As I stared at the hotel ceiling at 3AM in Madison, WI. just a few hours from the start of the race, I had no idea what my van mates were going to be like since I had never met them in my life and I was asking myself "What the hell did I get myself into now". We all arrived at the race start except for Sue who showed up 5 minutes before the start and carrying a bag large enough to carry a Teamster. "Oh man my 6 alarm clocks didn't wake me up"...yeah and pull this leg and it plays "Jingle Bells". Jen took the first leg at 6:30AM and was off. There was no turning back now I was committed to the race. Dave and the X's were born. It was then I took this photo below in case the X's murdered me during the race and there would be a record of me for the police report.
|Scrambled Legs and Achin Offical Van 1|
- As I was running my first leg right along side another male racer, Jenn R. and the van yells out to me, "Dave, make it happen and drop your balls!". I of course did what anyone else would do, I looked at the runner next to me and said, "are those your friends?" I still don't even know what that even means but it sounds painful.
- "There are a lot of lips in this van". This was the first of my many "turned my head moments" to look in the back of the van and exclaim, "WTF did you just say?" Laughter ensued from the X's.
- I have to explain this one, Sue brought a Tupperware container of fresh cut seasoned turkey for herself to nosh on. As she opened the container she blurted out,"I'm warming up the meat. this meat is gonna fill me up". Laughter ensued from the X's. She gave me a slice and it was pretty tasty, as I was chewing on my slice she asked if I would like another I said, "no thanks I have plenty of meat myself"...Laughter ensued from the X's.
- Moments later with the keen eye of an eagle Jen R says as we pass Home Depot, I'll buy some wood to go with Sue's meat. I then said, "wait I have wood why stop ladies"...Laughter ensued from the X's.
- We arrived at the next exchange at 9PM, cold, tired, sweaty, and I began to approach a parking space..Sara said while under 9 blankets,"are you going to be able to get that in there Dave? It's really nice and tight Dave , I don't know." It was at that point I said, "Oh I can get in there with some lube..who packed the lube?" ..Laughter ensued from the X's
- We were able to get some rest time at a park and lay under a shady tree and chill. We had been laying there for at least 2 hours and Sara realizes something is wrong. Sara- "There's something bumpy in the grass...oh, it's a golf ball" How she laid there that long and it didn't bother her is amazing to me. Now that's a tuff girl.
- If Sara's ball in her butt wasn't enough during this same down time Jenn R enjoyed laying on the ground under a tree and putting her feet up on the tree. It was at that point that I witnessed something I've never seen before, "she gave birth to a calf"...You have to watch this unbelievable video of her calf birth. How she ran after that is beyond me because that's really painful and she didn't require an epidural.
- During a VAN 1 & VAN 2 exchange we had some time to catch up with our counterparts in VAN 2. From what Jen R. and the other girls and apparently Ben thinks Jen R. is quite zaftig. As we were exchanging van snacks, plus Sue's hot meat, Jen R asks, 'did you bring the watermelon?' Ben 'well, Jen, you brought the cantelopes'..Laughter ensued from the X's and strangers near by.
- On the way to the next exchange Sara dazzled us with her vast knowledge on clothes that are worn below your waist. 11 years of higher education everyone. She needed a pair of pants because the 3 bags of clothes each of the X's brought was just not enough and hell there was a sale anyways. Jen E, "We can go to Marshalls", Sara, "I could buy some pants", Jen, "they have good home goods there." Sara, "no. Pants. Pantaloons. Trousers. Slacks. Culottes" ..Laughter ensued from the X's. I of course didn't get it because well I'm a male. I stayed in the van and counted all the bags in the van, and tried to not step on any bananas.
|Sara modeling her new pants. "I'm a doctor, I'm a runner, and I know pants..and I'm going to kiccckk!"|
- What race wouldn't be without a massaging stick we all have or a foam roller. Jen R. brought her rolling stick (Editors note it wasn't battery powered).As Sue was finishing her hot meat she asked Jen R to, "Pass me your stick , I can't Dave is driving now". ..Laughter ensued from the X's
- Some other X's lexicons during the race, "Girl you're looking like you got a bottom biscuit and a muffin top going on." No idea what they means but it made me hungry.
- During a portion of the ride Jen R. decided to wax poetic about her boyfriends grooming habits down in "manland". The other X's decided to chime in on their preferences for both male and female grooming. It's there I broke into the conversation and said, "Good morning everyone I'm Geraldo Rivera and I'm hosting the View while Barbara Walters is out and we have a special guest on this morning with the ladies and it's Burt Cumbers who just invented a new line of men skin care products called, "Soft Sack". "So you don't get rubbed the wrong way, try "Soft Sack". Available at Saks of 5th Ave across the country." ...Laughter ensued from the X's
- I was pulled over on the way to early AM exchange by a junior state trooper for speeding. I swear this cop couldn't have been more than 18 years old. When I told her we were heading to a street called Chicory she smiled and said good luck and slow down. I think she knew what we were getting ourselves into. This was the start of our Ground Hogs Day. "Look kids there's Big Ben"
We were late and needed to get to the next exchange before dawn and because of the fact we couldn't read the 20 page excel spreadsheet in Korean of giving directions we started and ended up on Chicory lane in front of the exchange 3 times. (1)Arrived, left, were asked to find one of VAN 2 runners (it was easier finding Bin Laden), return, and then leave and then return again 2 more times. "Fuckin Chicory" was now our battle cry for the race. "Dave my leg might be broken I slipped on Jenn R's stick, tuff toenails remember it could be worse, remember we could be back at Chicory". Fuckin Chicory everyone!!!!!
- Early morning of the last day and last leg. We were punchier than Mike Tyson at a self check lane at the supermarket. Somehow the X's got into talking about Vulva's (again another head turn by me). We decided at that point to send Ragnar officials a email to tell them about our new marketing idea for them, "Nothing says Ragnar like Vulva's". ...Laughter ensued from the X's.
As we rolled into the last exchange of the race, we were a little slap happy. We started to come up with next years team name and the overwhelming winner was, "Dave and the Vulva's". We also came up with the team theme song "My Vulva" to the tune of "My Girl" by the Temptations. ...Laughter ensued from the X's.
- When you're starving you'll eat just about anything. During a lull Jen R. once again was forging food which was surprising because she kept asking for margaritas. She began to tell us how she had a hot brat that fell out on the ground and wondered if she should eat it. Sara replied, "You've had dirtier things in your mouth, Jen R."...Laughter ensued from the X's
- The race is over with and we were leaving Montrose Beach and the X's are taking me home and we spy some sort of wacky modeling shoot of about 9 ladies and one male wearing the most God awful skin tight dresses. 7-9 ladies needed to come down a few sizes according the X's. It looked like 2lbs of baloney in a one pound bag. I saw one walking in the street and in a way to small dress that looked like two bull dogs fighting in a burlap sack and said, "all that jelly and no toast". ...Laughter ensued from the X's
What a race..."The last 48 hours should have been a show on the Bravo channel"
As we all stood together at Montrose Beach running path waiting for Laura our captain to show up finishing her last leg and to lead us to the last 50 meters to the finish line, I was pretty tired but really happy because of all the friends I saw along the race, and the new friends I met in the metal tube called Van 1.
At the finish line I felt pretty proud we all finished in one piece, no one was pissed off with anyone, and no one cut me. I felt good because I finished with good people. These people were easy to laugh with, easy to help out, easy to be generous, easy to encourage. These girls were easy. Someone asked me later that night if I would do it again (that's what she said Sara"). I said sure I would with one exception. I would race with Laura this time and my 5 X's. I miss you all already. Come to Chicago ladies for a weekend and let's have fun again real soon. Oh the alimony checks are in the mail.
|Post race solution. "NO MORE TELLING ME HOW TO DRIVE"|
|Hurray we finished and thank you Laura Flanagan for doing all of this.|