Sunday, January 17, 2016

2015 Ragnar Trail New England - Race Report

We had so much fun at the 2014 Ragnar Trail in West Virginia, we decided to get the band back together and run the brand new Ragnar Trail location in Massachusetts in 2015 on June 26 and 27.  This was about the same distance from Philadelphia and much closer to our friends in Troy, New York so it made sense.


Our Team
We were Naked Trailfecta this year.  No one really remembers - or will admit - to why we selected that name.  I think it had something to do with a play on the Trifecta at the track and there being 3 trails and then someone just like naked.  Best not to overthink these things.

There were a couple new team members this year.  Our friends Bryan C and Linda joined us early for a night camping in MA the day before the race.  Camping was only allowed at Northfield Mtn on Friday night so we went to a Erving State Forrest campground about 30 minutes away.  Mike and I got there early and went for an easy run after we setup camp.
Bryan C is a chef and made us amazing bbq pork sandwiches.  This was the start of being spoiled for the weekend with Bryan's cooking.  The campsites at Erving were among the nicest and well maintained I've ever been to.  Chelle, Bleech, Bryan, and Jessie arrived later that night.
Truck camping - who knew a crock pot would be an invaluable camping tool?
That's a s'more with 2 choc chip cookies instead of graham crackers.  genius.
It was raining when we departed Erving in the wee hours of the morning and I was praying it would stop.  We were first in line at Northfield mountain and had to wait awhile before they let us in to park. The parking was a bit off from the spot we selected under a big pine tree so we had to make a bunch of trips. Our high school friends Rebecca and Aimee arrived a little later and the team was complete!  Rebecca was with out team and Aimee was running with a 2nd team of friends who camped with us.

We went with a patriotic retro track theme this year.  
Team photo: Bryan W, Bleech, Mike, Bran C, Rebecca, Nicole, Jessie, Chelle
The race
Our team of 8 started at 10:30 am.
The 3 loops 







Rebecca kicked off the team on green and I followed on the 4.8 mile "Hill N'Dale" yellow loop and finished with a 10'21 pace.  As she came in she said the 1st mile is "up, up, up" - and she wasn't kidding.  The first half of the loop was allot of climbing and single track.  I LOVED the second half and totally tore it up on the downhills. I handed off to Jessie who was going for Red.

I had 6 yoga sessions to lead and they were packed!  What a fantastic group who came out.  There were even a couple people who came to multiple sessions.
We celebrated Bryan C's birthday with some awesome cupcakes that Jessie brought.  Bryan made us Israeli chicken with cous cous for dinner and it was amazing.  We definitely had the best food at Ragnar!

We had allot of fun hanging out at our camp. 
Chelle and Bleech ready for action!

Leg 2 was the green loop for me.  I went out at 7:40 so had some light to start and actually it wasn't too dark when I got back.  Had a nice avg pace of 9'12.
  
Leg 3 was my early morning run that started at 3:07am.  Pace for 6.4 mi was slower at 12'34.   I was way more comfortable running in the dark this year after having experience from WV the year before.  Plus, I knew the trails weren't super technical and could let it rip without worrying about crashing!

We had great team chemistry, got to hang out with people we don't see very often, chill by the campfire, watch the sunrise, and run on beautiful new trails.  We'll be back for Ragnar Trail in 2016 - looks like WV again!
Friends since elementary, middle, and high school!  
Lessons Learned:
1. Get rid of the crappy tent and invest in one that's actually waterproof.
2. Be flexible - unexpected things will happen and a team member may not be able to race.  Keep up spirits and remember why you are there - to have fun and enjoy each other's company.
3. Good camp food is amazing - thank you Bryan C!
4. Take more pictures
5. We learned from last year - Imodium is important


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