Ragnar Relay – White Cliffs UK 2017
What a weekend ?! When I signed up for this I literally had no idea what to expect. Run 170ish miles with 10 friends on the coast of England, day and night!
From Maidstone to Dover to Brighton. Long long way in a car, even longer when you have to run it.
If you want to read the proper description about it please click here and it will take you to the official Ragnar site 🙂
So at the beginning of the year I’ve seen a facebook post in one of the running groups I’m part of, that they looking for 10 “crazy” ladies to complete in the first ever UK Ragnar Relay. It was a no brainer for me to sign up. I love challenges and it was the first one ever her, I wanted to do it. I never met the others before but we all have a common interest, which is OCR ( obstacle course races ) so at least I had some common interest with them.
This is how I become part of the UK Mudd Queens team, we chose to run it as a team of 10, not 5 like the ultra runners.
After a few months preparation and training the day was finally here.
The day before the race I baked some vanilla and chocolate cupcakes for the team, and they were all decorated with our logo.
Some team members stayed in a hotel the night before up in Dartford, and they drove to Maidstone on Saturday morning. Because our allocated start time was 10.30am I decided to take the train in the morning, it saves me on hotel fee. I took the first trains from Basingstoke to London Waterloo on Saturday morning, then another train from Waterloo East to Maidstone. I’ve arrived to the start around 8.30am, had a bit of a looking around then waited fro the rest of the team to turn up.
Met up with the others shortly after and they even managed to speak with the race director so we were able to start at 9.30am.
Below you can see Michelle running at the start 🙂
Before the race we agreed about who runs which leg of the race, it was 30 legs and 10 of us, so every team member was running 3 times. I choose to be runner nr 10, which meant I was running leg 10-20-30.
By the time it was my turn to run it was already dark. I set off at 19.15 to tackle 13.15km. I had all my high vis and head torch on and was totally ready to do my part.
Luckily it wasn’t really hilly, and some part was even on the coast. Seen beautiful boats and loads of people on the seaside. But I also had to run through the middle of nowhere. Running with just a head torch on and no people around me was totally scary. I was thinking to walk some part, but I was too scared to stop. Probably I watched too much horror movies. But have to say I wasn’t disappointed with my finish time and pace. Could of been a bit faster but it was in total darkness and in a totally new route. My pace turned to be 07.49mins/km, which I was really happy about it. Because my planned New York marathon pace will be 08.08mins/km.
Ater the run I tried to get some sleep in the van, but it wasn’t the most comfortable sleep. But a few hours were better then no hours at all.
I tried to be awake at changeover points, just to cheer on the finisher runner and wish good luck for the new one. I didn’t always managed to do it, but most time I done it.
I have’t started my 2nd run till 07.09am on the Saturday morning. I was really happy with this, because I was able to run in the sunrise.
Leg 20 was another flat course, it was a bit shorter distance ( 10.67km) and most of it was on footpath. Luckily no night time running or running through the dark forest.
Beautiful scenery, seen some kind of Military base, loads of ponds and some cute cows.
My second leg was a bit – 10 mins – slower than I wanted, but because of the lack of sleep I wasn’t really disappointed. Finished still within my New York marathon pace so it was all okey.
Since last night we had some issues with the front left tire, but by this time it started to really giving up. They called up AA to get our tire changed so we could be back in motion. Been told that they guy will be with us in 2hours, but luckily he turned up in like 30 mins and it take hime about another 20 to fix the issue and we were back on track.
A we tackled the distance we got closer and closer to the beautiful White Cliffs. At one point we got upto a massive hill and view was absolutely breath taking. I think I could of spent a whole day there and just to chill and enjoy the view.
After a few more hours it was my turn to run again, my final leg, our team’s final leg. We agreed with the ladies that they will join me just before the finish line so we can cross it together 🙂 When I started my last leg I was already knackered due to the lack of sleep , but I know that I only need to tackle down another 8.45km and we are officially finished.
My last run was mostly on the coast and was able to enjoy the lovely breeze, I really took my time with the run and just enjoyed ” jeffing ” ( 1min walk – 30sec walk – repeat ). I was “jeffing” the previous 2 runs as well, and it really does work for me.
When I got closer to the finish loads of people were on the foot path and got loads of cheering as well. Felt really good to get motivation from total strangers, it gave me a kick just to continue.
As you can see my time got slower and slower as the race progressed, but have to say its all due to the lack of sleeping and not eating proper food.
Getting closer to the finish line I spotted the others and they were waiting for me to get there so we were able to cross the finish together. When we crossed the finish I felt relieved and proud. I was proud that we completed the race even with a few hiccups during the race but we never given up.
W have finished the race in 31:37:18.2, which I think is really impressive
Awesome photobomb by Emily :
As a celebration we got a free pizza ( 8 slices for 10 ppl :/ ) and a glass of free beer.
After that I packed my bags , asked for a lift to the Brighton train station and started my journey home.
Am I gonna do it again? Hell yeah!!! Absolutely awesome days, and loved every bits of it. Lack of sleep wasn’t the best but at least I will know for the future to what to expect 🙂
Want to say thank you to the UK Mudd Queens for letting me join to the team and also to organise the whole journey 🙂