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Digital Running Club » Uncategorized » Introducing Highway from Hull

Introducing Highway from Hull

On May 3, 2013, Highway from Hull hit the starting line of the Cape Cod Ragnar Relay in Hull, MA. We traversed nearly 200 miles of Massachusetts coastline before finally ending on the tip of Cape Cod in Provincetown – and winning the Farout Fashion Award!

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Here’s a brief introduction to the team:

Van #1

elizabethRunner #1 Elizabeth is 47 years old and accidentally became a runner about 4 years ago when she decided it was finally time to stop smoking and a few pounds started creeping on. Never having ever been remotely athletic, she began walking (more like trudging along, actually) and disliked it so much that she quickly realized if she ran a little here and there, the walk would be over faster! It sounded like a good plan, but when she ran her first mile she was so surprised that she decided to build on the running. Who knew where it would lead?? Elizabeth did her first 5K at 45…. first 10K at 46… and somehow at 47 got talked into the Tough Mudder New England! Coming off that adrenaline, she somehow also got talked into running her first half marathon just 2 weeks later by a friend and perhaps a few Coronas… despite never having trained or ever having run over 7 miles. She finished that Half Marathon with a smile and was hooked! Apparently ignorance is bliss, because this accidental runner ran 2 half marathons last year and is signed up for 6 in 2013…. including Nashville just 5 days before Ragnar Cape Cod! Elizabeth is married, loves the beach, warm weather, and traveling and her 3 nieces and nephew!

devinWhen last we heard from Runner #2 Devin, he was basking in the glory of last years team win for Nom De Plume at Ragnar Cape Cod. Since then he trained for and ran his first full marathon, managing to throw up only once during the race. His love of running has spread to his 3 boys (ages 10, 7 and 4) and he now runs several 5Ks with them throughout the year. Not content with boring his friends (and anyone else within earshot) about all things running, he started an online running group this past year as well.

Always looking to the future for his next great adventure, he couldn’t decide on one goal for 2013, so he went with 3 (actually 13, but for space constraints we’ll go with 3). Start trail running, train for and run triathlons, and run a 50k. A knee injury has got him off to a slow start, but he’s been ramping up his training and is ready to return to – and conquer – Ragnar Cape Cod! Devin also still attempts to coach soccer in the fall.

RobinRunner #3 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. She was a valuable member of Running for the Halibut in Cape Cod last year and joined the Digital Running Crew in Ragnaritaville in January.

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!

brianTeam Captain and runner #4 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 3rd Ragnar Relay of 2013 and the 14th of his overnight relay career. He lives in St. Petersburg, FL, with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog, Kaboodles.

melissaRunner #5 Melissa is from Deep River, Connecticut. She is a 4th grade teacher by day and mom to a 3 and 5 year old by night. She grew up playing soccer and therefore ran by default. However, due to the lack of adult, female leagues in the back woods of CT, she had to find another athletic endeavor (that, and she gained unsightly amounts of weight while pregnant). So she started running. First with a single jogging stroller, then with a double jogger, and finally – ALL BY HERSELF! This is where her love of running blossomed… She quickly figured out that this afforded her the peace and quiet that neither the classroom nor her house offered. So 2 mile runs turned into 3, and 3 mile runs turned into 4, and so it went until she was spending hours alone with just her thoughts! She is currently in hot pursuit of a “Shoreline Road Racing” jacket and has been loading her calendar with many 5k, 10k, and even a 10 mile races in hopes of getting a jacket she’ll most likely never wear! The Ragnar should be right up her alley, as she hasn’t slept through the night since the birth of her 5 year old daughter (Seriously.) Besides running, Melissa also loves skiing and soaking up the sun at the beach. One day she even hopes to learn to use the fancy camera she had to have in order to fulfill her dreams of becoming a great photographer. Next on her bucket list is a ½ marathon, but she has no desire to ever do a full…. 4+ hours is too much time alone with her thoughts!

nicolegRunner #6 Nicole is a wife and mother of three sons, Jordan (19), Nicholas (13), and Vincent (9) and the first of three Nicoles on the team. She works as a middle school math teacher and has always loved to be outside and active with her boys. For years Nicole walked, pushing her kids in their stroller or walked alongside as they rode their bikes. One day about 4 years ago, her husband told her walking wasn’t really considered exercise, and if she really wanted to get out there she should be running. Not one to ever turn down a challenge, Nicole began to run. At first she was only able to run a mile at a time, but she was determined and set a goal for herself to run in the town’s 5K that summer. Given support by her sister-in-law, Becky, who was a runner in high school and college, she knew she could become a runner too.

From there Nicole was hooked, she loves running, the freedom and peace it gives her is unexplainable, and also great therapy! As of today she has run in a variety of races. This past summer her whole family ran a 5k together. Also, this past summer she trained and ran her first marathon with fellow Ragnar teammate, Devin. It was hard but they did it. By the way, she kicked Devin’s ass in the marathon. She is looking forward to running in the relay but she is very nervous as well.

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 13th time not running Ragnar.

Van #2

nicoleboRunner #7 Nicole (the 2nd of 3 Nicoles on the team) grew up in California with her sister Tracy (runner #12). For some unknown reason she now lives in Chicago and curses every winter. She loves to run, listen to rock ‘n’ roll, and has three kids and one crazy husband that do the same.

Nicole teaches Pilates, runs Ragnar, and hikes. She may lead her team with a mean teaser series at the exchanges. Look out she’s a morning person, and will greet you with a cheery greeting at 5am.

During Ragnar Northwest Passage her catch phrase became, “Isn’t it beautiful!” So if she passes you with flowers in her hair and exclaims the beauty of the day, she hasn’t lost her mind. She just loves Ragnar.

coletteOriginally from the Jersey Shore, Runner #8 Colette (aka Double-Butt) fled to the warmth of Florida for college (Go Gators!) in ’96 and has lived there since. She has completed several sprint triathlons, half-marathons, mud races and other events over the years. However, the Ragnar Relays she has done (FL Keys 2010 and 2012) have blown her mind with how fun they are!!

A retired (and recovering) attorney, she now works in marketing/business development. Obtaining her law degree took several years of sacrifice and discipline, but she would still say that completing a half-marathon is right up there with that accomplishment… and much cheaper. Plus, she doesn’t even practice law anymore, but is still running so that should speak for itself. On a good day, Colette would say that running brings a great deal of positive energy into to her life and gives her the opportunity to surround herself with some incredible people, places and experiences that are motivating and uplifting. On a bad day, she’d just go for a run.

While never considered to be the sprinter in any group (“Turtle” was her nickname growing up), she’ll get the job done. Her favorite quote: “Dwell on the beauty in life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” — Marcus Aurelius

Colette just hopes that, especially for teammate Christen’s sake, she doesn’t come down with another case of the “Punta Canas” during this adventure!

cherylRunner #9 Cheryl could best be classified as the “Accidental Runner.” She was never an athlete growing up. She was the “smart” one.

Then one day, Cheryl became a runner…. It was Thanksgiving morning and her son had quit playing football. Searching for something to do to fill the void, Cheryl heard of a charitable 5K in a nearby town. It was a run/walk event and seemed like the perfect thing to do before gorging on turkey later in the day. She told her husband that she would be finished in about 45 minutes. She would “try” to run, but would more likely walk the majority of the course. As she started to run, she noticed that there were people running who were older than her and who were clearly more out of shape than her, so she kept running.

And the cheering. Oh! The cheering!

She could hear the cheering as the finish line was getting closer and the next thing Cheryl knew, she was running across the finish line in 32 minutes with a huge grin on her face, and no husband to be found – he was dutifully waiting to cheer her on 45 minutes after the start.

That was in 2006. In the last seven years Cheryl has completed countless 5Ks, a spattering of 10Ks, some 5 milers, nine or so half marathons, a duathalon, a triathlon, and two bike events. She also walks her four dogs (yes four… two puggles, a chocolate lab, and an Irish Wolfhound!) nearly every day.

When not achieving those physical goals, Cheryl is working full-time as an educator. She is still married, has two grown children and is also in the dissertation stage of a doctorate. She thinks perhaps if she spent less time running and more time writing, she could finish that, but Coach Brian thinks the running is far more valuable than the degree!

tracyRunner #10 Tracy came to running late in life. Growing up she despised any type of exercise and went out of her way to avoid it. One day she realized that if you run a race they give you free beer at the end – often two glasses at once! The love affair with running began.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, Tracy trains for her races surrounded by towering forests and feels secure there will always be a local brew pub within running distance. This combination of fresh air, trees and beer has kept her going strong for a multiple half marathons, a marathon and two Ragnars.

Tracy also enjoys breaking out into spontaneous dancing. Whether it’s mid-aisle of a grocery store or at an exchange point at a Ragnar, she can be seen shaking her booty. Last year while volunteering for Hood to Coast, she danced into the wee hours of the night directing traffic. It didn’t matter that there was no music playing. So if you catch her wiggling about in silence, don’t worry, the music is in her head, just join in.

christenRunner #11 Christen aka “Trouble Maker” is a Sagittarius who enjoys long walks on the beach, playing in mud and running across states when no one is chasing her, a la Forrest Gump. Her dislikes are black jelly beans, terrorists and people who misuse the word “seen” in a sentence (i.e. I seen her at the store yesterday). Prior to destroying all of the cartilage in her right knee and being told that she shouldn’t run anymore, she was a marathoner, triathlete, mud runner and accomplished escaper of zombies who could sprint to the quarantine zone like no other.

She met Double-Butt in law school when they bonded over their shared love of “follow-up” questions – and the rest is history. Since then, the fearless friends have been on numerous adventures across the world. They’ve been told they are a modern day Lois and Clark, only better. Some profound discoveries they’ve made along the way are: RC Colas in N.C., cowboy piñatas in Austin, and Ginger Santa Clauses in Nashville.

Their next big adventure (with their teammates) will include absolute world domination. To ensure success they and their teammates have formulated a very complex plan, spending countless minutes to fine tune it (code name: Yes, That Really Just Happened, hereinafter “YTRJH”). Step one of YTRJH is to leave the competition in their dust on the Highway from Hull.

Anyone who doubts their ability will be immediately challenged to a dance off.

Bring it.

courtneyRunner #12 Courtney is a fairly new Ragnar addict (first was Key West in January), but she’s been an avid runner since she was 14 years old. She ran competitively in high school (Eugene, Oregon – Running Capital of the World!!!) and college (naked mile relay at midnight!!!) Back in the day, she could beat all the boys. Now, in her ripe old age of 32, she’s a more casual, a few days a week runner. Courtney’s favorite distance is the half marathon because it’s not an all out sprint, but it’s a perfect distance to establish a rhythm. During runs, Courtney listens to boy bands and cheesy ’80s music. When Courtney isn’t running, she’s a supervisor of a mental health program.

 


Bondi Band

Digital Running teams are proudly sponsored by Bondi Band. 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!

Written by

Brian Darrow is a running coach in St. Petersburg, FL who specializes in online coaching for beginners. Follow him at ARunnersBlog.com

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One Response to "Introducing Highway from Hull"

  1. Souzapalooza says:

    I’ll keep an eye out for y’all. I got recruited to be on the “Rock Lobstars”. It will be my first ragnar!

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