so, the final leg. i have to say, that nighttime run really got me - and the rest of my team. as soon as we got back to the room and got settled after showers and all that, we went down hard. the other van had some pretty tough-looking legs ahead of them, and we estimated having a good amount of time to get rested up for a strong finish.
except that we didn't. turns out, our teammates must've been extra motivated - because a solid hour before we anticipated having to get up, their last runner was already on his way towards the next exchange. yikes. the mad scramble that ensued when we got that call was indescribable - a rough wake-up call, to put it mildly. we were outta there in the least amount of time possible, and got our first runner out about ten minutes past when we were supposed to meet up with runner #6. oops. but hey - better late than never, right?
my cousin's run went fairly quickly, and then she passed the bracelet on to our next runner. that meant i was up next, and i was ready. my last leg was only 3.5 miles long, with an "easy" rating. sweet. i got all my gear all in place, and i was happy that the weather was nice enough that i could rock the "team superhero" shirt at least once during this race.
these pics come courtesy of my friend interview, who had his go pro in hand for pretty much the entire duration of the race.
and then...it was go time.
i headed out of the park and found myself on a trail that gave me just a glimpse of the famous las vegas strip, waaaaaay off in the distance.
the trail was actually a really nice one. and while i didn't get any kills, i didn't serve as one for anyone else, either. although i could tell that i was tired - i was having trouble keeping pace even though it was fairly flat the whole way through. and then again, i got shorted - when i came across the "one mile to go" sign, my nike+ app was only showing me about halfway through. eh, whatevs.
i was really startled to turn a corner and find myself running right into the exchange chute, where my teammate was waiting. my suspicious proved correct, as the rest of the team expressed surprise that i was already done and my phone told me that i'd only run just under 2.75 miles. normally i'd be all "dang it, i got shorted again?!?" but i was done, man. i wasn't complaining about having officially completed my first ragnar race.
interview's last leg was here:
and i had a good amount of time to goof around and take pictures at all of the super random photo ops there.
a pink cop car. well, sure, why not?
not long after that, interview made his way to the chute:
and the teammate that i pass the bracelet onto, who was also getting ready for a half marathon the following weekend, decided to pace our last runner on his final 8-mile leg. you know, right after he'd finished his own 7-miler. crazy.
and then that was it. we headed back to the hotel, where we gathered up as much stuff out of the van as we could carry and dropped it all off upstairs in the room. from there we headed downstairs to the pool area, where the finisher's village was set up.
i finally got my official merchandise!
and my cousin, who'd run other qualifying ragnar races earlier in the year, scooped up her bonus medals. this one was for running the race in utah:
and when she turned it upside down, it commemorated the vegas race:
and this one was simply for having run vegas + any other ragnar in 2015.
we waited for our guys to arrive, and then we joined them just before the official finish line and ran through it together. that's when we finally got our official ragnar bling:
and then we finally got a team photo with everybody all gathered together, all 12 of us:
i managed to grab my cousin for a quick selfie. i've got so many old, silly memories with this girl from childhood, not to mention that she was my maid of honor when i got married the first time around. it was awesome to make some new memories with her as grown-ups.
one more bling shot with the fabulous pool in the background:
we decided to head up and get cleaned up one more time before meeting up with everyone for a team dinner. with all of the other dining spots in the area fairly booked by hundreds of other runners, we settled for some basic grub at bj's. i'm not usually all about eating at chains when traveling, but in this case i didn't care - i just needed food. and somehow, we managed to score no less than SIX pizookies on the house.
yeah, i know there are only four up there. i was too busy shoveling that oreo cookie and ice cream in my mouth to care about getting them all.
back upstairs, we watched some of the last few teams arrive as the vendors packed up their tents.
my cousin and interview decided to take advantage of the free ice and giant bathtub for a post-race ice bath. wait - not together. haha! in any case, i declined in favor of one more trip downstairs to the casino.
except that exhaustion and sleep deprivation were working against me. i proceeded to lose my ass at both the slots and the blackjack table, and once i reached the limit i'd set for myself, i headed over to the noodle bar that i'd been eyeing since i arrived on thursday.
a nice, hot steaming bowl of tonkatsu ramen really hit the spot.
when i got back upstairs, everybody was passed out cold. i tiptoed around, getting my packing done and setting out essentials for the morning, and then i hit the pillows one last time. i had an early flight in the morning, with a 6:00 wake-up call. sounds crazy early, i know, but after more days than i'm used to spending in vegas in a row and missing my girls, i was more than ready to go home.