when asked, “do you want to run the napa valley ragnar relay practically for free with a bunch of strangers?” i said an emphatic “yes!”
an old friend of my sister’s from college sent me a facebook message in august, knowing i lived in the bay area, asking me if knew any runners because her ragnar team was desperately looking for a replacement for a drop-out. i said, “i’ll do it!” and a few weeks later i got picked up at 4am by a car-full of cute moms from walnut creek ready to run.
it was so stinking fun. 198 miles, 30.5 hours, practically no sleep, looooads of laughs and tons of singing and dancing to classic catchy music thanks to our team name:
i was in this van with five great girls, none of whom i had ever met before, and we became fast friends and had a blast. i just loved the whole relay experience, and i felt on a high the whole time, even when i was so tired. yes, we had a fantastic time, even though there were moments when we really felt like we were:
we each ran three legs, and luckily i got pretty easy ones: 3 miles, 5 and half, 3 miles. we started at 5am at the golden gate bridge and while one girl ran, the rest of us followed her in the van, making stops to cheer and give water. i was so full of adrenaline that i ran much faster than my usual pace and i felt so alive and aware of my body and thrilled. it was such a rush. we started at the golden gate bridge before the sun came up. i was runner 5, and here i am before my first leg, marci running in to pass on the baton:
at the major exchange points (where our 6 passed off to the other van of 6 on our team) there was a lot of people and a lot of excitement. and free peanut butter and jelly sandwiches…
after cheering our other van on to start their 6 legs, we laid down in the park and relaxed!:
we also happened to get our keys locked in the car. did you know instead of calling a locksmith you can just call the local fire department? we certainly made quite a spectacle when the fire engine rolled up at the major exchange point and the firemen wedged in to unlock the car (setting the alarm off in the meantime, of course):
pretty soon it was our turn to run again, and the weather was beautiful, and we were happy:
we got really good at making tunnels for our runners to go through and cheering them on along their runs:
my second leg was near sunset, and then we slept for a couple of hours (hardly) on the floor of a middle school gym, woke up at 2am and started running again:
i loved the night run – it felt so peaceful and quiet and neat under the stars in the middle of nowhere. and after lots of cheering, a little puking, and some quick dance parties along our routes, we finished all of our legs right as the sun came up:
we decided we wanted ihop, so we ended up on a extremely windy and extremely gorgeous mountain road in the first hours of day, and then we ate like queens. we went to the finish line and prepared for a triumphant finish for the ladies from the 80s:
we literally danced across the finish line. we jumped in with anna (our last runner) for the last few hundred yards and sang/screamed together, “running just as fast as we can, holding onto one another’s hands, trying to get away into the night…” shakin’ our booties all the way. at that point we had literally no energy, but somehow we sang/danced/ran/celebrated our guts out. it was pretty fantastic.
yes, we were running just as fast as we could, all niiiight long, even though every now and then we fell apart and were living on a prayer. it’s true that girls just wanna have fun, so we said “just wake me up before you go-go” and we beat it, just beat it, like a total eclipse of the heart. it took our breath away, but we had the time of our lives!
p.s. billie jean is not my lover.