Flights are confirmed. Hotel is booked. Vacation days are submitted.
Ragnar Wasatch Back is official.
All I can keep thinking is....what in the good Lord's name am I doing?!
It all started in 2012 when I serendipitously met a bunch of crazy fools who called themselves the "Saints and Sinners". They were a Ragnar team that established in 2008. I hopped onto the team as a rookie for Ragnar Key West a few years ago (recap of that experience here) and have been running with them ever since.
It just so happened that in 2009, a year after we established the Saints and Sinners team, that Ragnar came out with a new "double medal" concept: run 2 races, get a special medal. They called it the "Saints and Sinners" medal, and it required running Ragnar Wasatch Back and Ragnar Las Vegas in the same year.
Wasatch Back runs through the mountains from Logan to Park City Utah, while Las Vegas runs through the Red Rock Canyon.
If you flip the medal upside down, it says Sinners. I know, so cool right?!
Obviously, our Saints and Sinners team had to make this double medal a bucket list item.
Our fearless captain decided 2014 was gonna be our year....so here I am!
All the logistics are finally coming together. I have 3 weeks until I get on a plane to Utah.
Now all I have to worry about is...you know... the race itself.
If you hadn't remembered, I live in the flattest state in the country.
Yes, it's even flatter than Kansas. Google it, y'all.
Besides being altitude-challenged, I'm also recovering from a torn tibial tendon that left me sidelined from January through May.
But hey, who needs conditioning for the mountains of Utah?! That'll be a piece of cake!
Yeah OK Mary, maybe a piece of cake made of titanium alloy.
My first leg has a little over 1,200 feet of elevation gain. Put into perspective: the Clearwater Causeway is only 80 feet high. I'm essentially running the equivalent of 15 straight bridge inclines over 7.4 miles along a dusty gravel mountain road.
This leg even has it's own nickname -- "What the hill?"
A leg with it's own nickname. How nice. I am so lucky.
And that's only my first run of 3. But let's be real. The scariest part of this leg is not the elevation. It's that I have to run across cattle guards. Does anyone realize how klutzy I am?! I can barely even walk across grated street vents without twisting my ankle! I am sooooo done.
What's funny (OK it's actually not that funny for anyone except for me) is that my legs are literally some of the easiest on the team. I got the injured runner's special! Thanks y'all!
Over 196.4 miles, there is 15,896 ft of elevation gain and 13,769 ft of elevation loss.
That's 29,665 ft total change.
From a team that trains at sea level.
Hey, at least we'll be super cheap dates at the finish line!
2 beers + 7,000 ft elevation = :) :) :) :) :) :)
If anyone needs me the next few weeks, I'll be out in Clearwater doing bridge repeats until I collapse into the Gulf of Mexico.
No, really. Call it. I need one.