So Cal Ragnar Relay 2012: My Ultra Legs {5, 11, 17, 23, 29, 35}

by This is Carrie on August 16, 2012

I was pretty excited to be runner 5 and 11 on our ultra relay Team for So Cal Ragnar. Mostly because my first leg would run through familiar territory and leg 17 included a killer downhill.

Leg 5 through the City of Orange: While the first leg of mine was short, it was unbearably hot and straight up hill. As I waited for runner 4 to come into the transition area, I kept hosing myself down with water hoping that if I was soaking wet, I would keep cool in the scorching midday heat.  On the run, stopping at the multiple traffic lights in the first 100 yards was more than annoying, especially when other teams were able to take advantage of my crosswalk button pushing. At the top of the crazy steep hill, a cheering section full of my kids and neighbors met me, all wearing Sparkle Athletic running skirts (even the boys).  It was a wonderful sight.

ragnar socal leg 5 results

* 2.4  “very hard” miles

* total time: 23 minutes, with an average pace of 9:36 minutes/ mile

* road kills: 4  (definition: each time you pass another team on the race course, it counts as a “road kill”)

Leg 11 though the hills of Corona: Thank goodness it had cooled off a little before my run through the hills of Corona.  But still, it was hot and dry. Thank goodness for the random strangers handing out water along the course because I sure needed it.

ragnar socal leg 11 results

* 5.5  “hard” miles

* total time: 49 minutes, with an average pace of 8:55 minutes/ mile

* road kills: 14

Leg 17 from Fallbrook to Escondido: Even though my third leg happened in the middle of the night on a route with no van support, I was so looking forward to the first 4 miles of downhill.  I love me some downhill (29 kills, thank you) and through my various relay races, I’ve come to appreciate the stillness and serenity of running in the dark, alone.  Only once was I a little startled when I heard rustling in the bushes as I ran by. As I directed my flashlight off into the woods what I saw was not a ferocious mountain lion, but a male runner taking a bathroom break. Oops.

ragnar socal leg 17 results

* 6  “easy” miles

* total time: 45 minutes, with an average pace of 7:30 minutes/mile

* road kills: 29

(those are some wild and crazy eyes even before I became totally sleep deprived)

Leg 23 from San Marcos to Carlsbad: I almost missed the hand-off for leg 23 because I was sitting on the toilet (for like the 20th time). The rest of the run is a blur probably because it was at 3 in the morning and I was delirious from sleep deprivation.

ragnar socal leg 23 results

* 3.9  “hard” miles

* total time: 29  minutes, with an average pace of 7:26 minutes/mile

* road kills: 14

Leg 29 through Torrey Pines: Half way through this leg I saw a runner ahead of my that looked like a women I knew 10 years ago in NYC.  It couldn’t be her though, right? As I got closer, there was no mistaking. I called out her name and she turned around with a look of shock. “What are you doing here?!” she exclaimed. “I live here. What are YOU doing here?” I answered.  We continued to chat while running up THE STEEPEST hill. We chatted about her daughter (who I taught in church as a young woman) who is now 22. Wow, I’m old.

At the end of the leg, I was so thirsty, I made out with the drinking fountain.

ragnar socal leg 29 results

* 7.5  “hard” miles

* total time: 1:06 minutes, with an average pace of 8:48 minutes/mile

* road kills: 25

Leg 35 from National City to Chula Vista: Even though my last leg was an “easy” 5 miles, nothing was feeling easy after running 25 miles in 24 hours with little sleep. I was also unnerved by the rumors that lots of runners were getting lost on leg 35.  I studied the map but still couldn’t figure out where people might be going wrong.  Just seconds before I was about to take off, I got a fortuitous phone call from on old HS boyfriend who was running the Ragnar relay too (he married an awesome girl who also ran the so cal Ragnar and she reads this blog–Hi Rebecca!). We were hoping to catch up at some point along the route and say hi. Their runner had just finished leg 35 and had this advice “whatever you do, don’t go over the freeway”. Holding tightly to those precious words, I took off on my last leg.  Just 1/2 mile in, an official Ragnar sign pointed straight ahead with the words “stay on trail”. But that trail headed up and over the freeway.  I held my breath and veered right to parallel the freeway on a “road less traveled”.  I ran for a mile before I found someone that could verify I was on the right course.  It was no wonder people were getting lost.

As evidenced by the huge smile on my face, there’s not much in this world that feels better than having all six of your ultra relay race legs finished.

ragnar socal leg 35 results

* 4.9  “easy” miles

* total time: 42 minutes, with an average pace of 8:34 minutes/mile

* road kills: 9

My Final Results

Total miles: 30.2
Total kills: 95
Total time running: 4:14
Average pace: 8:25

All photos (except for the one of my cheering section) courtesy of Julie of Angry Julie Monday






Follow the entire adventure:

Team Sparkle Runs So Cal Ragnar


Read about past relay adventures here:

Hood to Coast Relay

The Relay


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Twitter: OneSewingMommie
August 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm

How awesome! I need to start running again… I had torn a meniscus earlier in the year, and have been scared to get back on it. Guess I just need to take the plunge. I love reading about your relays… you really inspire me! :)


Rebecca August 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Hi, Carrie! I love that I made your blog. :) And, as always, I love your race recaps – especially Ragnar!


Ashley August 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Looks fun! I love the Team Sparkle skirts, do they have shorts or anything underneath? I have never wore a skirt/costume to run in and it looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for the info!


This is Carrie
Twitter: thisiscarrie

THe skirts don’t have anything underneath them which is why I love them! You can wear whatever you are comfortable running in and wear it over the top! Booty shorts, Capris, leggings. You can’t even tell you have the skirt on because it’s super lightweight and really comfortable.
And I would highly suggest running in a “Costume”. It’s so much fun!


Julie {Angry Julie Monday}
Twitter: AngryJulie
August 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I just love those Ragnar photos. One of my favorite things to photograph EVER! Possibly the main reason why I started running again.


sara August 17, 2012 at 6:06 pm

You’re all kinds of amazing. What great times. Now I’m even more excited for my Ragnar experience next month :)


Chantel February 28, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Loved this post! I was reading your tutorial on how to make baby sleepers out of tee shirts and saw you had a running button. I clicked there, found you ran the So. Cal Ragnar last year and started reading. Wouldn’t you know, two of my team mates are in your picture! (We were the Rangry Birds team.) Woot woot! I’m so impressed with your times! Maybe you’ll leave me in your dust at this year’s race. I’ll be 22 weeks pregnant, just happy to cross the finish line and praying it doesn’t get as hot this time around! Thanks for a great post!


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