Team Sparkle does Ragnar Relay SoCal, The Support Crew Version

A few months ago, my friend Kelly asked a favor of me.  Kelly asked me if I would help with support/photography/social media for the SoCal Ragnar Relay.  She and five other friends were going to run the race as an Ultra Team (6 runners, instead of the usual 12), and needed to focus on running rather than taking photos or tweeting along the way.  Of course, I said yes, as a good friend would.  I later realized that this was a busy weekend and I had at least three other events that I was invited to.  But helping and cheering on, Team Sparkle, was a blast and well worth it.

You are probably wondering….What is a Ragnar Relay?  You can find out here on the Ragnar site all about the race.

Team Sparkle Ultra SoCal Ragnar

We all met up at Carrie’s house early on Friday morning (April 20, 2012) to prep/organize before we drove to the start of the race in Huntington Beach.  I need to remind myself not to order such big shirts. By the way that’s me in the orange sparkle skirt with the really puffy shirt.  We took a Team photo before we left. On the far left is Mark from Hit The Mark Fitness. He was our driver and also trainer/physical therapist along the way.

Ragnar SoCal 2012

We rented a van for the journey and with the help of the help of the kid’s in her neighborhood, Kelly arrived with the van fulled decorated in a rad rainbow pattern!!  Child labor is awesome!  We got a ton of attention with that van. You couldn’t miss it along the course.  Kelly also had magnets made with the team name, Team Sparkle and the list of sponsors with their logos.

Ragnar SoCal 2012 Team Sparkle
Before the race started, I took a picture of Team Sparkle Ultra showing all of their excitement!  Obviously they had a ton of energy and were ready to run all of those miles….silly girls, they are CRAZY!

Ragnar SoCal 2012
Linda ran the first leg of the race and she was super determined. Look at her, you can almost feel the speed!

Because Team Sparkle was running the Ultra instead of the regular-style Ragnar, we had to be very organized.  Usually Ragnar is ran with a team using 2 vans/vehicles full of people that alternate.  We had 6 runners and one van.  We paced our runners as much as we could, but sometimes, we had to hurry and get to the next exchange.  We were almost late a few times. 

When we had extra time, I got more pictures, and sometimes I got none.  I was also Instagram‘ing pictures along the way and tweeting from Team Sparkle’s Twitter account, plus my account.  And commenting/retweeting other teams using the #RagnarSoCal hashtag.

Here are a few of my favorite photos along the way (in no particular order):

Ragnar SoCal 2012

Kelly just starting her Leg. She is all pumped up!

Ragnar SoCal 2012
Kenna, Carrie, Kelly and Elise armed with squirt guns to cool off the runners while the run through Corona, and also ready to cheer on fellow Sparkle teammate Linda.

Ragnar SoCal 2012
Linda and Kenna at an exchange.

Ragnar SoCal 2012
Tamara just running along the road, you know, with cars and stuff…

Ragnar SoCal 2012
Carrie getting ready to finish her leg. Linda standing by in support…wrapped in a blanket.

Leg 12 at #ragnarsocal and @elisewallace aka @cupcakeactivist is ready! #teamsparkle
Elise standing in front of this Corona Lake sign. I just had to take this photo. It was hilarious.

And yes, I actually got some night shots. I was trying to avoid my big ole’ flash. I was pretty sure that the runners didn’t want to be blinded along the way..

Plus I did nap a little during the night, along with everyone else.  I’m talking brief naps, like 20-30 minutes here and there.

Ragnar SoCal 2012
At Exchange 12. The sun is setting.
Ragnar SoCal 2012
Runners and teammates waiting for the exchange. The sun is setting and everyone is wearing their mandated reflective gear along with lights. 

Ragnar SoCal 2012

Linda patiently waiting at the exchange. Note the reflective vest, red blinking light on her waist, and she also has a light on the front of her hat.

We just started Leg 15 @ #ragnarsocal. @according2kelly is all lit-up with her reflective gear and @runTeamSparkle skirt. #teamsparkle

Kelly, looking at reflective. She is happy and laughing in this photo. It was taken with my iPhone so the colors are all wonky.

Ragnar SoCal 2012

Carrie applying some KT Tape to Kenna’s leg. It helped her sore muscles.

Now you are probably wondering about the team, and how far did they actually run?

Well let me introduce you to them!

Team Sparkle Ultra

So Cal Ragnar Relay 2012

Team Sparkle SoCal Ragnar
Team Sparkle SoCal Ragnar Team
Of course, there were some issues along the way. 

  • Making sure that we got to the next exchange in time.
  • Eating…(we may have stopped at Taco Bell and McDonald’s along the way).
  • Running out of water.
  • Getting some sleep.
  • Soreness and injuries.
  • Bathroom issues (And I am not talking about finding bathrooms).
  • Stomach cramps (lack of proper food).
  • The smell (women don’t always smell like delicate flowers).
  • Breast Pumps (A nursing mother).

But when six women are running a relay race of 200+ miles, there are going to be some issues.

But is all worth it when you are sprinting to the finish line with your team in your running gear, sore feet, and sometimes even, flip flops..

Ragnar SoCal 2012

For the final VICTORY finish!

Ragnar SoCal 2012

 You probably think that these girls are crazy, right?

  • They ran 203.5+ miles (with some extra miles by Kelly, which were totally not her fault).
  • They placed 2nd in their Division-Ultra-Women-Open, and 49th overall with over 500 teams racing.
  • They also ran the race with 6 Ultra Runners in 29:30:45.5 with an average per mile pace of 8:42.

And

They won the Personality Award for Homecoming (Best Team Spirit)!

Ragnar SoCal 2012
Pretty inspirational, right?
And everyone keeps asking me why I started running so much lately?
Gee I wonder?

So when is the next Ragnar Relay ladies?

Oh, and a moment for our sponsors…who helped everyone survive the journey of the 2012 SoCal Ragnar Relay!

and at the end of the day, I survived it all…

with over 500 photos taken with my Nikon, plus 50 or so on my iPhone…

Just peeled off my clothes after two days at #ragnarsocal. Worked crew for @runTeamSparkle. Only 500 or so photos to edit. Prepped and ready for @thecolorrun tomorrow! Sitting in a van for two days, sleep, and 5K tomorrow! #teamsparkle
MUST take even more photos next time!
And also, get myself and awesome drivers like Mark in the pictures!
but alas Mark was too busy driving and I was the one with the camera.

 Will I ever run a Ragnar Relay?
Someday maybe, but let me just finish this Half Marathon that I signed up to do in October.

For more FUN, check out some more 2012 SoCal Ragnar Relay Recap Posts from Team Sparkle (more to come):

 and if you want to see more photographs,

Team Sparkle Runs Ragnar SoCal on my Flickr Account

6 comments
By Word of Mouth Musings
By Word of Mouth Musings

Just LOVE these. Th energy and life you captured in each and every one, just filled with awesome. and my goodness girl, look at all your hair!

Angie
Angie

I bet that was SUPER inspiring to spend that kind of time with those ladies, because it's inspiring just for me to see your awesome photos and read about it. I've been running a couple times a week for the past couple months and am committing to being more consistent. Great photos as usual and it sounds like it was a cool experience for you. Have a great weekend!

Elise
Elise

You were a a great photographer/support crew/navigator/spectator/tweeter! We definitely couldn't have done it without you. Thanks and great post!

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

Aww thanks...and seriously...so not used to all of this hair. I have so much....it is wild right now.

Julie {Angry Julie}
Julie {Angry Julie}

It was a great experience, and it empowers me to run more...now if I could just get faster.