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Introducing “Team 196 Proof”

In Nov. 2011, we ran a journey from Rock City to Music City – 196 miles from from Chattanooga to Nashville, TN, in the 2011 Tennessee Ragnar Relay. We finished with a time of 29:42:09. Here’s a brief recap of our journey:


…and an introduction to Team 196 Proof!

Van 1

1) Scott is the husband and father of a superwoman wife and 2 great kids. He was born and raised in Louisville, KY, but Evansville, IN, is now home. He attended Indiana University and works for Medtronic Diabetes where he is blessed to have a job he loves helping people live a better life with diabetes.

As for running, it’s his 3rd favorite thing to do behind playing soccer and drinking very, very good beer. He still plays soccer twice a week with a bunch of old guys and he coaches his 6 year old daughter’s team. Occasionally, he can enjoy a nice Belgium Trappist Ale or an English Ale, but in order to do the two things he loves most, he must stay in shape by running. He’s run 6 half marathons and 1 full marathon in Chicago.

After a few ales, Scott is known make a fool of himself trying to entertain others. He can sing anything but country and likes to think that he is a “decent” break dancer. His wife disagrees, but we plan on putting both claims to the test.

2) Jenny was born and raised in Murfreesboro, TN. She is a student at MTSU and plans to graduate in December from nursing school (Yahoo!). She will then get a job and move out of her parents’ home. Her bio was written by her mother.

3) Leslie has been working at Parthenon Metal Works and has been married to her loving husband, Scott (not runner #1 Scott, different Scott) for 27 years. She has 2 kids – 25 year old Matt and 23 year old Jenny (runner #2 Jenny, same Jenny) – along with three cats and three dogs. Leslie enjoys running, aerobics and wine trips/runs. She was at the Disney Wine & Dine half marathon… will she join us for the Napa Valley Ragnar?

4) Since the age of 17, Jenna has moved 23 times, lived in 5 states spanning 2,500 miles, and held 20 jobs (including a stint as a dirndl-wearing waitress in a Bavarian restaurant at 11,000 ft. elevation in Taos, NM). Despite swearing it would NEVER happen, Jenna (now 33) has a proper grown-up career in higher ed and owns a home in a suburb of Chicago – one mile from her childhood home. She compensates for the fact that she is a divorced suburbanite by wearing sparkly leg warmers and otherwise testing the dress code at work. In her free time she is writing a book, organizing an on-going theater project, and was training with her dog “Maybe” for her first marathon — UNTIL she was offered a free 3 week trip to Germany and across Eastern Europe for the same time the race was scheduled! The choice didn’t take long. She apologizes in advance to her Ragnar teammates for her complete lack of fitness after 3 weeks of Wienerschnitzel and Weiss beer.

PS. The last time Jenna was in Nashville, 7 years ago, she had the time of her life. Reminding her that “the cowboys await” at the end of the race is all the motivation she needs!

5) Robert was born and mostly raised in Evansville, Indiana (and lived in Houston for four years as a child). He has a beautiful wife, Elizabeth, and two kids… Will, a freshman in high school, and Marin, a kindergartner (yes, he is aware of the poor planning.) He owns an investment advisory practice in Evansville. In his free time he likes to run and watch football, particularly the Tennessee Titans. In fact, he believes other sports exist just to help pass the time until football season starts again.

Although Robert tries to make a couple of trips to Nashville each year to watch the Titans, this will be the first time he runs there. He hopes this is also his first of many Ragnar Relays.

(Robert adds: “For the record, I have seen Scott (runner #1) break dance, and he definitely can NOT.”)

6) Rachel began her current love / hate relationship with running last winter when she started training for her first race, the NY Ragnar Relay which coincided with her 34 birthday – which seemed like a fitting closure to her Jesus year. She’s managed to squeeze in training for TN while switching jobs, finalizing a divorce, selling a house in Jersey City and preparing to move in with Jenna (yes, runner #4 Jenna). Having recently completed her second race, the DC Ragnar Relay (and earning the double header medal!), she’s looking forward to some new terrain and maybe finishing her first Ragnar without running extra legs!

Van #1 Support staff – Scott

Van 2

7) With about 19 years and 27,000 logged miles under his feet, John strangely still enjoys a friendly run with complete strangers who happen to be in the same race, cracking jokes and/or singing songs along the way. He finds the camaraderie of a running team about as appealing as the isolationism that long distance running provides. We think that’s a complement. A bit strange and cartoonish on the outside, John enjoys the quiet introspective moments experienced when joyfully sweating blood and happily hacking up a lung.

John was born and raised in St. Pete, Florida. At the age of 20, having slain the third plague of killer mutated hamsters with a sledge hammer and a pocket full of popcorn, John found his true calling in life as a porn star. Recently retired from that career he settled down and currently lives outside of Orlando with his wife and 2 rambunctious kids. Though he loves his family dearly, he’s looking forward to a little va-ca with new friends and a painful jaunt through the Tennessee mountains and highlands.

8) Mysti was born in Arkansas into the Wedontliketowearshoes Tribe. She loves to travel and loves to cook (though love does not always translate to skill). Mysti is quite a health nut and is always trying out a new, and often unusual recipe. She spends most of her days chasing after her almost-three-year-old and a new puppy (what was she thinking?!) Otherwise she’s trying not to puke after a grueling workout or when lost and running in the woods. If you find her, approach with caution and notify the nearest course Marshall immediately.

9) As the elder statesman of the team, Randy raced his first 10K at the 1978 Peachtree Road Race (only the second time he had ever run six miles) and discovered that the enthusiasm of the runners lined up at the Starting Line was “very cool”. After serving in the Air Force, he graduated from Southern Polytechnic State Institute with a Bachelor’s Degree in electronics and shortly began his career as a Broadcast Engineer. This enabled him to run in cities all around the world. Presently, he is the Chief Engineer for the SportsSouth and Fox Sports South Networks. He occupies a small carbon footprint in Atlanta with his wife Lisa and two dogs: Sadie and Harvey. He loves to run, and we hope he still holds that sentiment after 30 hours in a van with us!

10) Kirk is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and the Program Director of the Athletic Training Education Program at Georgia College & State University in MIlledgeville, GA. He is a certified and licensed athletic trainer, working with athletes in the collegiate and high school levels. That effectively rules out all but two of our team members.

Kirk’s research expertise includes continuing education and clinical education, specifically related to the use and implementation of standardized patients into the professional training of athletic trainers. Running has been his hobby and past-time for more than 8 years. He’s completed 13 half- and 4 full marathons in that time. His most notable running accomplishment has been getting his students involved. He’s even cajoled 2 of them into joining him in the Tennessee Ragnar Relay!

11) Will is a senior Athletic Training major at Georgia College in Milledgeville, GA. A native of Peachtree City, Will was a 2 year member of the varsity baseball team at Georgia College, placing 2nd place at the 2009 NCAA Division II World Series. A southpaw, Will was a starting pitcher for the Bobcats, and has taken up running as a hobby since retiring from the mound. Will credits his professor and Rangar teammate, Dr. Armstrong (aka Kirk), for inspiring him to get involved in distance running. After graduation in May, Will plans to attend graduate school and work as a graduate assistant athletic trainer.

12) Tara is a 32-year-old flight attendant currently living in Houston, TX. She’s originally from the Idaho/Utah area. She’s been a flight attendant for 9 years now. An avid runner and walker for her entire life, she finally ran her first half marathon 2 years ago. Loving the feeling, she continued to run halfs the rest of that year.

Tara’s introduction to Ragnar Relays came at Wasatch Back in 2010, from a team that needed a last minute replacement. She loved the experience and couldn’t wait until 2011 came so she could do it again. It was then she found out that the Ragnar series is all over the US. Tara is currently training for the Vegas Ragnar in October so she can get the “Saints to Sinners” medal. She has a huge race addiction and hopes to eventually do all the Ragnar Relay races along with Hood to Coast! She’s not the fastest runner, but we love her anyway because she’s super excited for Tennessee and to see country she’s never seen before. She also thinks it might be fun to meet the rest of us.

Van #2 Support staff – Brian & Raffi Darrow, Founders of Digital Running

Result: 196 Proof was truly proven! We broke the 30 hour mark, finishing with a time of 29:42:09. Highlights from the event include:

Thanks to all the fabulous Ragnar Volunteers and our Sponsors

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One Response to "Introducing “Team 196 Proof”"

  1. […] actually running, but I’m very excited about experiencing the event as driver of van #2 for Team 196 Proof. It’s the first of many overnight cross country running relays that I get to participate in […]

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