I keep forgetting to mention things that happened earlier, but that's actually perfect. Because it keeps you confused and not knowing what hour in the day we are, or what leg we're on, or who's running at the time. Which is exactly how the entire race felt..
So back to the showers. First, I'm super grateful we had them, as I don't think that's always the case on Ragnar courses. The high school we used just happens to do this to get donations from Ragnar for their sports programs in return for them letting us use their facilities. By the time you get there, you'd offer them a kidney for food and a shower, so it's a win win.
But when I get to the showers, we have two options.
One was a giant room with shower heads where everyone is just straight up nude in front of each other. Which is awkard enough, but there was also no place to set your stuff down in there, so I went with option two, which was standing in line waiting for 4 curtained off personal showers.
Except the 4th one was broken, so make that three.
So you wait for awhile, and you keep hearing the girls in front of you come out and say something about not being able to adjust the temperature.
But they seem fine enough when they emerge, so I'm trying not to worry about it. Then it's my turn and I get in -
and the water. is. SCALDING.
Like, so bad that I can only stand under the water for a few seconds until I nearly yell outloud, so I have to keep jumping out of the shower to regroup, then going in again and repeating the process. At one point I start giggling at how obsured it was and all the while I hear the girls waiting in line outside say things like "well this would work if people got in and got out quickly, but you can't ponder life in there...."
I take pleasure thinking about those girls later getting scalded themselves.
Anyway, back to the race. We all get through our night runs like so:
And the sun starts to come up and yep...still running!
Who came up with this idea again?
And I failed to come back to the fact that, as I mentioned, one of my teammates is a highschool principal. And his school is an alternative school, where kids that get into trouble go. So while we are dealing with all our other situations, and keeping up with runners, and living in increasingly smelly vans that might not make it through the race, we also hear one half of random phone conversations that go like this:
"Ok, so we'll need to check into what legal action needs to be taken for when someone with that disease spits in a teacher's food...."
"so you're saying the fight started because one boy accidentally walked into the other boy's bathroom stall..."
So that added fun to the rest of our strange days.
And by this point, we've now wound our way back into D.C. so I'm feeling more comfortable because my last leg is actually on a piece of my regular running trail, so at least if I get lost this time -- I can just walk home.
And somewhere around Chevy Chase D.C., we find an exchange that offers pancakes.
|That is the extent of possible excitement after this many hours of a race|
|Again, we paid to become this....|
"I like yer britches!"
And the other Tennessee boys in the van are all "Dude, they don't say Britches in these parts! He's gunna have to look that up in the Urban Dictionary...
Ha! Anyway, we continue on and we are starting to get to the last few legs of the race, and realize --
we are now completely out of water.
And the worst planned race ever continues.
And I "only" have a 4.4 mile leg left and supposedly there's a water stop during it, so I'll be fine but still. I've been dehydrated before and it's not pleasant. And some of our other runners have longer legs left to do than mine.
And the only other female runner is pregnant. Yep, found out right before the race. Totally fitting, considering all the other things happening here...So I take it upon myself to go find us all water.
After I asking around if there's any water at the exchange stop we're at and finding nothing, I naturally go to the creepy van offering free candy.
I try to be cute and ask "I don't need candy, but would you possibly have a bottle of water you'd let me have?" *batting eyelashes*
And I get a big fat no.
Jerks. You'll never kidnap people with that attitude!
But I persevere and stalk another van and -jackpot! They were so kind and wouldn't let me just take one little bottle, but gave me an entire jug of water! Aw! I love runners.
So I triumphantly bring my spoils back to our van and we take off yet again. And eventually I start preparing myself for my last leg by laying out my iPhone, headphones, and bottle of water (in case there ISN'T a water stop or I just need more for some reason).
And I get to my exchange point, jump out of the van as it continues on to find parking, and I realize:
that darned bottle of water is still sitting on my seat in the van.
Fine, it's not that crucial.
Then I realize -- I didn't attach my headphone to my iPhone so now I'm music-less.
That needs to be fixed, dang it!
I text FGB Robert who brings me my headphones and I get the "baton" slapped on my wrist and take off.
And by this point on a Saturday, there are a ton of regular runners on this trail so I can only tell if I'm passing Ragnar people if they happen to have the Ragnar symbol on the back of their leg like I did:
And the other normal, non-Ragnar D.C. people out on the trail probably were wondering why I looked so tired and I really wanted to announce to each one that I'd been in a race for over 24 hours already, but I didn't. And the water stop I was depending on -- ended up being poorly placed right at the start of my leg, leaving 4 more miles of me baking in the sun without hydration. Whatever - HOME STRETCH!
We finally drop off our very last runner -- FGB Robert, who has been running like a mad man through each of his legs. And we all race to get to the finish line before him so we can all cross the line as a team. And by this point, we're all hobbling a little, pretty sore, very tired, and we see Robert round the bend and we all gather around and try to join.
But he's still kinda truckin'. So I hear one of my tired teammates yell out a "Easy! Robert. Eeeasy!" and Robert adjusts and we all trot across the finish line and officially become - Ragnarians.