I took a brief nap and when I woke up I knew that I was going to be having bathroom issues all day. We were hoping that Van 1 would again pick up some time so we were up at 1:45 AM in case they came through at 2:15 or so.
It turned out that they didn't come in until 2:51 just 55 seconds ahead of the form chart. It was clear that I was going to have to put in a pretty serious effort on my leg to keep us on schedule. I didn't anticipate us picking up any ground on the final Van (those last few legs are brutal) so I figured we would need about 20 minutes buffer at exchange 24.
Brick once again picked up a lot of time (7 minutes in 10 miles).
My leg was already the longest of the whole race, but for some reason (probably high water) they had to add .7 miles to it bring me to a nice 17.6. This meant that the leg should have taken about an extra 5 mins.
The second leg is an eerie one, as it takes place in the dark. In this case a large portion of it was on a trail and there were a lot of times when large boulders or gates would come out of nowhere. In addition to that, there is no Van support on this leg so it is just you and the other runners as flashing beacons of light.
During the first section (leg 21) I passed 46 runners. I completed the 10 miles in about 1:01:20 and then took a 40 second bathroom break. I didn't have to go very badly but I told myself that if I was under 1:04 (which was my projected finish for 9.3 miles) then I was allowed. I also had a stone wedged in the bottom of my shoes which I didn't want to become an issue.
I covered the 7.6 miler in about 47 minutes to give me a finish time of 1:49. I had picked up 9minutes on the leg, but it was really more like 14 as it was .7 long. I passed another 48 people to bring my total to 97.
I was very happy with my overall pace, although I definitely started to cramp up the last couple of miles. I hadn't taken water at any point during the leg which probably contributed. Also there was the fact that this run took place from 4am to 6am.
Trent picked up another couple of minutes on his leg (another toughie) to give us the 20 minute buffer of so we figured we needed.
I didn't bother to sleep before my next leg figuring that it just wouldn't be worth it. I curled up briefly in the front seat of the Van while waiting for Trent but that was it.
Van 1 finished up again at 10:27 AM putting us 4 minutes ahead of schedule (actually 9 minutes of the real goal: sub 7 pace). Brick saved his best for last picking up 10 minutes in his 10 mile section and passing 115 people.
Now it was time for Ragnar (or Ultra Ragnar if you will). The pace chart call for me to run 1:03:23. The course record just so happens to be 1:05:58 by a certain Mr Nate Hornok. In addition this leg combines to things which I'm not very good at (very steep hills and elevation running). I was thinking that I might lose quite a bit of time here but I just wanted to limit the damage to 7 minutes.
I could already tell I was in trouble about 1 mile in. The hill was proving to be way to steep for me. I thought that it might better for me to start walking but I decided to keep trucking at my very slow pace. Whenever the hill flattened out, even a little, I used to opportunity to get into a faster rhythm. To my great surprise I was only down a minute or so when I reached exchange 33. When I passed through this exchange pretty much all the vans started to cheer me and I had 5 or 6 people pass me water or spray me.
The last couple of miles were pretty much impossible for me. I have difficulty running when I get over 5000ft, so the 8800ft that I was facing felt like someone had stuffed a sock down my throat. Somehow I finished this leg in just under 38 minutes to give me a total time of about 1:07 flat. I had passed another 95 people to give me 192 total. I had also lost less than 4 minutes.
Trent's leg was another one that is harder than the profile would imply but fortunately we had 16 minutes to spare and we finished 6 minutes ahead after over 190 miles and 22 hours.