Ragnar Relay, Zion Utah
When I prepare for a race— put the time in planning and training I always cross the line. Lately I’ve had some instances where I didn’t:
NYC Marathon- Hurricane Sandy happened and they cancelled the race as we were checking into get our race packages
Tor Des Geants- Kate hurt her knee 80km in and we had to pull out.
Ragnar- Officials basically called (severely revised) the race 11 hours in, details below.
We flew into Las Vegas, rented a car, and drove through the beautiful Zion National Park…. and I mean beautiful. I strongly suggest putting this place on your radar to see a stunning landscape. After the 3.5 hour drive we arrived at Ponderosa Ranch and unloaded into buggies to find a camping spot. (see photo)
Our race ( Team Vega to Vegas ) started at 11:40am the next day. The race was broken into 3 separate legs per person varying from 13 km to almost 20km per. In the Ultra category the cumulative total each person runs is 50km. So Kate started on the shortest leg and had a great run, clocking in at 1:20. She was followed by Amelia and then Kathryn who ran the two longer legs and posted solid times. I was the anchor and had the same leg as Kate and I got the tap at about 7:10pm to go. It was a gorgeous run with some stunning views that I didn’t take too much time to appreciate as I was in ‘race mode’ hahaha. One big climb and then a long descent to the pass off to Kate for her second leg.
Kate took off about 8:15pm with a headlamp and some knuckle lamps to help with the dark trails. I headed into the communal supper spot to eat. As I was eating I looked out and there was a torrential downpour happening… and it wasn’t stopping. By this time it was around 45 min into Kate’s leg and she was way out there. I figured she would be about 2 hours in normal conditions, but, with this rain all bets were off. The trails there are quite sandy so with rain they became full of sticky mud that would bind to your shoes and was also very slippery. I decided to go wait by the transition area for Kate and witnessed some of the racers coming in. Now most of the people there were part of an 8 person team and would not be what I would call experienced trail runners. They looked in rough shape coming in. I knew Kate was experienced but was still a bit worried because it was really nasty out there. We finally saw her at 10:30pm and she was only halfway done— remember I figured she would be done the whole leg at this point. She had mud all over her and we couldn’t even see the knuckle lamps as they were caked. It was bad out there and she was pretty upset. At this point the race organizers were putting the race on ‘pause’ until the morning—it was too dangerous & wet out there to run all night.
The next morning the race was re-starting at 8:30am for those teams that wanted to run a revised version of it. We didn’t see the point as the trails were still super muddy and more rain was forecast that day. 90% of the teams felt the same as us and packed it in.
Red Rock Canyon
So we drove back to Vegas and the following day went out to Red Rock Canyon ( see photo )to run a 15km loop. Much like the Zion National Park I highly recommend visiting this spot—gorgeous.
You always need to make the best of it which is what I’ve done in each race that wasn’t completed—focus on the positive and add the race back onto your bucket list !