So Cal Ragnar Relay: Team Dirrty Dozen

Over the weekend 12 strangers came together to run 194 miles from Huntington Beach down to San Diego in the So Cal Ragnar Relay. I was lucky to be part of this amazing group of runners who met at FitBloggin last year.

download_20140404_082317(Jill, Jamie, me, Debbie, Elizabeth, Kia, Carrie, Amy, Gillian, Jenica, Kathleen)

My new blogger friend, Melissa, invited me to join the group when a few people couldn’t do it any longer. I was a little hesitant at first because I’ve had so much going on lately, but I am beyond thrilled that I ran Ragnar with this group of fabulous runners.

1511384_10203612902551120_5121593984542559695_nThis two-day relay race started bright and early Friday morning at Huntington Beach. We had two vans with a group of six girls in each van. I was in van 1 which kicked off the race along the beach.

20140404_073241-smallI’d say Elizabeth had a pretty decent view for her run. :-) Being one of the most consistent runners I have ever seen, she killed her first 5.9 miler leg and ended up running the farthest out of the entire group with 25 total miles!

20140404_094356-small Amy, Team Dirrty Dozen’s captain, did an impeccably good job planning out every little detail for our group. She made us all not one, but three T-shirts and tattoos! Our vans were stocked with more food than we could ever possible eat in two days, and she even made binders with information about the run legs, maps, and restaurants close to each exchange point.

20140404_091133-smallKia kicked off the second run of the weekend. She rocked the neon green compression sleeve and took this run leg to town! 20140404_104958-small

Being the fourth runner, my first 2.7 mile leg wasn’t until late morning – my favorite time of the day to run. I really pushed myself to hold pace, and maintained a 8:38 pace. Not bad for this wannabe speed racer! I just had to do a handstand on our decorated van.

20140404_115438-smalApparently people count “kills” during these relays, which are how many people you pass during each leg. I only killed 31 people during the entire relay but my friend Gillian from That’s G killed over a hundred!!! It should come to no surprise because she can run sub 7 minute miles. Yeah, I know! I need some of her crazy juice too!  download_20140404_150533

While we were waiting for Gillian to finish her first leg, Amy and I played around with a few handstands.

download_20140404_134616Once van 1 complete it’s first set of legs, we dined on Quest bars thanks to Pasadena Nutrishop. Later in the day we stopped to share a pizza in Dana Point.

20140404_163927-smallHandstands were a big part of this weekend. Amy is a dance instructor and Kia is a yogi, so handstands come second nature to them…

20140404_163856-small… not so much for me! Look closely at the second palm tree. I was dying when I saw this picture because this is what most of my handstands resemble – me falling on my butt!!! 20140404_185908-smallAfter goofing around, we went to our second exchange point to meet with the van 2 ladies. Not only did Elizabeth run the farthest, she had the longest leg of 12 miles Friday evening. Our team was a few hours behind our projected time, because there were so many traffic delays at a few of the exchange points. One of our fastest runners, Jamie, even beat the van to an exchange point. 10173567_10102987831608313_6311754290763945340_nThis pushed my second leg out well into midnight. Luckily Gillian and I had our Halo Belt to keep our behinds illuminated! The Halo Belt was very comfortable for the entire 4.1 miles. I didn’t even notice I was wearing a belt. 20140405_052022-smallAfter our second set of legs, van 1 went to the next exchange point where we slept for two hours while waiting for the van 2 ladies to run to Carlsbad. On the way to the porta potties, I noticed this van above. It was so much fun seeing all the team themes and van decorations. Some teams got really creative!

20140405_102118-small 969982_10102987826817913_5805274138993469679_nOther teams tagged our van with magnets, stickers, and apparently aliens. I work in the aerospace industry, so this one is definitely going in my cubicle!

20140405_073059-smallAfter too little sleep, the ladies in van 1 were off on the third and final set of legs on Saturday morning. We ran through the beautiful beaches of San Diego. I really miss the beaches of my home town. While I love living in LA, San Diego will always have my heart. 20140405_074733-smallSeriously, San Diego, Seriously!!! 20140405_075336-smallI am not going to lie, I was really nervous for my last leg through Torry Pines. It had the highest elevation gain and the steepest hill out of all the legs in the relay. I went into the run treating it as training rather than a race. During the first 3 miles of the 10k, I kept a 9:50 pace for the first round of hills. That all changed when I hit the monster of a hill… 10171280_10102987832631263_4769257709175811591_n

…although this picture doesn’t do it justice, it was the hill of all hills! I ran 2/3rds of the way up to where my cousin and van mates were waiting for me. I walked the last third of the hill and then ran the next two miles to the exchange with Amy. download_20140405_110846It was surprising how good this leg felt!  I was even able to maintain a 10:30 average pace for the hardest 10k of my life! I was sleep deprived and cranky but this leg felt AMAZING!!! 20140405_103845-small

Doesn’t Gillian look incredible in the picture above? She finished strong for van 1! 20140405_103858-smallWhile Jamie, the founder of Sweat Pink, started the final set of legs for van 2, the girls of van 1 enjoy the ocean views.

download_20140405_110819 20140405_104407We stopped for brunch on our way down to the finish line in San Diego. Real food was a nice change from PB&Js and nutrition bars. 20140405_120109-smallThe eggs benedict from Cody’s La Jolla was incredible!

20140405_121623-smallThe finish line was packed with people and Ragnar goodies. 20140405_153145-small 20140405_153444-smallThey were even giving out pizza from what might be the world’s largest pizza. 1016959_10203618519331536_5141479237432336994_nFor the very final leg, the entire team came together to run across the finish line. This weekend was incredible and hard but mostly a party on wheels. I am so honored to have been able to run with these amazing ladies!

download_20140405_190602(Jill, me, and Gillian)

My name is pretty rare, so it was a nice coincident to have two other Jills on the team! Don’t you just love those medals? The medal doubles as a bottle opener!

Here’s to the next relay!!!

11 thoughts on “So Cal Ragnar Relay: Team Dirrty Dozen

  1. What a rememberable weekend! You just keep on inspiring me every blog I read. How cool Rachel was there to support you too! That is just amazing that there was three Jill’s on your team. Two were Jillian’s! Different spelling though! I had two other friends that were running that race too! It is a tough run and you did it! Your brother just did a great time with a 5k! Love you to the moon and back! Bet it was nice to come home and sleep in your own bed!

  2. I love your recap! It was so much fun meeting and sharing the Ragnar experience with you. I think we were all so lucky that our team bonded so well. I think Amy must have stacked Van 1 with all the handstanders, because there wasn’t much of that going on in van 2 :-)
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted…I’m a Ragnarian!My Profile

  3. Love your recap! Your times were great! It was soooo fun watching all the runners! Most of all you! This race may just have inspired me just enough to have a goal. I would LOVE TO DO THIS SOMEDAY! I want to have that memorable experience too! :-) would have A LOT of work to do, but maybe someday! Cant wait to see you crush the tri!

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