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Read about Leg 1 here.

Read about Leg 2 here.

Oh, Leg 3. This is where things get ugly. But before they could get ugly, we had to refuel. It was about 8 AM at this point. We went to a place called Bob’s on Sheridan in Kenosha for breakfast. It is a dive–kind of perfect for Ragnar-ing. Some of my dear friends from Racine met us for breakfast, so it was nice to see them, eat, and feel clean from our showers for a bit. From there, we headed to a high school in North Chicago to await Van 1’s arrival. At this point, I was definitely feeling the lack of sleep. The sun was fully up and beating down on us. I put on my sleep mask (another Ragnar must-have for princess sleepers like me. I think I had managed 40 minutes during the night, and here I managed another 60. Then it was time to welcome Ramen and Co. in–they’d be done with their Ragnar now that everyone in their van had done Leg 3. Lisa got ready to lead Van 2 to Ragnar victory. FORESHADOWING: Note the extra leg brace she’s wearing. This does not bode well for our heros.

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Troubles beset her along the way–when we met her just past mile 1, she ws in pain–her IT band was flaring up and she wasn’t feeling good about the rest of her leg (as in, the Ragnar leg. Not her actual leg, though I guess that would apply). Tim offered to run some with her and off they went. But almost immediately we got the call to come back and get Lisa–there was no way she could finish. So Tim ran the rest of her leg, unphased by the extra miles.

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Tim handed off to Dave, who was still intent on capturing Ragnar by GoPro.

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During Dave’s leg I was starting to get freaked out about the heat again. I just did not want a repeat of Friday’s disastrous leg. So I filled up a bag of ice and did some pre-cooling. I stuck the bag under my shirt and waited for my turn to run.Β  Core cooling makes you feel ind of like you’re having an ice baby. It’s strange and pretty uncomfortable but it works to lower your body temp a bit before you head out. I also poured some ice water on my hat and put my hair into a bun. I wanted nothing touching my neck. All this persnickety-ness is evidence of the fact that I was tired. Not tired of running, per se, but just sleepy. Next time I Ragnar, I will sleep more. I hate being cranky. Anyway. Dave came rolling in and I took off through the lovely downtown area of the village of Lake Forest. It was lovely, but I was nervous about signage and for the first mile thought I’d lost my way. Again, with the cranky/sleepy/persnickety thing. After I got through town the route wandered onto a shaded running trail. This was the most populated area I had run in thus far, and so there was some stopping to cross the road, a parking lot, etc. But I did get complimented on my GNR by a couple of runners who passed me. (I told you I was the roadkill on my legs!)

Oh, yes, I forgot. So, the two runners who passed me were on the same team. The heat was slowing everyone down. At this point, Ragnar had decided that in order to speed things along, teams could skip legs and run together. Like, if two runners wanted to do leg 32 together, they could skip 33, then the next two runners could run 34 together, and skip 35. Or whatever. Basically, as long as everyone completed 3 legs of the Ragnar, we could go to the finish line and collect our medals. This was… not acceptable to our team. We wanted to run our legs. Even if they were hard. Even if we puked or… whatever. We would run our legs. The van supported me during mine, and David handed me a wet, ice-cold towel to wrap around my neck. It. Felt. So. Good. I tucked it into the straps of my shirt and finished my leg out, handing off to George. He handed off to Katie, who was going to try to make things work for her leg despite her bad knee.

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Katie was about a half mile in when she called Tim. No dice on the knee. We had been somewhat aware that this was a possibility, so I was ready to pinch hit. At the last minute David offered to run the second half of her leg, and I agreed. So I ran 2.5 and David finished out the other half. The route was through Evanston, and it was like running through the front yards of the 1%. Let’s just say, it was a lovely neighborhood. Filled with hot, stinky, tired runners. πŸ˜‰ Then it was time for Tim to run his 8 miles and meet him on the beach at Montrose Harbor. We met him at the 4 mile mark and every runner we saw was just absolutely wilting. Tim came around the curve in the street and he still looked strong. Now, he gladly took the water we brought for him, but he looked strong. We sent him off and booked it for the beach.

All was smooth sailing, until we turned into the road that goes to the beach. It was a hot day in Chicago and not only were all the Ragnarians making their way to the finish line party, but so was half the city. We started to get concerned that Tim would beat us to the finish. Finally we found Ragnar parking and we hopped out. We hobbled toward the beach–Lisa with her IT Band issues, Katie with one bum knee, George with two wonky knees, and David, who now had gimpy calves. Funny, in all that time in the van, we had not discussed how we would meet up or run across the finish. As we were approaching the crowded finish line, someone said “There’s Tim–and he’s not stopping!” I took off toward him in hopes I could catch him, stop him, and wait for the others. But he kept running! And I couldn’t catch him! Then I realized… that wasn’t Tim, but another runner… who we’d earlier confused for Tim… who had been just ahead of him… which meant… I whirled around and there was our runner! Van 1 was with him and just enough time had passed for all our injured runners to catch up, and then we went across the finish line (which was on the sandy beach which was…not kind to legs with so many miles on it. But no matter, we were all just happy to be there! We were Ragnarians and we got the medals to prove it.

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Team Better Off in the Long Run: Official Ragnarians. All of these people are so special to me now!

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Van 2, Injuries and all. No wimps here.

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The ladies of the team.

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Lisa, Me, Katie. Glowing.

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David and Me.

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Time to sleep! Finally!

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Obligatory medal shot. I love all the Ragnar-y goodness and the beach in the background.

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Thanks for a SWEET time, Ragnar Chicago! You were hot but you were worth every mile, every ache and pain, and every lost second of sleep! Mwaaaaaaaaaaaa!

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