Root Family

Root Family

Jun 23, 2010

Wasatch Back 2010

Last weekend I had the pleasure of running Utah's Ragnar Relay, otherwise known as, the Wasatch Back. A few years ago this sounded fun to me when a girl I worked with told me about it, but at that time I considered hiking and backpacking my only sports. I never thought I would run races, and although I'm not competitive, I can call myself somewhat athletic.

The Wasatch Back is a 188 mile relay run from Logan to Park City, done with 12 runners on a team. Each team member runs 3 times, totaling between 12 to 18 miles. We named our team "Hayduke's Bastards" after the infamous character George Hayduke in Edward Abbey's "The Monkey Wrench Gang."

The team was made up of my twin sister and I, a friend of ours was the team captain, some friends of hers, some friends of her friends, and a few newbies our captain found online. It was a great team! I always have a strong sense of camaraderie with anyone I do something active or intense with and this was surely the case. It's awesome to me that I can feel as if we are all great friends now though I only just met some of them and I certainly hope that I"ll be seeing them again.

My team finished in just over 31 hours, so overall a less than 10 minute mile. We are all pretty average runners I think, a few faster, but I don't think any of us were unhappy with this performance because we really favored the fun and beauty of the experience over the end result. I was runner #2 with legs 2, 14, and 26, a total mileage of 13.1, or, an exact half marathon.

On race day, Van 1, or more appropriately, Truck 1, was due at the start at 6 a.m. in Logan so we left Salt Lake around 4:30. I felt great after my first run of 6.7 miles and when we all finished we drove ahead to relax at Snowbasin Resort while Van 2 ran legs 7-12.

Here's me at the first exchange as our first runner comes in and give me the Slap-it team baton / bracelet.

Here I am coming in and sending April off for her first run with a little tap on the butt.


Here I am trying to catch a few ZZZ's before the next run, but I really think I only laid down for about 20 minutes and then I just sat and relaxed and ate some more food in preparation for the next round.

snowbasin 1

Here I am with Brittany (the team captain) and April before heading out again.


Round 2 was late in the afternoon, and scorching hot. I think it was the hottest 3.1 mile run I've ever done as I usually avoid the heat of the day. The small towns were beautiful though and some of the local kids would wait out front with a hose and ask if you wanted squirted--I don't think anyone would have declined. Our last couple runners on this round had to abide by the rules and wear their headlamps, buttlamps, and reflective vests while running. When they finished around 11:00 or so (I can't quite remember) we drove ahead to shower and sleep at North Summit High school while again Van 2 ran the next 6 legs of the race.

After paying $2 for a "hot shower" and taking a cold one, I headed to sleep in the back of the truck while the rest of the team laid down in the gym or elsewhere in the school. I probably rested better than the others, for about 2.5 hours or so, but I do remember dreaming that we had better get a runner to the next exchange point.

So early in the morning we headed out to relieve Van 2 and all do our final run of the race. Despite how tired I was, after each run I felt totally great! I am not sure I have ever experienced a true "runner's high" before in practice or in racing, but I definitely did after all 3 of my legs for this race. Maybe it was just that I knew there were 5 other people cheering me on and checking on me as I went along, or maybe this final high was due to knowing that I was done after this. I remember feeling like it was harder than my actual half marathon because my body had to run again before it could recover, but now I'm not sure how to compare them.

In any case, when all 6 of us were finished we got a brief, free chiropractic treatment, bought some McDonald's breakfast which hasn't tasted so good to me in ages, and then drove way ahead to the Canyons Resort in Park City where we would again chill out until Van 2's final runner was headed in.

Here's Van 1 after showering and refueling at the Canyons Resort


Here is all 12 of us at the finish where we all ran the last 100 yards or so together.


I had so much fun doing this race that I have already begun researching others like it. I do love a great backpacking trip too, and this doesn't beat one, but it was so much funner than I had imagined it to be that I've been really surprised. I think I would happily do one again this coming weekend if I could. I loved the scenery, I loved the community of it, loved seeing parents racing with their grown children and everyone checking in on each other and helping out and all of that. It was just really awesome. Of course I was exhausted afterward and felt like I hadn't seen Bailey for days and days though it was really just one and a half. Thanks Tyler for watching her, thanks Brittany for organizing our team, thanks April for inspiring me to run, and thanks to my whole team for being awesome!

More pictures can be found in my facebook album here:

or my Flickr album here:

California Trip: Day 4/5

No pictures for day 4. It was mostly a sleep in and relax day. We went to the gym and played basketball for a while (Roman and I even joined in on a game of 4-on-4 against some young bucks and held our own). We swam, then more relaxing.

On Monday Caiden and I headed out that morning and said goodbye to our friends. It was a good trip and a much needed in that Roman and I have not seen each other for 5 years. I really hope we can get our families together more often, but it's understandable how getting together can become more complicated due to jobs, family schedules, etc. Thank you so much Bestsy and Roman, for hosting us and letting us crash your house. It was so nice to get to know your children and hang out with you all.

On our way home I took Caiden on a tour of the places I grew up with. He was interested at first, but I'm sure it became boring to him

We first stopped by my old high school. I showed him the football field, which I was surprised to see how much had changed. They have field turf and an all-weather track.





I showed Caiden my last name, which is inscribed on the discus throwing practice ring area


I took pictures of the 3 locations that my parents used to have used car dealerships




Downtown Eldorado (my hometown) and the famous "Poor Reds"


Our old houses




We drove old Hwy 50 back to catch up with I-80. Along the way we stopped and took a picture of the American River. It was flowing pretty fast


The high sierras


Lake Tahoe


The drive across Nevada was very un-eventful. When we hit the Bonneville Salt Flats, we decided to get out and take a few sunset pictures







It was a good trip over-all. One thing that I was surprised to notice was how small everything felt. I remember feeling like the drive from Auburn to P-ville taking FOREVER, when it was really only about 30 minutes. I also remember Hwy 50 feeling like a HUGE freeway, now it seems like a small highway. I remember feeling like the drive from Sacramento to Placerville taking FOREVER, now it was a quick little trip up into the foothills. Just a weird observation for me.

It was nice to get back to see Alene and Bailey. I had really missed them so much and I hope that next time we take a trip like this, we can do it together.

California Trip: Day 3

The next day we drove down to San Fransisco for some fun.On the way there we stopped at an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant in San Rafael.



From there we headed to the city and went out on a bike ride. It was fun to ride along the city and see all the things going on along the various pier's.

Caiden and I at the Bay Bridge (where we started from)


We stopped at this farmers market on one of the piers.


I bought and tried some dark chocolate with bacon


Roman bought Caiden and I one of these fancy cupcakes (tasted amazing)


Caiden on the ride


I just can't leave work


The kids at the chocolate making machine at Ghirardelli Square


Roman and I


A chocolate shake (tastey)


Riding back to the bay bridge




We came back to the bay bridge area and headed over to AT&T Park where the Giants play. I've never seen the new stadium, so it was neat to check it out.


They have free standing room only area in right field. This random guy snagged this baseball from under the fence and gave it to Baron. He was with a date so you know he'll get some nookie for that.


That area of water in the background is where home runs are occasionally hit into (Barry Bond's home run landed there)


There was a little mini baseball field across the water that we played a made up game on (without a baseball bat)


Brooklyn hanging out. She was more interested in getting out of the field, than playing with us


Roman and Jalen and Willie McCovey's statue


After hanging out at the baseball park, we headed over to Point Bonita to check out some of the old WW2 era military bunkers and lookout towers. We were hoping to see the light house, but the gate was locked when we got down the trail.

Caiden and I at an old gun station


In the musty downstairs leading to who-knows-where


Trying to capture a Kodak moment


But Roman was being bad, so Betsy gave him a slap (we hike up to that cement structure in the background, next)


We hiked up to this cool "lookout tower" of some sort and took some pictures. Funny "small world" story. We ran across some people visiting from Utah as well. They recognized our "Kearns Football" shirts.


Baron on the hike up








From the lookout tower we hiked down to the lighthouse trail, only to find the lighthouse tunnel was locked up. We couldn't even see the lighthouse

Caiden, Jalen, and I taking a "shortcut" that didn't end up being very short


Baron flashing that million dollar smile. He is such a cute kid


Since the gate was locked, we climbed around on the rocks for a bit before heading back to the cars and back to Sac-town.



The Rosario Family walking back up the trail


Roman showing us all how to throw a rock into the ocean