015
2015 Training Miles – 188.0 miles
2015 Walking Miles – 194.75 miles
2015 Race Miles – 159.35 miles
2015 Total Miles – 542.1 miles
Monthly Total Miles for 2015
January – 78.8 miles
February – 72.85 miles
March – 115.3 miles
April – 76.3 miles
May  97.4 miles
June  101.45 miles




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