Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Ragnar Chicago 2015 Part 1

Spending 2 days stuffed into a van with 5 other strangers while barely getting any sleep, eating terribly, and having to run every few hours sounds like a barrel of monkeys doesn't it?  To be perfectly honest it is actually one of the most fun things you can do and hence why I subjected myself to such torture for the 2nd consecutive year. The idea was to join forces with Mo and get together our van mates from last year and form a new team for another round of shenanigans.

As time progressed it became clear that Mo and I would be the only stalwarts and we would be joined by a new band of merrymakers. The call was put out to other running friends as well as using the Ragnar Ambassador program. We finally had a team and started planning a name and all that other fun stuff. Unfortunately injuries kept our team in flux and we had a rotating band of characters for awhile. Once things settled down we were with 2 males and thus One Man Per Van was born.

We finally got some shirts made up near last minute as well as some magnets for tagging other vans. Speaking of vans, Mo booked us some minivans to save on costs and took care of a bunch of other stuff keeping costs for the team to the minimum. Some lineup shuffling put Mo in van 1 and me in van 2 as runner 12. I would be the one who got to carry the slap bracelet to the finish.

Even though I was in a van of girls I either didn't know at all, or barely knew, I decided to break out the Lone Sausage persona and the #andEric created during last year's Ragnar given that I'd be the lone guy in the van again. Luckily the ladies were game and went along with it.

We decided to all head up to Madison the night before the race since we had a 7:45AM start time and wanted to do some team bonding over beer. We met at Mo's dad's place and started our trek from there. I met my van mates - Jessie, Susie, Beth, and Sara. The 6th, Krista would be joining us in Madison. There was a mix up and the rental place and we wound up with a Buick Enclave SUV to squeeze into. We had to play tetris with our bags, but eventually made them fit and off we went. Dinner was a Monk's and involved cheese curds and Spotted Cow. I don't think you get much more Wisconsin than that.

We headed back to our hotel and Mo hung out with my van mates and I for a bit before we finally crashed. After a restless night we awoke to see grey skies and rain clouds. Luckily the forecast called for it to clear up by the time our van was due to start, but we were supposed to go to the start for a team picture. We did and it was raining too much so we just got our shirts and hit the road to grab breakfast and chill before it was our turn to run.

We wound up at a coffee shop playing a game of Cards Against Humanity. It was the same team building game I played before the start of last year's Ragnar. What better way to get into the sick and twisted parts of your van mate's heads before spending 30 hours together. There may have been some real freaks in the group, but that's just between us. So we got notification that Van 1 was nearing so we headed to the exchange and prepped for us to be the active van.

More to come...


  1. But what happened next?! I'll be waiting with baited breath...that smells like cheese balls... ;)

    Miss you, #andEric.

    1. I may be fleet of feet, but slow of pen. Miss you too.

  2. That sucks about the mix-up with the vans.

    Now will read what happens next. :-)

    1. We made due with what we had. Everyone survived. Working on the rest!