Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mustaches, Knee High Socks, Short Shorts...Oh, Ragnar!!

Team "Got the Runs" at Ragnar 2010
“Who’s going to be out this week?” my colleague asked on our weekly team call. After a brief silence, I piped in.
“I’ll be out on Friday [pause] because I’m running a 200 mile relay from Cumberland, MD to DC.”
“Wait, you’re doing what?”
“Eleven of my friends and I are doing the Ragnar Relay. We leave early Friday morning and essentially take turns running throughout the day and night until we get back to DC.”
“Better you than me.”

Ah, Ragnar is in the air. That 200ish mile adventure that starts in Cumberland, MD and ends in Washington, D.C. The running is plentiful, the beef jerky never ending, the sleep, and the camaraderie forever.

What my coworkers haven't experienced, or perhaps don't care to, is the serenity that comes with running through bucolic fields and backroads with only the moon as your guide. I get it, though. Running 200 miles sounds awful to the average person.  But it's what transpires between those 200 miles that makes it not only an experience, but, cheesy as it sounds, one you'll never forget. 

When you're running one of your three legs, you grow to depend on your vanmates, for food, for water, and perhaps most importantly, for support.  There's nothing like the adrenaline surge when you're six miles into a nine mile run (that's mostly uphill), feeling like you want to stop, only to have your vanmates drive by, their heads hanging out the window shouting things like, "Damn you like sexy!" as the sweat stings your eyes yet somehow you manage a smile.  And it's enough to get you through your leg.
"The Most Interesting Team in the World" finishes
American Odyssey 2011

When else could you make a checklist that looks like some sort of running apocalypse is encroaching:
3 Loaves of bread
PB and J, Salami, Turkey
Clif, Kashi, and Power bars
4 bags beef jerky
2 cases of water
Gold bond (not to be combined with Vaseline unless paste is desired)
A “stick”
Mustaches (real, fake, and magnetic)
Knee high retro socks
A nod to the first running boom

Mrs. Onthebusrunning and I have all these items scattered across our dining room table. To the casual observer, one might assume we’re preparing for a John Cusack movie or embarking on the modern equivalent of the Oregon Trail.

Come to think of it, that’s exactly what we’re doing.
Inspiration for "All Night Mustache Ride." Side note: the
middle guy is my dad.

Rather than hunting for our food, we’ll be hunting “kills.”  We’ve traded wagons for Suburbans and Typhoid fever for shin splints, achy quads, and overall exhaustion. 

Last year, we were rookies setting out as team “Got the Runs?” This year, we’re grizzled veterans on team "All Night Mustache Ride," primed to show our rookies a good time.

There was a three day retreat that the seniors at my high school used to go on. Each retreat was led by students who’d already gone through the retreat. It was always a special experience to go back as a leader and watch the transformations that would take place among the new participants.

I’m excited to relive my first Ragnar through the eyes of our newbies this year.

Are you ready for All Night Mustache Ride?  Come along for the ride by following me or my good friend Sarah on Twitter:


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...