Monday, February 25, 2013

R.O.U.S. Runners of Unusual Speed-Ragnar Del Sol

Ever since I started running Ragnar's I wanted to be on a team named R.O.U.S. Runners of Unusual Speed.  I love the Princess Bride movie and the play on words R.O.U.S is hilarious.  After working 3 SWAT volunteer positions with Ragnar I earned a free team and became Princess Buttercup.
Van 2 hanging out in front of our van while Jacquie runs the longest leg
Putting together a team means patience as the team changes form like your pace changes during a 5K race. After having a full team, losing three runners in a 24 hour period, accomadating for injuries and those sandbaggers padding their times you never know what to expect.  Even my boyfriend John caused me anxiety. He never wanted to run Ragnar but was guilted into it by his friends (and I'm so glad they did) and I knowing his endurance running ability gave him the top miles of 23.  The funny thing about John's training is as we got closer to the race, he trained less and less where his long run was 6 miles and he was running 1, 2 or NO days a week.  I had to remind myself he's a big boy and their van would figure it out. The end result was awesome runners having great laughs and being wonderful friends.

Van 2 at exchange 6. Note the bull riding pen behind the picture. That was the real reason I got bruises on my knuckles on both hands. But it made for a better story that I picked fights with runners tagging our van.
I got van one out the door at 5:30am off to Wickenburg and had a couple hours to kill before my van left at 10:30am. Within 20 minutes Jeff received a text from his wife saying she was taking their 5 year old son to the doctor because he had a rock stuck up his nose. I can't even type that without laughing.  He was "holding' it for a girl he had a crush on. I believe that is what pockets are for but maybe putting it in the nose is better because of the polishing features of the nose. It turned out to be a plastic glitter bead which is far better than an ordinary rock and it can still be strung on a string for the gal to wear. This rock became one of the many jokes throughout the 28ish hours.

Jeff and Glen discuss how elevation charts were drawn by 5 year olds with rocks up their noses.
The race isn't about the running but the stories that come out of the race.  I heard van 1 had people taking pictures of their van and we had runners spouting off quotes after seeing all our character names and quotes all over our van. At one exchange I had a guy call me a witch.  I yelled back at him.  "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife" at which he instantly replied with "and after what you just said I don't think I want to be that anymore".

Jacquie and Jan at our start-exchange 6

Jan finishes her first leg

Jan hands off to Glen and is glad to stop running
Glen shows Jacquie (who is challenged with working slap bracelets) another way to hand off the bracelet
Is my butt blinking?
Michael is ready for his night run

Having run the Lost Dutchman marathon the week before I gave myself the shortest distance of 11 miles and the coveted spot of running in the team, runner 12. My boyfriend got the top miles of 23 and Jacquie had 21 miles.  The 21 miles, while extraordinary,  wasn't the highlight of her legs.  She ran the longest leg in Ragnar history of 13.5 miles in an astonishing 2:07 and wore her special bling metal proudly the rest of the race.  We were worried the medal bouncing up and hitting her in the eye (you should see the bruise on my hand from her medal as she was swinging and dancing around waving it) and we talked her out of wearing it the last two legs. I think she probably slept with it that night though.

Jacquie looking strong on her 13.5 mile run

When I ran Hood to Coast in 2012 I learned about Spirit Sticks and thought the were the best invention ever. A long decorated stick with a light on the end made finding your team so much easier especially at night.  We had a pom pom on ours and it also became the device to brush someones head with and turn around quickly as they brushed off what was touching their head. It also doubled as a kilt lifter and skirt lifter used on the men wearing dresses.

Michael holds the spirit stick

One of the jokes in our van is we were going to nickname our selves runners of unusual parking.  Our 15 passenger van was LONG and it was just so much easier to take up 2 or even 4 parking spaces.  With our relatively early start time and our fast team, we were towards the front of the race at the end so it was ok to park so horribly.

We did leave Jan stranded at her exchange for about 10 minutes.  We didn't mean to and had plenty of time to get Starbucks but we drove the wrong direction leaving Starbucks and were too busy chatting to realize it and then we passed up the exchange and had to drive another half a mile before the road allowed a U-turn. We kicked Glen out of the van, ignored the evil eyes of the other teams for getting to the exchange late, and apologized profusely to Jan. After all, she was a prized team member because after our first legs we showered at her house, sat in her spa and her husband picked up dinner for us.

Bringing in the team was awesome. Close to the finish line I let out my cheer yell which is comparable in volume to my zombie scream and Jacquie heard it across Tempe Town lake.  The team was waiting for me and we all ran across the finish line together. Many thanks to Megan for capturing this video and being our "official finish line photographer".

Jeff, Tom, John S, Chip, Michael T, Glen, Michael C, Jacquie, Jan
Christina, John C and John H(not pictured)


Johann said...

Awesome stuff! I know how you love the Ragnars. You guys are all incredible! Fantastic name for the team! Well done everyone!

Emily W said...

It sounds like another wonderful Ragnarian adventure! I need to look into spirit sticks...

Michelle said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun!

Black Knight said...

How many beautiful pictures of a great adventure!
"Bravi" to all the fantastic team.
Have a good week end.