I was asked to be a part of this year's #TeamSparkle Ultra Team running Ragnar SoCal. It is an absolute honor to be asked back for a third year in a row (especially since I am one of the slower runners on the team)!
Although we are all about having a BLAST, running fast and eating donuts (well, I gave them up for Lent, but the other ladies partook in the deliciousness), 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 189 miles we run is dedicated to a specific girl (or boy) and their family.
Since we drive the 189 mile course from Huntington Beach to San Diego 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 4pm to get the party started.
I realize that I may be on my own on this one, 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 on packing for an ultra relay race with suggestions and tips) and jumped on board!
|Thumbs up for the train! And for being able to get a few chapters read while riding my way north!|
Kelly was able to grab me from the Orange station and we made our way 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!
Thankfully at this point we are pretty well versed in what we want to do on the van and can tackle it without too much thought. Kelly was able to put up the basic outline with Kristen and Emily doing a little "paint-by-number" (filling in and darkening the designs), while Elise, Allison and I worked on getting all of the names on the back of the van (we put each of the 189 girls that we are running for on there so we never forget the reason for the miles). It takes a decent amount of time to get the whole thing finished (probably 2+ hours), but it is a great team bonding experience.
|Kristen filling in some of the flowers that Kelly had outlined|
|What it's all about! 189 miles for 189 girls!|
|I added all of the orange flowers between the names and then our names at the bottom|
|The finished product (well, half of it anyways)|
[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 where I inhaled the Tofu & Vegetable Teriyaki Bowl. And I totally forgot to take a picture - #BloggerFail!) 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! (Elise and her hubby were kind enough to allow Emily and I to crash at their place instead of having to get a hotel.)
|#FlatCarlee: A purple Sparkle Athletic skirt, pink PRO Compression socks, pink Handful bra, purple and pink QALO wedding bands, purple |
Road ID bracelet, Garmin Forerunner 735XT, Altra Running shoes (complete with Shwings), pink and purple Momentum Jewelry wraps,
PROBAR BOLT chews, and a purple Sparkle Athletic visor. Oh yeah, and we can't forget our Girl Power 2 Cure CAPES and the buttons
that have a picture of each of the girls that the miles are dedicated to (legit, these are our super power!)!
Our start time was slated for 10am on Friday morning, so we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get up, take pictures, go to the safety meeting at the starting line and devise a game plan, which meant it was early to bed and then early to rise. [And don't forget to check back next week for my first installment of my #Ragnar4Rett: Race Recap!]
Have you ever participated in a relay race before?