On January 4, 2013, Ragnaritaville hit the starting line of the Florida Keys Ragnar Relay in Miami, FL. Driving down US1 from bridge to bridge, Key to Key, they traversed 200 miles in the sunshine, finally ending with their toes in the sand on the Southernmost point of Key West, Florida.
Here’s a brief introduction to the team:
Runner #1 Dan grew up running in garbage bags, wetsuits, several pairs of sweatshirts, or anything else that would make him sweat buckets in order to cut weight for wrestling. Naturally, he intensely grew to hate running in all its soaked, sloppy misery. But later, as the years and pounds added up, he decided to give it one more go. Eventually, he ran his first 5K in a little more than an hour. And as the old women who finished before him slapped Dan high fives before clutching their walkers, he felt a new sense of euphoria. Slowly, he kept at it and a couple of years later, eventually found himself standing on a sidewalk staring at a magnificent silhouette of a man, gilded by the surging sunrise. A shining halo fluttered about a bald head – Coach Brian, the Captain of team Ragnaritaville.
With the help of Coach Brian, the miles got longer, his shorts got shorter, and his shoes got lighter. Dan is now training for his first marathon and will soon try his hand at triathlons. Dan is a high school English teacher with a penchant for costumes. He can be found teaching literature as he leads his classes through speed work while simultaneously reading texts like Ironman, A Long Way Gone, and On the Road. Many believe that his are the fastest classes in Florida; however, it must be acknowledged that any challenge is met with a distant gaze and the silent muttering of the end of a Robert Frost poem, “… but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.”
His nickname this race was “SH Dan”.
Runner #2 Robin is a Mom, a landscaper and a runner… she has energy to burn. She also likes to go fast which is why her friends and family call her “Ricky Robin” after Ricky Bobby in the movie Talladaga Nights. On a typical day she will dig in the dirt for 8 hours, go for a 7 mile run and still have enough energy left to play outside with her two sons, Brody & Cal.
Robin has a true love of running, and in September she won her first race (age group & 4th overall in women) in the Harwich, MA, Half Marathon, which qualified her for the 2013 New York Marathon. A full marathon and qualifying for Boston has been a long time goal for Robin. Her next qoal after that? A full Ironman Triathlon because you are never too old to give up on your dreams!
In the meantime her race calendar is chock full for 2013 with some great races… including at least two or more Ragnars! She has already run the Cape Cod Ragnar with Digital Running.
Occasionally Robin does like to relax. On those days you will find her at home watching college football and dancing around a big fire in her fire pit with her boys. If it’s summer, look for her cruising to the Vineyard on her boat… going fast!
Runner #3 Caroline (Cara) is super excited to be participating in her first Ragnar Relay! She has always loved sports and running. She played soccer for 12 years, ran track and cross country in high school, but really took up long distance running while in graduate school as a stress reliever. Since then, running has really become a way of life. Cara has run in a few half marathons and 5 full marathons. She also qualified for and ran in the 2012 Boston Marathon. In May 2013, she will be making her first attempt at a 50-mile ultra-marathon.
Cara has a masters degree in Exercise Science from the University of South Florida. She works as an exercise specialist at a corporate fitness center, but wishes she was talented enough to run for a living!
Aside from running, Cara enjoys cooking (vegan), being a dork, singing, being a really big dork, reading and spending time with her little nephews, niece and family. She is excited to embark upon this new adventure with new friends. What better way to experience the world but on your own two feet!
Her nickname this race was Super Pathetic. But she’s far from it!
Runner #4 Amy is excited to be back for her second Ragnar team with Digital Running, after participating on the (in)famous “Running in the Bluff” team at Ragnar Great River in August, where she learned that wearing very little and wandering around with strangers can be really fun. Amy has run on and off over the years since high school, where she rocked the tall bangs, spiral perm, and Dolphin shorts. Her most recent running obsession has lasted about 4 years and led to PRs at just about every distance, including a 2:53 marathon in 2011. Because that just wasn’t long enough, Amy is looking forward to taking the plunge into the ultra world, with a 50-Mile road race planned for February of 2013.
Amy lives in Minneapolis with her husband David and dog Jake, and can usually be found in bed by about 9:30 pm to allow for that early morning wake up. But during Ragnar Relays… who needs sleep?!
The nickname she earned this race was Wind Thief.
Runner #5 is our 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 1st Ragnar Relay of 2013 and the 12th of his overnight relay career. He lives in St. Petersburg, FL, with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog, Kaboodles.
Runner #6 Cindy is thrilled to be in Ragnar Florida Keys for the first time after completing the Del Sol Ragnar Relay twice. She’s a stay at home mom to three wonderful kids, Ryan (7 years), Avery (4 years), and Josh (34 years). In her former life, she was a pediatric nurse. She worked many graveyard shifts 7pm – 7am, and is a night owl, so we may find that side of her to be a little beastly when we’re trying to catch some Zzz’s. Speaking of beastly, we’ve heard she can be a little rough around the edges without make-up but that’s nothing a little facepaint can’t cure.
Currently, Cindy is a part-time substitute school nurse. If you tell her your tummy hurts, she may give you some Saltines and tell you to man up. The good news is she really cannot be grossed out by vomit, piss, body funk, stinky feet, boogers or poo. Cindy realizes that Ragnar is not for the weak stomached! Ragnar is for the tough ironclad stomachs of men and (wooo)men! We’re confident she’ll make our team proud. Quite frankly, she frightens us just a little bit, but we figure we only have to put up with her for about 30 hours.
Cindy the klepto earned the nickname Sex Panther on this race.
Van #1 Support Staff: Team Mom Raffi has nearly 16 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 digitalrunning.com, her years 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.
Runner #7 is our last minute replacement who we owe a lot too – or at least a free hotel room in Key West, Shawn. She was running Gulf Blvd. up and down the beaches near St. Pete, FL, and in NEED of change in the New Year. This will be her 4th Ragnar and 2nd year running the Keys. All of her Ragnars have been in Florida! Shawn ran her 1st 50-Miler race last spring and just ran 50 miles in training a month ago to prep for her first 100-miler on Jan 19th.
Runner #8 Amy is from Kingsville, Maryland, and has been a competitive swimmer since age 8 and started running cross county and track competitively in high school and serving as team captain for both her junior and senior year. She has run one full marathon, 3 half marathons, 3 ten milers, and too many 5K’s and 6K’s to count. Amy received a scholarship to swim on Towson University’s Division 1 swim team, serving as a team captain her Junior year and still ran races on the side for fun. Currently, she is a physical therapy graduate student at University of Maryland School of Medicine, and will graduate in May with her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. She works part time as a swim coach and swim lesson instructor during her schooling. Florida Keys will be here first Ragnar Relay and she is very excited for it!
Runner #9 Julie grew up in upstate NY, and moved to New York City a few years ago to be closer to her now fiance. After moving there, she fell in love with running while training for her first half marathon last May. This will be her first Ragnar Relay – an adventure she is looking forward to sharing with her co-worker, friend and bridesmaid Jenna (#11). When she is not running, you can usually find her at Starbucks feeding her addiction, on a computer writing her blog Sweetly Balanced, having dinner with friends, and doing a variety of other crazy things like gymnastics, flying trapeze, indoor rock climbing, snowboarding… the list could go on, but you get the point.
Runner #10 Lauren hadn’t even heard of the Ragnar Relay Series until May 2012, when her cousin and fellow teammate Amy (#8) told her about it. It didn’t take much convincing to sign Lauren up – sun, sand, and margaritas are just a few of her favorite things. Oh, and the running from Miami to the Florida Keys – talk about an adventure! Lauren is currently earning her master’s degree in elementary education at Loyola University in Maryland. She looks forward to her daily runs as a brief escape from her full-time class and work schedule. In her spare time, Lauren likes to travel the globe – from Jamaica to Australia, she brings her running shoes with her and makes sure she logs a few miles in each country. This is her first Ragnar, but it won’t be her last!
Runner #11 Jenna is a Jersey girl and has lived there her entire life. She enjoys running different races throughout the year in different cities. One of the highlights of her day is waking up in the morning to run along the Hudson River in Hoboken. When she is not running she enjoys spending time with friends and family, she loves her beach house on the shore, is addicted to celebrity gossip, loves fashion, and can’t live without coffee. This is her first Ragnar race and she is so excited to run the coast along with one of her best friends & coworkers, Julie..
Runner #12 Deanna grew up in upstate NY, running on her high school track team. After a long hiatus from running and a relocation to Florida, she got back into running competitively in a variety of events ranging in distance from 5K to 50K, including obstacle course racing. She is married and is a devoted cat Mom. This will be her first Ragnar Relay.
Van #2 Support Staff: Driver Monica drove for 28 hours straight and rocked Van 2! Her running history doesn’t start pretty… After one particularly grueling basketball practice that pretty much consisted of all suicides, she distinctly remembers seeing people running on the sidewalk on the way home. She disgustedly asked her dad, “Ugh, why would anyone EVER run for fun?!?”
Fast forward five years and she was doing her first marathon. Originally from North Carolina, Monica found her way to the Sunshine State and has made it home. Her job however, keeps her traveling all over the world.
Ragnaritaville 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!