When Caroline first asked me to run Ragnar Las Vegas I was really excited! It is really not that difficult to get me excited when it comes to anything that has to do with running! I was a little nervous about joining the team since all of the Runners in Van#1, except for me, are 2012 Hood to Coast Runners and Nuun Ambassadors. I am a avid Watermelon and Fruit Punch Nuun drinker and a fan of Pro Compression so I was not concerned about running on a team that was sponsored by products that I do not truly love. I was more concerned about how I would fit in with the team and how they would accept me.
I am pretty easy going and I am not high maintenance at all so I figured that I would just be myself and let everything else just fall into place. I am so glad that I accepted Caroline's invitation because Ragnar Las Vegas turned out to be one of the most incredible experiences ever. All of the girls were so sweet and I never felt out of place for one single minute. There was a lot of HTC 2012 flash backs going on in the van but I really understood it all after seeing what a great group of ladies I was surrounded by.
The positive vibe and team spirit in Van#1 was incredible! All of the cow belling, cheering on other runners, and supporting our own runners while they were out running their legs was just unbelievable. Each one of the girls brought something special to this team that just made it all come together. Caroline already did a great job of describing the team in this post but I would also like to add my two cents and share a little about her too.
Nicole (Runner 1): This lady just had a baby four months ago and looks like a super model! I know that it was tough for her to be away from her son to come and run this relay with us. She killed her first leg of 7 hilly and hard miles with an average pace of 7:50! It must be the watermelon Nuun! Nicole is such a positive person and never stopped encouraging all of us when the fatigue was starting to set in due to lack of sleep. She was my go to person when I wanted to complain about my quads being on fire. She never wanted to inconvenience anyone and was always willing to help in any way that she could. I kept bumping into her the entire time so I think she wanted to punch me in my face a few times!
Caroline (Runner 4): This lady is a true friend. I knew from the first time that I met her that she was someone special. It is no secret that her stomach does not always agree with running but she gets out there and does it anyway! I truly admire her determination to keep running in spite of the not so pretty things that she has to deal with. She is coming back from an injury and ran her legs with 110% effort. Caroline is also a very devoted mother to her two sons. She called her boys to see them off to school and to say goodnight every day and always asked me if I had done the same. She even checked in with the tooth fairy to make sure that he was doing his job properly! Caroline was our photographer and she has some serious dance moves. Maybe she will share one of her dancing videos that I so willingly took of her!
Zoe (Runner 5): She was our fearless leader and van driver. The girl can seriously drive a van and knows how to get from one exchange to another without a problem. She took such good care of all of us and never once complained of being tired. She ran her legs like a boss and was always smiling and keeping the team motivated. She ran a ton of miles and I know she had to be exhausted. Instead of complaining, she was out making friends and supporting other runners while dominating her legs.
Vanessa (Runner 6): I have been a long time reader of Vanessa's blog so I pretty much know everything about her that she has shared. She is one of the most genuine and kindest people that you will ever meet. She is such a selfless person and always puts everyone else's best interest before her own. Vanessa was the one to remember to bring water bottles to the exchange when our runners were coming in. She was the one offering to get coffee or snacks for us so that we would not have to walk to get it ourselves. She was the one offering to fill up all of our water bottles in the van. She was so confident even though 2 of her 3 legs had some issues. Her first leg ended up being longer than expected due to a road closure and her second leg was the toughest of all the legs. She earned some major respect from Van#1 for running 10 serious uphill miles..alone... in the middle of the pitch black of the night... with no van support. The girl is speedy and is a running beast but oh so humble all at the same time.
I miss all of these ladies already! I have so much more to say so I will do a second post to share more about my contribution to the team.