Friday, April 11, 2014

Ragnar SoCal Recap Pt 1

     After months of preparation, worry, excitement and getting to know 11 strangers on Facebook, Ragnar SoCal is officially over.  Looking back, this has been one of the greatest, most exciting adventures of my life, short of meeting and marrying my wife.
     Heading into it was one of the most stressful few days I have had in a long time.  My anxiety was starting to kick in as I was starting to get nervous about the trip, my work was having our huge 3 day spring kick off event and to top it all off my wife’s grandfather was admitted to the hospital where sadly he later past away.  I was so heart broken that I was leaving on this trip while my wife had to deal with the loss and I even was considering canceling to be with her, but she said no.  She knew how much the trip had meant to me and of course the money we invested for me to go, there was no way she wanted me to miss it. 
     Packing for this was crazy.  I had an idea of what I needed from our team captains and what I found online, but my need to be prepared and not being 100% sure of what I wanted to run in caused me to over pack a little.  My flight was scheduled to leave at 6:35am so with the hour and fifteen minute drive to the airport and the need to get there early to check bags and get through security; we headed out about 3:30am.  My flight was actually pretty good, I had an hour and a half layover in Phoenix and I didn’t have a person in the middle seat on either flight.

view as I landed in San Diego
    One of my teammates, Bonnie, was also flying in at about the same time so after she landed, Ric picked us up and took us to his and John’s house.  We met John at a cool little place called the Wolf’s Head Pub for lunch.  They had some amazing food, I got the meatloaf sliders, and they were amazing.  I will defiantly be going back there next time I am in San Diego. 
     Bonnie and I were both pretty tired from early flights so she crashed for a while and I hung out in their cabana watching TV the rest of the day till dinner.  After dinner, we stayed up till midnight chatting and getting to know one another.  We finally decided to go to bed, once we realized that I had been up for almost 24 hours due to the time change.
     We got up around 8 and Ric had eggs Benedict waiting for us, that was a first for me and damn they were good.  John, Bonnie and I headed out to rent van one and start picking up the rest of the team that was flying in.  Once Cat, Martha and Colleen all got in, we chatted for a few minutes then Colleen and I dropped Martha and Cat of to rent Van 2, Bonnie and John picked up Katie, Caitlin and Paige and we all met back at John’s house.  When we got back to the house Tay was already there waiting for us.  It was hugs all around as these Facebook picture became real.  Paige brought out our team sweatshirts, Caitlin surprised us with T-Shirts she had made, Bonnie made little swag bags with hand made gourd ornaments and Martha had little sunscreen kits for everyone.  John and Katie left to pick up Thomas, whose plane was running late.  For a bunch of people that had never officially met we got along like we had known each other for years.  When Thomas showed up, everyone was excited to get there doughnut from Portland's own Voodoo Doughnuts.  Somehow he packed a dozen large doughnuts into his carry on and without a hassle from the TSA.  I got the "Dirt Doughnut" which was a large yeast doughnut with vanilla frosting and Oreo cookie crumble on top, believe me when I say it was so worth it.

     After enjoying our doughnuts we all piled in the vans and headed to the hotel we booked at the starting line where Hillary was waiting for us.  The whole way there we kept saying wow we are going to be running this tomorrow.  Once we got checked in, we headed out for a team dinner at a nice little place called the Stone Fire Grill.  As the bonding continued at dinner, John gave us all some great tips and “team rules” to help make the event go smoothly for all of us newbies.  We then did a little grocery shopping to stock up on supplies and then made our way to the Party Store where things quickly spiraled out of control :) 

     Van 1 had a start time of 5am and they were required to be there at least an hour early for check-in and a safety briefing, so we all hit the sack around 10ish.  Van 2 headed to the start line at 4:30am to help cheer Thomas (runner 1) off.  It was just a sea of vans and runners.  I was also freezing.  I had no idea how cold California could be in the early morning hours.  The start was just off the beach and a breeze was coming in off the ocean which was causing the cooler temperatures.
     Once the runners took off, van 2 headed right to the van to warm up and head back to the hotel to relax.  We knew it was going to be a long couple of days!

To be continued…


  1. I'm so sorry for your family's loss. It sounds like such a fun time at Ragnar though, from everything I've read so far. Can't wait to see the rest!

    1. Thanks Jen, I will pass that along to my wife.