Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ragnar Relay Cape Cod 2013 in Review

One and done ... despite the many obstacles that we hurdled to cross the finish line at the New England Relay, that introduction to long-distance relay racing was enough to get me hooked.  I was a bit burnt out on being the team captain and primary logistician and recruiter and planner and coordinator, so I kept my fingers crossed that some other crazy person out there (because 99% of my friends think these types of brainstorms are literally insane) would need a runner.  And finally an offer came through!  The friend of a co-worker tried to recruit her for a Ragnar Relay.  She wisely pointed out that he should be recruiting me instead.  So he did.  And I turned around a recruited the other half of our team because we were way short on runners and I was not about to do a NER Part 2!

The first weekend in May 2013 found me huddled on a windy, chilly, cloudy beach near Hull, Massachusetts with three friends and six strangers preparing to send off our first runner in Ragnar Relay Cape Cod.  I believe only two of us had done a long-distance relay previously, but all of us were unbaptized Ragnarians.  The Ragnar Nation is pretty huge in the U.S., so it was exciting to see what their races are all about!  And I must say, they do have the system figured out.  Despite the huge numbers of vans and people, there really weren't any snafus or traffic jams.  (At least none over which Ragnar had any control.  There's not much to be done when there's only one highway that goes out to the end of Cape Cod, and all the weekenders want to use it along with the Ragnarians!)

As I said, the race started in Hull.  It was a brisk morning.  We weren't quite prepared for such chilly weather.  The course then wound its way south along the coast through lovely country neighborhoods and rural areas with stereotypical New England charm.  Van 1 handed over to Van 2 in Plymouth after a jaunt through the historic downtown, including a sprint past the famous Plymouth Rock.  Van 2 then got to enjoy some lovely scenery on the Cape Cod Canal, where they passed back to Van 1 right at dusk.  Time to bust out the disco belts and reflective vests and blinking lights and head lamps and let the night games begin!