So last weekend was the much anticipated Ragnar Trail Appalachians, one of the trail versions of Ragnar Relay, in West Virginia. They use the hashtag innerWILD. There were torrential downpours, extreme amounts of mud, and gorgeous scenery. It was real, it was fun, it wasn’t necessarily real fun, but we certainly found our inner wild.
My Ragnar weekend began Thursday evening after work, when I frantically packed all of my stuff. I had a hectic work week and uncharacteristically left packing until the last minute. It was stressful, but luckily I ended up having everything I needed.
I headed up to Debbie’s house Thursday night. She invited me to stay with her, since we would be carpooling with teammates Carrie and Erin the next morning. As it turns out, neither one of us are serial killers, so we both survived the night 😉 (Debbie may or may not have had family members who were worried about that) The next morning Carrie and Erin arrived and we loaded up Carrie’s van. It’s crazy how much stuff we needed for just one night. But you have to take into account the stormy forecast and the fact that we’d each be running three times.
Off to West Virginia we went! The drive to Big Bear Lake campground was about three hours and the trip went smoothly.
The weather was nice as we made our way towards West “by God” but the skies darkened as we got closer.
Sure enough, the rain started to fall just as we arrived at the campground. I didn’t take it as a omen, but I should have. We were greeted at the campground entrance by an older gentleman who reminded me a lot of people in my neck of the woods. He was much too busy wishing his equally old friend a happy birthday to check us in. When he finished with his conversation he said to us “okay, three people?” We told him no, there were four. He grabbed a campground pass and wrote three on it, and handed it to Carrie saying “three it is!” and sent us on our way. Oh well, we tried!
It was another couple of miles back to the Ragnar village and camping area, where we found our fellow MRTT (Moms Run This Town) teams. Our other Ashburn MRTT teammates, Gayle, Angela, Rachel, Lupe, and our team volunteer Melisa, had traveled and set up on Thursday afternoon. They also had to brave a nasty storm that came through on Thursday night. Thanks to them our campsite and tents were already set up. All we had to do was unload!
We set up in the first of many rain storms. Once we got everything unloaded Carrie took her van down to the parking area and caught a shuttle back up. I shared a tent with her and Erin, and we quickly found that our tent had leaked the night before due to the heavy rain and wind. We did our best not to add to the wet and mud, but it was difficult!
Our campsite was very muddy and only deteriorated as the weekend went on. Little did I know I was as dry and mud-free as I was going to be all weekend!
In total I think there were four MRTT teams and one Dads Run This Town team, and we were all right in a row. It was neat to hang out and talk with so many different people.
The four of us arrived around 11:30 AM, which was our team’s start time. Ragnar had moved everyone’s start times up by an hour in anticipation of the weather forecast. Since Debbie was runner 2, she had to be ready to run shortly after our arrival. She came back from her run muddy and happy and that got me excited for my turn, as runner 6.
My first loop was the red loop, a 6.7 mile trail nicknamed “Mother of Crack.” If only I knew what was to come…..
Have you ever gone tent camping in stormy weather?
Who else has run a trail relay?
P.S. Today Barry and I are celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary. Time flies! All I can say is “and I thought I loved you then.”