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Digital Running Club » Uncategorized » Introducing “Dark Side of the Moonpie”

Introducing “Dark Side of the Moonpie”

On November 9, 2012, Dark Side of the Moonpie hit the starting line of the Tennessee Ragnar Relay in Chattanooga, TN. After running a winding road through the mountains, we crossed the finish line next to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville! We also won Ragnar batons in the “Best Team Name” contest!

Here’s a brief introduction to the team:

Van #1

Runner #1 Daniel ran cross country and track in high school with very little success in cross country. He did qualify for State in the 4×800, but slowly developed a better understanding for running as he got older. He has run 4 marathons and the Army 10 miler. Most of that running was before 2007 when Daniel broke his ankle and lost his passion for running and exercise. Luckily, the Army makes him run twice a year for a PT test, and he has finally gotten closer to where he wants to be in his running career. Daniel finally broke the 13-minute 2-mile barrier during his last PT test for the first time since early in his Army career.

Daniel ran his first Ragnar last year at the Great River Relay with his wife and loved it so much that he formed his own team this year. Next year he is hoping to add Chicago and return to Great River, possibly with his first ultra team. Along with his wife Tiffany (runner #3) Daniel has a son Tyler, who will be a volunteer at exchange #1. The couple also has 3 daughters; and he’s hoping the eldest will be joining them on a team for Chicago next year.

Originally from Northern Virginia, in 1985 Runner #2 Tom moved from Charlotte, NC to Chattanooga with his wife Debbie to raise their 3 children. In 2008 at the age of 54 he started running a sport. The last time he might have been considered a “good” athlete was in high school when he lettered in soccer. Having never had any training in running, Tom learned the hard way that running as fast as you can without good posture equals pain. Now he is learning good posture and good form from his Saturday morning Chattanooga Track Club running group. It is a small group (ranging 5 to 20 who show up) of which 6 are Boston qualifiers. Their instruction and encouragement has made him a better runner. Tom’s incentive for running is races. He has run some 5k, 10k, 15k, HM and 3 Marathon races. In January of 2012, he tore the meniscus in his knee, but refused to stop running. After convincing the doctor, he was fitted with leg braces. Tom’s fellow runners nicknamed him the bionic man. He had to wear the braces until the end of August. Now he’s trying to get back to the speed he had in 2011. Ranger Tennessee will test his progress and he is looking forward to that test.

Runner #3 Tiffany started running cross country and track in high school and discovered that it was a good stress-reliever. Now that she has gotten older and more injury-prone, running often causes her increased stress, but she keeps plugging away. Tiffany ran her first marathon at age 16. She and her husband Dan (runner #1) actually scheduled their wedding around Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth so that they could run it on their honeymoon. In total, she’s run 13 marathons. Tiffany’s biggest accomplishment was completing an Ironman triathlon last year. While that sounds like a lot of work, Tiffany is not as motivated as it may seem, so she uses races as motivation to keep running. Tiffany and Dan have four children: Tyler 17, Teressa 15, Daria 14, and Danielle 10. She works full time as an RN in a nursing home as well as teaching nurse aide classes. Tiffany also volunteers as a Girl Scout leader and confirmation guide just to make sure she has no free time!

Runner #4 Leslie has been working at Parthenon Metal Works and has been married to her loving husband, Scott for 27 years. She has 2 kids – 25 year old Matt and 23 year old 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 last year, and this is her 2nd Ragnar with Digital Running.

Runner #5 Ben is relatively new to running. At first, he mainly ran to get the “ole ticker” beating fast for a few minutes and to run off a beer belly that he had developed after discovering that he can make my own brew! We hear that he makes a mean IPA so we recruited him immediately. It turns out that now Benjamin really enjoys running. What he likes most about it is the “runners high” after a long run. He also likes viewing the scenery when running in new places. He has run in several 5ks and a half-marathon to date. This was his first Ragnar.

Benjamin is a pharmacist by trade and has practiced in the profession for about 7 years. He has a beautiful family – his wife and two boys, Ian (age 6) and Evan (age 3), are the joys of his life. They love living in Franklin, TN, and are super excited that the Tennessee Ragnar makes a brief visit through their town!

Runner #6 Cheryl grew up in the Chicago area and had been a runner in junior high, but she quit in high school after moving to Minnesota and developing such an allergy to the state that she became asthmatic. After that, the only running Cheryl did was chasing fly balls in the outfield. Then, she heard about a thing called the Warrior Dash – a 3.02 mile run complete with an obstacle course and mud pit. That sounded like fun, but you can’t run an obstacle course if you can’t run, so in March of 2011, Cheryl started the Couch-to-5K training program. Two months later she ran her first 5K. Besides that, and two Warrior Dashes, Cheryl has run several 5Ks, a 10K, a 10-miler (placed 3rd for her age group!), a very hot Ragnar Chicago, a much more pleasant Great River Ragnar Relay with Digital Running, and a law enforcement torch run of 10.73 miles – all with little sign of respiratory distress.

When she’s not running, she can be found tending her chickens, child, husband, two dogs, or 150 inmates. In her spare time, Cheryl works with US Fish and Wildlife doing prescribed burns in wildlife management areas.

Van #1 Support Staff: Scott & Gordon

Van #2

Runner #7 Terie is a crazy high-school science teacher at a small high school near Rockford, Illinois, and has been teaching for the past 15 years. She is relatively new to running, starting two years ago to add some variety to her workouts as well as to make sure that a 16-year smoking habit didn’t rear its ugly head again. Since then she has run many 5ks, a few more 10Ks and six half-marathons, and the Chicago Ragnar Relay with Digital Running’s Lower Wacker Gang! When she’s not running around the country roads near her house being chased by farm dogs or startling livestock, she can usually be found chained to her computer writing something for her students, blogging about teaching, wasting time on Pinterest, or serving as primary slave to her two dogs, Sasha and Emma. She has been married to her dogs’ secondary slave, David, for 9 years.

Runner #8 Heather and Runner #11 Justin were married 103 stories high at the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. By day, Justin is a Payroll Specialist in Mendota Heights, MN, and does weekend warrior duty in the Army Reserve as a second in command of a Company sized unit. Heather is a full time Army Sergeant who prepares Soldiers for upcoming deployments. Both do their Army duty at Ft. Snelling, MN. But neither are big shoppers at the Mall of America.

This is the duo’s third Ragnar this year. Their first was with the Digital Running crew in Chicago – where the temperatures pretty much doubled everyone’s pace times. Justin then decided to Captain his own team for the Great River Relay with Heather joining the fun. Realizing his foolish error, he’s now decided to leave the Ragnar Captain duties to those who are actually good at them. Hence, the return to Digital Running!
Justin’s running past includes two sprint triathlons and multiple 10 and 5ks. He also completed his first full duathlon one week after the Great River Ragnar and now plans on focusing on many more duathlons and Ragnar Relays. Heather started her running addiction in the dusty desert of Iraq running 5ks and 10ks and one half marathon. Heather recently completed a 10 miler and is now training again for another half marathon in January. Heather and Justin’s training routine for this Tennessee Ragnar incorporates a number of “The Empire Strikes Back,” screenings, multiple Jack Daniels shots, and of course one MoonPie dessert after each meal… their pace times might be slightly off do to this strict training regimen.

Runner #9 Randy is a longtime runner logging over 35,000 miles, one foot at a time. Year after year he continues to run almost daily with no cure insight and plans his schedule around getting in his weekly mileage. Randy lives in the city of Atlanta with wife Lisa and their two dogs; Sadie and Harvey. He finances these racing experiences by working as the Chief Engineer for the SportsSouth and Fox Sports South Networks. This Tennessee Ragnar will be his third Ragnar, all as a team member of the Digital Running Club teams (Randy is our 2nd three timer). He is often heard saying, “If you must Ragnar, Ragnar with the best my friend.”

Runner #10 Sinjin sorry , no bio.

Runner 12) Laura is a wife to David and mother/driver to 3 kids (12, 9, 6) from Atlanta, GA. She started running in 2009 to get away from them all and the minivan… at least for a little while. Now Laura runs about 2 half marathons a month and travels to races with friends to experience new places. She ran her first relay in 2010 in Georgia and loved it. Since then she has run the Blue Ridge Relay on an ultra team and on 2 Southern Odyssey women’s teams. Laura keeps running to set an awesome example for her kids – you don’t have to be the best athlete you just have to give your best. When she comes home from races, the kids still ask, “Did you win, Mom?” Ask her about living a healthy, paleo lifestyle.

Van #2 Support Staff:

Team Captain Brian grew up playing volleyball in the Midwest. He was talked into his first marathon in 2007, by a bourbon drinking, smoking graphic designer he met in a hotel bar in Atlanta. He is now an avid runner who e-coaches adults across the United States while coaching Jr. High and High School athletes in Cross Country and Track & Field at a small private school in Florida.

In his spare time, Brian enjoys driving sketchy white vans, decorating with Christmas lights and long runs with strangers in the middle of the night. He has a Ph.D. in Oceanography with a specialty in numerical modeling and has a mean Ragnar-estimated-times spreadsheet (Email us for a copy.) This is Brian’s 8th Ragnar Relay of 2012 and the 11th of his overnight relay career. He lives in St. Petersburg, FL, with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog, Kaboodles.

Team Mom Raffi has over 15 years of Mommy-ing under her belt. She sorts out the details & graphic design for our events, and makes sure the water bottles are kept on ice. As the online Editor of, her 17+ year of writing, marketing & graphic design experience come in handy. Her past experience includes stints with Mercury Records, Rolling Stone magazine and the St. Petersburg Times. Raffi is kind of a health nut, and loves Yoga, dark chocolate, Disney and reading. She lives in Florida with her husband and two teenage daughters. This is her 11th time not running Ragnar Relay.


Bondi Band

Uncorked! is proudly sponsored by Bondi Band. You certainly saw our colorful Bondi Band wicking headbands on the course, and check out the killer discount in the green box above!

Here’s why we love Bondi Bands:

1) they soak up sweat

2) they keep hair & wind out of your eyes and ears

3) they keep headphones in your ears

4) while at Ragnar, you can slide them over your nose in the port-a-john

5) you can also slide them over your eyes when you try to nap in the van!

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2 Responses to "Introducing “Dark Side of the Moonpie”"

  1. Tom Russe says:

    It would be nice for you to acknowledge that you did receive a bio and pictures from me. Please look at the email sent on 11/7/12 which you replied as received. The bio and pics were late but you did receive them. Additionally my name is “Tom”. Thomas is reserved for formal and legal documents. I would appreciate it if you 1) changed my name to “Tom” and 2)regarding my “bio” would atleast changed it to say “received too late to publish”.
    Just for your information Chattanooga is the “Scenic City”. Rock City is a tourist attraction on top of Lookout Mountain.


  2. Brian Darrow says:

    Sorry for the omission, Tom. Those last few days before the relay are always kind of crazy for us! I’ve put your bio on the team page where it belongs.

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