Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ragnar Napa Valley: Part 1

Ragnar Napa Valley
September 19 - 20, 2014
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

It's hard to believe that Ragnar ended almost two weeks ago - last week was a little bit of a blur, but I'm finally sitting down to blab for awhile about the latest epic running adventure... Ragnar Napa Valley. After completing So Cal in April, we knew we wanted to do Napa for the double-bling, the Gold Rush medal. Because, I mean, look at that thing!

I digress. After flying up to the Bay on Wednesday  night, Heather and I spent Thursday morning running from Target to Costco to Dick's to Fresh & Easy to get our last minute supplies together. Lord knows we've done this before, and after all the leftovers from So Cal, we definitely cut back on the snackage that we bought for Napa - and we still had plenty left! Thursday afternoon was also arts and crafts time, because you know the bells had to make a comeback, in addition to some really epic poster-making by yours truly.

Thursday afternoon began the onslaught of flights, delays, arrivals, BART stations, pick ups, and the shenanigans began.

People always ask how I convinced a bunch of crazies to do this, so I always think it's super fun to talk about our teams come together. For this trip, 6 of the 12 that did So Cal were back, with some additions:

- Heather, Tina, Trista and I are sorority sisters
- Jill, Kim and Vanessa did So Cal with Trista, Heather, and I
- Jill brought along Kate
- Kim brought along Tricia
- Erica brought along Aileen
- Tina brought along Erica (who I also know)
- Tina and Erica brought along Kristin (who I've met a handful of times)
- Tina, Erica, Kristin, Jill, Kate, and I are all alumnae of NAU (Go Jacks!)

So fun right? This time around we had a lot more actual connections, whereas So Cal was a little bit more jumbled and from all over the place.

When everyone got to town Thursday night, we had dinner, van decorating time and our team meeting (because that's how Heather and I roll) to ensure van set ups, vests, blinkies, and headlamps were all in order. We intended for a Mean Girls movie night, but everyone was well past exhausted at that point, and with a 2:30 am wake-up call, why stay up later that necessary, amiright?

Our start time was 5 am at Golden Gate Park, about 45 minutes from Heather's. Each van made a stop to pick up a rider or two so we could all re-assemble and get organized at the park before the start. Up at 2:30 am, on the road at 3:05 am, and to the park just about 4 am, in time to get settled, grab posters and cowbells and get Van 1 into the safety briefing before we could goof around at the start line.

Start line! Let's go Napa Valley!

Despite being in Van 2 for DC, I still had the set up of So Cal (Van 1) in my head, so being back in Van 2 was a little disorienting, realizing that I don't actually start the race right away, but get to go start with some downtime. How very odd!

After seeing Aileen off at the start, Van 2 headed up across the Golden Gate towards our first major exchange and to stop for breakfast. We found our way to an IHOP, only to discover it didn't open until 7 am (it was barely 6 at this point). So we slept for an hour in the van, got out of the van at 7:05, only to see another Van 2 and random other patrons waiting for the doors to open. Apparently IHOP only schedules one cook and one waitress on a Friday morning, so we sat for 20 minutes without even being seated. I was worried about time, the exchange, safety briefings, and the like, so we ordered our food to go and still left IHOP at 8 am. Geezo.

Van 2! Tina, Kristin, Kate, Jill, Kim and me.
Finally at the exchange, only to discover not only were we there with enough time, but also plenty early enough that not all the vendors were set up yet, and we went through safety briefing #2 of the day - so, hindsight, plenty early to get through it all! Oh well.

We played at the Sierra Nevada tent, Jill and I were the first two KT customers of the day, and hung out in the Ragnar store. Tagged some vans, made some new friends, and got ready to send Tina off as runner 7 for her first leg...

I was runner 10, so despite sending Tina off, I still had a little ways to wait. And wait... it was so hard waiting!

Did you run Ragnar Napa, this year or ever? 

1 comment:

  1. Mean Girls is such a cute theme idea! This race sounds like so much fun, I need to do this someday!