And just like that, nearly three months have flown by and it’s Ragnar time! Hard to believe that way back in April I was afraid I wouldn’t be running any relays this summer and now I’m heading to Seattle to meet up with the rest of my Nuun-sponsored teammates to run the Ragnar Northwest Passage AND I lucked out enough to land a spot on a Hood to Coast team as well. Frankly, my beloved HTC is going to seem like a walk in the park after the exceptionally hilly, nearly 23 miles I’m set to tackle beginning in a little over 24 hours.
Later this afternoon, I’m hopping a train north to Seattle where I will head straightaway to Nuun HQ for the team meet ‘n greet and pre-race dinner. Nuun has been really good to us throughout the entire planning process and I have no doubt that they will continue to take care of us this weekend. From putting the team together and taking care of all the logistics to setting us out-of-towners up with lodging tonight to picking up the tab for our sweet team shirts, they have been a well-oiled machine of awesomeness.
You can meet the rest of the Nuun Kids on the Block here in a great post by teammate Lauren. At press time, we are all making our way to Seattle from various starting points in the Northwest – Portland, Southern Oregon, Canada and elsewhere in Washington. If one could harness the enthusiasm that has been expressed by the team on Twitter, Facebook and in a multitude of emails the last several days and convert it into energy, well… it would… be a lot of energy. Gimme a break folks. My brain has switched over to relay mode and is only thinking in terms of miles to run (many), neon to wear (a LOT), Nuun to drink (copious amounts), sleep to get (very little) and fun to have (um… the most).
My suitcase is full of stuff that looks like this and hard as it may be to believe, I am certain that I’m not even going to be the most neoned up of the whole bunch.
I’ll be back home on Sunday, likely exhausted, sore and with eleven or more new favorite people. This running thing is almost always something I prefer to do alone, but come relay time, it is such a kickass comfort to find myself with my people. People who get the appeal of 24+ sleepless hours crammed in a van, alternately running and cheering. People who know that hitting the Honey Buckets right after they’ve been cleaned seems like winning the lottery and that baby wipes can do wonders to make you feel like a clean, civilized human being when running water isn’t an option. People who won’t judge me if I eat a giant cheeseburger as a snack while I wait in line for a plate of pasta post-race. People who, if this goes the way I expect it to, I will see again next summer when we put together a Ragnar Reunion team.