I was asked to be a part of the #TeamSparkle Ultra Team running Ragnar SoCal. It was an absolute honor to be asked back for a second year in a row (especially seeing as I would be the slowest one on the team...)!
Although the team is all about having a BLAST, running fast and eating donuts, we are also there to raise awareness and funds for Rett Syndrome and Girl Power 2 Cure. This terrible disease has trapped close to half a million girls in their bodies, leaving them unable to speak, walk or even use their hands. #TeamSparkle is running because these girls can’t, but we believe someday they will! During our #Ragnar4Rett adventure, each of the 190 miles we run is dedicated to a specific girl (or boy) and their family.
Since we drive the 190 mile course from Huntington Beach to Coronado in a van, the team gets together the afternoon before the race to decorate it. We pride ourselves on being one of the most recognizable vans throughout SoCal. My plan was to ride the train up from Oceanside to Orange and meet up with the ladies by 3pm to get the party started.
I know I might be weird, but I LOVE public transportation! And the views from the train seats along the coast are pure perfection! I grabbed my bag (if you are interested to know what I pack for this type of adventure, check out my post here with suggestions and tips) and jumped on board!
|Look at those views AND the leg room! Can't beat it! Not to mention you don't|
have to deal with the SoCal traffic! YES PLEASE!
Emily (who had just flown in from Arizona a few hours before) and Carrie were able to grab me from the Anaheim station and we made our way back to meet up with the other ladies. We rent a large white van from a local company and promise to return it in the same condition we rented it... Thankfully these ladies are PROFESSIONALS and know exactly what paints to use and how to get them off once we are through!
|So fresh and so clean, clean...|
Carrie heads up the decorating committee, which is great because that means the rest of us can paint-by-number (she does the basic idea and outline, while the rest of us trace her original work and fill it in). It takes a decent amount of time to get the whole thing finished (probably 3+ hours), but it is a great team bonding experience.
|Maybe we should get some vinyls made so we don't have to repaint it year|
after year... Although, that is part of the fun!
|I can stay in the lines... Most of the time!|
|I guess I was just supervising at this point?!|
|The most important part! Running for specific kiddos who are unable to run|
(currently) and their amazing families!
|Come on now, you know I HAD to selfie with the van, right?!|
[UPDATE: I've had folks ask what kind of paint we use on the van. The Sparkle Athletic ladies are PROS at this and have found that Crayola Washable Tempera Paint works best. Also, Simple Green and Magic Erasers help with the removal.]
After finishing the van, we made our way to dinner before attempting to get a decent night's sleep. (We went to Lazy Dog Restaurant. I had the Tofu & Vegetable Stir Fry and it was AMAZING! I scarfed it down before I even thought to snap a picture, so I guess you'll just have to use your imagination on what it looked like.) One last pit stop on the way home from dinner to grab a few items that were overlooked and it was time to hit the hay!
|Flat Carlee: A Sparkle Athletic skirt, PRO Compression socks,|
Handful bra, QALO wedding bands, Road ID bracelet,
Garmin Forerunner 220, Brooks Ghost 8 (complete with Shwings),
Momentum Jewelry wrap and a #Ragnar4Rett bracelet. Oh yeah, and
we can't forget our Girl Power 2 Cure CAPES!
Even though our start time was slated for 11am on Friday morning, we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get up and moving, take pictures, go to the safety meeting at the starting line and devise a game plan, so it was early to bed and then early to rise.
[And don't forget to check back tomorrow for my first installment of my #Ragnar4Rett: Race Recap!]
Have you ever participated in a relay race before?