Friday, September 23, 2022

2022 Ragnar Sprint Reach the Beach

Since I've created a post about all the other varieties of Ragnars that I've run, it was destined that I also write this post (also, someone was asking me questions about it and I was like, why don't I just have a link to send? oh yeah, I didn't write a post.. yet). 

Reach the Beach (RTB) is my 4th Ragnar race this year (Trail Richmond, Road New England, Trail Appalachians) and it's my first road sprint.  Our first Ragnar was Sunset NoVA, which is like a single day trail relay, no camping involved.  Sprint RTB was like that, except on the same road course as the full Road RTB.

Our team was myself, Bestie, a rando from my Trail Florida team, rando's friend, Teh MD Native, and the captain from our Road New England team (who has actually done several races with me/us now).  It was a very spectacular team, not just because we all got to sleep the night before the race and didn't have to deal with each other at our worst (the biggest downside of a full road relay).


On Thursday, Teh Bestie and I decorated Addie (her vehicle, which we were using as our race "van") so we didn't have to do it after we arrived or the morning of the race.  This was a solid life choice because 1- efficiency, 2- being able to recognize other Ragnar bound vehicles was a fun game.


The Sprint race started on Saturday, so on Friday morning, Teh Bestie, Teh MD Native, and I started the drive up I-95 to get to Seabrook, New Hampshire.  We picked up FL Rando in Boston on our way through and then met NE Captain at our AirBnB.  Rando's Friend drove in on Saturday morning and met us at the Airbnb before we departed for the startline at 0400.

After arriving to the Airbnb, we set our stuff down, introductions were made, and we headed to the beach.  

When the wave hits your ankles when you're trying to take a selfie.

NE Captain!

After getting salt water on our toes, we took some selfies and chatted and ultimately decided to head into town to make a snack run and grab dinner.  We ended up at the same place as Ragnar staff/SWAT were at, which made us all cheer (since several of us were wearing Ragnar hoodies, we were easy to spot).  

The most important snack and the BEST fruit snacks.


Saturday am we woke up to... chilly temps.  We hadn't experienced temps below 55°F in MD yet, so 39°F was a bit of a shock.  

Teh Bestie was Runner 1 and after a slight headlamp malfunction, she was on her way!

Made it!

Then we sent off Runner 2: NE Captain!

Selfies and vans at Exchange 2 waiting on NE Captain to come back so it would be my turn!

Here vee goooo!

The delightful smell of cow patty in the morning.

After a driver commented on my Ted Lasso headband, I actually stopped to ask a lady to take a photo of me since she was at a stopped van cheering people on.  This outfit was on point.

The barn box.

RTB signage is different than all other Ragnar races.

This lady was standing at the end of her driveway with her mom cheering on the runners. I actually doubled back to ask if she wanted to take a selfie so I could show Teh Bestie the unicorn I found on my leg.  She agreed!  If you BELIEVE, you will find a UNICORN!!!

And then after a miserable uphill, my 8.4 mile leg was finished and it was time for FL Rando to show us just how fast he's gonna run his marathon in a few weeks!

FL Rando.

Portapotty selfies are going to become a thing.
Even if I have to do it myself.
It will be a thing.

Rando's Friend was runner 5, Teh MD Native was runner 6.. and then we started again.  For my 2nd leg, I ran through a town which I didn't lurve because traffic and stupid people on a Saturday.  Thankfully, it wasn't a super huge town, so I managed.

Found the library, as I do.

Also found some dead people in the middle of the city.

Stopped to smell the roses.

Finish line Lindt is where it's at.  Trust me.

And then a few legs later, we were meeting Teh MD Native at the finish line!

But first we had to get a team pic on the beach!

Our official team name was Get in Toots, We're Going Running since our actual team name would have been Ragnar Censored: Get in Bitches, We're Going Running!  In the spirit of our Mean Girls theme, we also wore pink shirts at the finish line, since we wear pink on Wednesday.. and Saturdays.

Finished my race!
1st leg: What goes up must come down!
2nd leg: Dead people during the leg, dead legs for my leg.

After we checked out the merch tent and took photos until our hearts were content, we headed to dinner a few towns over at an Italian place that fit us into their fully reserved restaurant, despite us lookin' like we'd been running since 0530.  After dinner, we headed back to the Airbnb and the guys departed and the ladies head back out in search of ice cream.  I knew if we stopped and took showers I wouldn't be able to peel myself of whatever surface I'd landed on to go back out to get ice cream.

After ice cream, we came back to the Airbnb and showered and sat in my compression legs and went to bed early.


I woke up with a terrible barometer head headache at 0645 and decided that since I was awake, I'd make my coffee and walk to the beach.  Despite my attempts to be quiet, everyone roused and we all journeyed to the beach together.  Even Teh Bestie limped down to the beach and joined us after some persistence.  She may or may not have fallen out of a portapotty just before her 2nd leg causing more damage to already damaged bits from a trail fall the week prior to the race.

Don't feed the fucking critters people.
These aggressive ass seagulls wouldn't leave us alone.
One kept squawking and I wanted to throw a rock at it since it was disturbing my peace.

Look at me and my coffee on this beach shortly after sunrise.

After beach time, we all headed back to the house to get packed up.  We stopped at Linda's Breakfast and Lunch Place for breakfast and then we all headed our separate ways.  

Final Assessment

NE Captain claimed that Reach the Beach was her favorite race and to be honest, I really couldn't figure out why.  I didn't overly love either of my legs.  I ran through hilly wetlands that smelled like cow and then a town/along a highway.  The town had sidewalks, but the wetlands, while moderately scenic, was all street running and moderately terrifying since there was also traffic and no shoulder.  She clarified that full Road RTB was her favorite, so maybe I'll have to give it another shot?  Most of the exchanges were awesome and the local community showed up to offer food and snacks (for sale and for free).  

As for the Sprint piece, I really enjoyed the total distance of this race.  I wasn't absolutely exhausted running in the middle of the night having a breakdown, which was very nice.  Unfortunately for my team, I was captaining this team and Bourbon Chase (2 weeks after RTB) so they received some moderately confusing info on occasion.  They were all good sports about it though.  I'd love to do more Ragnar sprint races, but I know they are rare.  Full road relays are really exhausting and I don't hate them, but there have been struggles for sure.  Not sure if I'd do Sprint RTB again, but I'd definitely try out the full RTB if conned effectively.

Up next is my ULTIMATE Ragnar: Ragnar Road Bourbon Chase.  THE Ragnar race that introduced me to Ragnar races.  So far, it's going pretty rough and we've had several team member situations that I've had to manage, but I'm sure it will all be fine and we'll do some running and get some medals.  Come what may.

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