I love Ragnar. It's kind of a mix between a road trip, a sleepover party, a running race and a hazing ritual.
|gratuitous photo of another van.|
It's really all about the van
There are 500 teams which is 1000 vans (I'm good at math). That's a little over the normal population of available 15 person rental vans in Miami. It turns out you cannot wait until the last minute to rent the vans. Too late! I found us vans but we ended up with vans from Sunrise Van Rental. Very nice guys there but these vans had seen better days. In fact, both our vans got dead batteries at some point during the weekend. A little stressful. But in the end they did the job and got us home safely.
Switching from driving the huge van back to your regular car is a little funny. I stopped short about three times driving the kids to school Monday morning ... my daughter definitely gave me the stink eye.
Part of the tradition of Ragnar is to decorate the vans. We are amateurs in my group at this so we employ child labor in the form of my children who love it and then the adults take over from there.
Unless you live under a rock you know the joy and torture of being included in a group text. During Ragnar we communicated via facebook and text. We had one teammate who is not on Facebook ... I know I know how does she live? But she shared information with us all via text. Including sending everyone in the group every photo she took.
We did have a runner drop out of our group one day before the race. Her punishment ... we never dropped her from the group text. Hope she had fun ignoring all 3 billion messages and photos. Sorry but not sorry. Hope your dad is okay, you seemed not to worried from the selfies you posted from the gym during the race.
The Worlds Hottest 3 second shower, King Ragnar and Speedo man
|King Ragnar. You're welcome.|
|Clean from the worlds hottest shower. But still not sleeping.|
|Other people sleeping. The only thing worse than not being able to sleep is clearly being surrounded by people who are sleeping.|
You pay $3 and you get a bar of soap and a towel the size of a washcloth. As this was not my first ragnar I brought a shower bag including a towel this year. Then you head to the shower (in your shower flip flops don't be daft) and press a little button and you get 3 seconds of 300 degree water showered onto your body scalding off whatever skin it hits. Lather up, switch positions a little and repeat until all your flesh is either gone or your feel clean.
|It's Ragnar the speedo works ... trust me. Actually Roy is on a team that won the whole race last year so he gets to wear whatever he wants.|
The Battle Cry: Maddie needs her hair tie!
In van two one of our runners is a fire fighter who drives the big fire truck. She handled the van like a sports car. which created some hilarious moments like when she tried to teach me the official hand signals and I failed when I waived to a friend and she almost backed into another van. Grade "F" for amy on hand signal class.
|That's Mario Andretti demonstrating the correct hand signals. Not like me who almost directed somebody to crash the van waving to a friend ... oops.|
Driver Arlene honked the horn about 75 times to alert Maddie we were on our way going the opposite way and then she threw a u-turn so fast I am pretty sure not all the wheels were on the ground. But I can't be sure because my eyes were squeezed shut and I was bracing for my life in a cross between preparing for an airline crash and curling into a fetal position. I may have wet my pants.
Then of course I hung out the window while Arlene screamed don't let her get too close to the van and carefully handed her the hair tie while we were still moving. Then we accelerated back to maximum van speed to make sure we were there in time for the final runner exchange.
Then I may have laughed hysterically for about 15 minutes.
Sleep is for sissies!
For the second year in a row I got zero sleep during the race.
|Mario Andretti not sleeping either.|
|Look at me even with my eye cover and yet no sleep.|
We finished the 196 miles in 29 hours. We were 119th overall and 66th in our category. Which is pretty great. We don't treat it as a race other that we do our best. We do this for fun so no pressure. Except to make shirts there is definitely pressure that next year we need shirts and magnets.