Wednesday, April 25, 2012

RAGNAR, It's Awesome Sauce!

If you're not familiar with the event called RAGNAR, allow me to fill you in on the basics.  A team of twelve runners in two vans run from point A (Huntington Beach for RAGNAR SO CAL) to point B (Coronado Island) passing a snap bracelet between them for 200 miles, each participant running three legs and finally crossing the finish line together as a team.  Got it?
Team iAm the before shot
 Our team of 12 was comprised of friends, cousins, in-laws and even a few outlaws from Arizona and Utah.  We met up on a Thursday evening, and settled into our deluxe accommodations known as Seahaven in Coronado.

Little did these RAGNAR virgins know that those swanky digs would be so close - yet so far - a few hours later.

I'll spare you the gory details -- hot temps, challenging hills, detours via Fashion Valley mall, scary night runs, and something we lovingly referred to as "leapfrogging".  But we crossed the finish line together on Saturday afternoon all smiles and hugs and congratulations on a job well done.

12 running gals and 200 miles later....still lookin' great

If you ever decide to attempt a RAGNAR (they're held all over the US in some fantastic locations), here's my suggestion for what to brush up on besides running....

Accounting:  Divide the cost of two vans between 12 runners, deducting the cost of one rental day to the ladies who flew over and then adjusting the gas charges for each runner times the days they were in the van.  Then add and divide the cost of the t-shirts and the printing, remembering that some ladies ordered three and some ordered one, but deduct that from the gas/van rental I owe you and adding on the cleaning fee at the beach house.  Factor in the group meals, six packs of Gatorade, Ciff Bars and bottles of Excedrin.  Ready.  Set.  Go.

Navigation:  Drive 350 miles from Phoenix to Huntington Beach, start your race, then meet Van 2 at the correct parking lot at the right time without missing a beat or forgetting that dang snap bracelet.  Attempt to follow the RAG Mag directions to your middle-of-the-night exchanges avoiding potholes, back roads, alleys and major intersections all while your iPhone sends you in a more "direct route" or your former So. Cal resident knows a better way to get there.  (If this happens, just let her take the wheel).   Try to laugh it off when Van 2 drives to the wrong exchange at three a.m. when you're just about ready to fall asleep standing up (or laying down in the van). And learn to find the most remote and dark yet "safe" parking lot in the area, where the ground looks soft and the birds don't chirp and you can sleep all six of you in a van with three rows.   

Socialization:  Realize ahead of time that spending 30+ hours in the van with even the NICEST people is taxing even to the BEST of people.  Farting in the car is not an option, though the smell that wafts out when the sliding van door is opened is something you might call "gamey" and surprisingly not offensive to the rest of the runners in the van.   Smile when the tensions build and laugh when it all "pretty much" comes together.

Documentation:  Take lots of photos that show that you actually ran that 11-mile leg and polished off an unheard of 20+ miles over two days.  Embrace the photo ops with bed head and sweaty faces.  Don't be afraid to pose for photos at Lululemon as they ask to put you on their Facebook page because you're mid-race and you've stopped for a cute tank top and pair of running shorts.  Enjoy the day.  And the night and the day. 

RAGNAR, if you're crazy enough to get there, you're crazy enough to have a blast.  Make a great memory, then sleep on it.  Because you'll need that sleep before you ever decide to run it again. 

Emily's I Am...
You really can't go wrong running in Southern California
Greeting runner number 12 
Leg Three.  Got 'er done!

Whew!  It's done! 

1 comment:

  1. Is that Ruthy "Pigface" Draper on the far right in the before shot of the team? HA!


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