Friday, December 6, 2013

Ragnar Tennessee...A Photographic Tour

A photographic tour of Ragnar Tennessee with little talk about actual running and an abundance of inside jokes...enjoy! 

For those of you who have ever read my blog, you know I LOVE relays...I love the memories, the friendships, the teamwork, the overcoming, the accomplishment, the dance parties, the power arch cheering, the peanut butter filled pretzels, the headlight & glow stick lit night runs, and the deep, one-of-a-kind relationships that are formed over the 30 hours in a team branded van. Back in October I traveled across the country to Nashvegas to join friends, some who I knew and some I couldn't wait to finally meet, to form team NUUNapalooza for Ragnar Tennessee.

A relay officially starts when the white van mysteriously becomes a blank canvas for the artists of the team to turn into a work of art: 

Kera, who is phenomenally talented and creative, led the van decorating party

Ellen took her role of incorporating Shittens into the van decorating very seriously!  

Team NUUNapalooza was ready to roll...

And yes, we brought a disco ball to the party! 

We were kind of a big deal in Tennessee, with people asking to take our picture everywhere we went.

A complete team {thanks to people being willing to join us last minute}, NUUN Trucker Hats,  tie-dye socks, and all the NUUN and Peanut Butter filled pretzels we could handle, and team NUUNapalooza was ready for a 200 mile adventure. 

Sisters...Best Friends

Instant BFFs

A lil cupid shuffle to get the party started!

Did I mentioned that relays are a 30-hour party, with some running thrown in!? A huge thanks to Ellen for her stellar photobooth props!

Relays are all about supporting and encouraging one another, and really making each person feel like a star while they are running! With that being said, it only seemed obvious that we would throw Ellen a {surprise} Shittens extravaganza party as she came into the exchange of her nighttime run!

I think the rookie relayer scored herself a roadkill on her first leg!

This is a picture of true determination....Kristi injured her ankle just two weeks prior to Ragnar, but was determined to at least get out there and give it her best effort! Unfortunately,  her injury prevented her from running the rest of her legs, but it didn't prevent her from being a team player, supporting and encouraging everyone the entire way. 

Who doesn't want a donut mid way through their run!? 

Always smiling! I wish I was able to spend more time with Kera! Following my first ultra relay, I cried {the #uglycry}, and remember Meghan giving me the biggest hug, congratulating me on accomplishing something so amazing! As Kera came running in on her last leg, I saw the tears...tears of joy, tears of accomplishment, and I loved being the one to take the "baton" from her and give her a big hug! I love seeing people experience the amazingness of running a relay. 

It appears that van 1 was powered by donuts...

Jon LOVES relays! And I can't wait to run a Ragnar Trail relay with him {It WILL happen, promise!}

Van 1:

SO happy to finally earn a trip to the Roadkill Tattoo Parlor  {it wasn't until my 3rd leg that I FINALLY earned myself a roadkill}

The tattoo artist hard at work in her office:

And THIS is what relays are all about...TEAMWORK!

Karen...who went from jogger to RUNNER, after 18 miles! She made the relay her oyster, and I am so thankful she did! Not knowing anyone in our van, and having little to no training, she agreed to join us for  this crazy epic adventure! I love her determination, her fun, go-with-the-flow attitude, her willingness to get outside of her comfort zone, and her kind/sincere heart.


The BIG Burrito who had the swagger of an HVAC guy! At one point, we were concerned as it appeared that his butt cramp had turned his swagger into a shuffle...

This girl!!! Lesbihonest, I am so blessed to have finally met her! My Jesus loving, country singing, booty shaking friend and teammate...

 Ellen does push-ups for a living...

Best cowbeller in Tennessee...

After overcoming set-backs, creating new friendships, accomplishing the impossible, laughing at things that no one else would think is funny, tattooing arms with roadkill tattoos, stand-up spooning, dancing non-stop to Blurred Lines, rocking out {with synchronized hand motions} to and their hands go up, and they stay there, and they stay there and hashtagging, the birds flew us in to the finish!  

Speaking of flying, Shwings around: 

I think Kera summed up the experience best: 

66 hours later, new friends, the empty being filled again with old ones, little sleep & LOTS of pavement pounding from Chatt 2 Nashville, crying, laughing, fear, sweaty bodies packed into 2 vans, peanut butter pretzels, NUUN, cowbells, leapfrogging, one sock lost forever, cheering like no ones biz, road kills, disco balls, shwings, dancing, 25 degree temps, beanbags as beds, teamwork, 19 people sleeping in one house & on & on & on. But alas the fun had to end & NUUN-A-PALOOZA is all memories now. Despite those big nasty bags under my eyes this was a memory to last a lifetime!!

A HUGE Thank You to NUUN for not only keeping us hydrated over the 200 miles, but for providing us the opportunity to experience such an EPIC adventure!   


  1. You guys look like you had a blast! I'm hoping 2014 will be the year of my first relay. I'd love to run in team Nuun for a relay one day.

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