It was pitch black running along the ocean till I made a left and headed back inland running through town. I couldn’t believe how good my legs felt, I was flying doing a solid 8:40 – 9:00 minute mile avg till I started getting caught at the crosswalks. Nothing kills your average like waiting at crosswalks. This leg was up hill as well but there were more long rolling hills with not a ton of elevation change till the end. I was feeling great the whole way despite it really cooling down. At times it got kind of hard to see, because when I would exhale my headlamp with reflect on the condensation of my breath and kind of blinded me.
We were running low on water and Powerade so while Tay was running her leg we quick stopped at a Walgreens to pick some up and I grabbed a nutritious turkey Lunchable! When we got to the exchange to get Tay and let Martha loose, we noticed it starting to sprinkle a little bit. Martha also had a short leg so we headed right to the next exchange and halfway there it just poured, but a mile down the road no rain at all. Must be that crazy California weather. Luckily Martha somehow managed to miss the rain and made it to the exchange no problem despite a car almost hitting another runner right in front of her. We met up with van 1 at the next major exchange and caught up on all their adventures from earlier. Once Colleen made it in, we headed straight back to the hotel for another round of showers and we managed to get a couple solid hours of sleep before we had to head out for our final leg.
The alarm came way to early but the sun was up and it was looking to be an awesome day. We headed out to the final major exchange using the GPS to guide us to where we needed to be. When we arrived at our destination there was not a Ragnar van or participant in sight. What happened was there were several roads with the same name but different sub names like road, way, lane etc… We finally figured out the error and got to were we needed to be.
The exchange was at the top of a hill on a cliff over looking the ocean. This leg was a pretty brutal one for Paige, as far as elevation change goes, which I found out later that she did an incredible job tackling it. As for me the first 3 miles was all a steep down hill.
When Paige came in I gave her a congratulatory hug for finishing her 3 legs and headed out on my way. The first mile was a slight up hill grade, but was enough to make my legs feel heavy. That all changed when I hit the turn and headed down hill. As this leg progressed the views just continued to get better and better and I stopped a few times for a quick picture. Out of the blue van 1 came by honking and cheering me on. They stopped almost every quarter mile or so and made human tunnels and giving me high fives. It was so nice of them to do that and it made me so happy that I couldn’t wipe the huge smile off my face. Once I hit the steepest part I was pretty much running out of control. I was going so fast that I was either going to make it to the bottom or roll to the bottom. I managed to pull off a 7:33 mile, my fastest ever. Once I got to the bottom though my quad muscles were trashed and I pretty much had to grind my way through the last 3 or 4 miles. I cannot complain though because it was all worth it, considering I had some of the most breathe taking views of the trip. I ran along the beach, then started a uphill climb that took me to another cliff were seals and sea lions were sunbathing. I then was put on a walking path that I had to stop and take a panorama photo of, it was just to amazing to not stop and take it all in.
Whoever designed the course really new how to torture us, the last quarter mile was all up hill! I made the exchange with Tay and almost collapsed from exhaustion. I guzzled down Colleen's Powerade, sorry Colleen, and never felt more satisfied to finish something in my life. The day got much warmer as it went on but our spirits were high knowing we were in the home stretch. Bonnie had a good size leg as well so we met her halfway to form a human tunnel and cheer her on. Once we picked up Cat and Colleen headed out for the finish line, we high tailed it over to meet the rest of the team. When Colleen showed up we fell in behind her running the last 10th of a mile and crossing the finish line as a team. It was an incredible moment for all of us. Hugs, smiles and tears of joy flowed as we received our medals.