Several months back Jonathan threw a flier at my desk for the Ragnar Relay: a 180 mile running relay from Woodstock to NYC with 12 runners. Since then we've been recruiting teammates to join us (most recruiting took place after work and after at least 3 beers) and after assembling 10 other "runners" we named ourselves the 12 pack (with Natty Light as captain). After a handful of training runs and little logistical preparation, we headed north to Woodstock last Thursday night.
Having only done single leg relays (when there are multiple runners and each runner runs ONE leg), I had no idea what I was getting into with this. The Ragnar involves 12 runners rotating legs, each running 3 legs of varying distances. Of course I had signed up for this in my post-half marathon I-can-run-anything state of mind (which was pretty far from the state I was in last Thursday as I drove the 15 passenger van to Kingston NY to sleep in the Holidae Innnnnnn before the race).
The race took us just under 30 hours, and was pretty well organized other than some occassional faulty signage (nbd, Erin was lost at 2am on the dark streets of upstate nyc). With 12 runners, we would have thought there would be significant "down time" between runs. This time was hardly "down", as it was spent picking up and dropping off runners, stopping to cheer on runners, lying by the side of the road, singing, checking out the "RagMag" for directions on the next route, attempting to sleep in fetal position in 2 seats of a van, getting lost, eating granola bars, using porta potties, huddling together for warmth and 2 hours of sleep on a gymnasium floor. So really, running was the least of the challenge. Somehow we managed to survive.
Jon Chonko, ("Fat Tire") the designated driver and least likely to be shot by hunter or hit by car, wore this outfit the entire time. He also drove at least 90% of the miles, biked along side when our runners got tired, and stepped in to run the last leg for an injured 12-packer, and yes, he was wearing this outfit (and high top sneakers):
7pm Slumber Party:
Ji Lee ("Ji and Tonic"): Giving Chonko a run for his money on the best outfit contest, sported a eye of the tiger shirt from asia, and a glow in the dark Hulk shirt for his night run. And the yellow ray bans, duh. He also was the best looking while spectating:
Ed Sanders ("Keg Standers") and Jonathan ("Malt Quicker"): decided to try for the "best baton hand off" award by getting on shoulders and casting out and reeling Erin in to the finish like a fish.
Night running on highways in a lightening storm after 1.5 hours of sleep....this is me about to take off, boy do I look excited!
And finally, running across the finish line at 12:30pm on Saturday! Complete photos here courtesy of Ji Lee. Oh and duh, this team wouldn't go anywhere without shirts with a sick logo: