The 193 mile Ragnar So Cal course was divided into 36 legs of varying difficulty and distances between 3-11 miles, with designed exchange points. The teams consisted of 6-12 individuals split evenly into two vans.
This covered the $1,560 team registration, both van rentals (including post-race car washes), gas money, and a food/beverage fund.
- Babak - Legs: 1, 13, 25
- Sarah (Team Captain)- Legs: 2, 14, 26
- John- Legs: 3, 15, 27
- Mary - Legs: 4, 16, 28
- Krishna - Legs: 5, 17, 29
- Scott - Legs: 6, 18, 30
- Russ - Legs: 7, 19, 31
- Kathleen - Legs: 8, 20, 32
- Billie - Legs: 9, 21, 33
- Kate -Legs: 10, 22, 34
- Paul - Legs: 11, 23, 35
- Suze- Legs: 12, 24, 36
Team Happy Endings arrived at the Ragnar So Cal Starting Line in Huntington Beach at 4:00 am for the requisite safety check with our respective headlamps, reflective vests, and flashing lights.
Just before 5:00 am, our first runner, Babak, lined up at the first wave Start. We all cheered Babak on and then headed back to the van to drive to the first exchange.
Our strategy was to text the group when we had a mile to go so the next runner would be prepared for the hand-off.
Leg 4 took me along the Santa Ana River Trail.
Tallying up roadkills on the side of the team van are a Ragnar tradition and each hash indicates a runner you passed. After a total of zero roadkills last year, I was determined to make at least one.
I managed to make my first roadkill when I slowly shuffled past a girl who had slowed down to text. Hey, a roadkill is a roadkill, right?
Exchange 6 was the first major exchange where Van 1 handed off to Van 2. I stopped at the makeshift Ragnar store and purchased a green jacket before our van headed off to get some lunch.
Leg 16 followed city streets, weaved through a residential neighborhood, and then led us runners through the Fallbrook Golf course sprinkler system. In the darkness, it was difficult to dodge the spraying water so I just focused on my footing.
At one point, the course went off onto the grass but I got confused and continued to follow the path. When I spotted blinking lights in the distance up on what appeared to be a mountain, I turned around and darted across the damp lawn.
Instead of a dirt trail, the ground was loose like sand. As I ran uphill, my feet sunk slightly with each step.
Unfortunately, our 3rd runner, John, had fallen on his night run and his right wrist was hurting him.
Our van had gotten about 2 hours of shut eye in the Welk Resorts parking lot when Van 1 called us to let us know their last runner had taken off and we needed to head to the next major exchange.
Leg 28 was my final run. It was sunny and warm by this time. The route was mostly uphill so I instinctively leaned into the incline and jogged at an even pace.
We stopped at the nearby Gaslamp District for some lunch before we headed to the Finish Line at the Embarcadero Marina Park South.
I want to thank all of my fellow Happy Endings teammates for another successful Ragnar Relay!