Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Lord of the Ragnar


A few weekends ago Big D participated in the Northwest Passage Ragnar Relay race.  It was amazing for many reasons.

First of all, Big D is not a runner.  He read the book Born to Run, and got motivated.  He started training and proved to be more diligent than I when it came to training.  Of course he really needed to train because the Ragnar Relay is a serious race.

It is 190 miles with a 12 person team.  Each person runs 3 legs of the relay with a total milage of between 12 and 21 miles.  They run continuously through the night, so the sleep deprivation is part of the challenge.  They rent vans and drive along the route meeting each runner at the designated exchange spots.

When I heard what this was, I thought HOW STUPID!!! THAT DOES NOT SOUND LIKE FUN AT ALL.  But Big D's friend Dust is an excellent salesman, and so Big D was sold and committed.  The surprising part (and more idiotic part to me) was that their team was going to dress and RUN in full costume.   The team name was Lord of Ragnar and therefore they were each assigned to dress like a character from the the series, The Lord of the Rings.

I called Sally (Dust's wife) and told her that I thought this was so ridiculous that Big D was on his own for finding a costume.  I could not help with this idiotic project.  Sally told me that designing, and making the costumes is what made this strenuous race fun for these guys.  I rolled my eyes, and listened to Big D make a sword in the garage.  

Big D was to be an Uruk'hai (some scary type of Orc).  Unfortunately they do not sell Uruk'hai costumes on the internet like they do for the more popular characters of the Lord of the Rings, so Big D had to come up with his own costume.  

One week before the race, we were driving back from the Warrior Dash with some friends.  Big D started complaining about how his costume was not done and how his own wife was not helping him.  I again told him that I thought it was too stupid to be a part of.  I also said that I would probably be cheering for my Stroller Stride friends who were running the race instead of him, due to being incredibly embarrassed by his costume and team.  

After being so blunt and slightly harsh, I felt bad and decided to let my strong opinions go for the sake of my marriage and help Big D with his costume.  Now, I am proud to said we made an awesome costume.  At 4am on the day of the race, I woke up and painted his face and gave him a supportive slap on the butt and told him to "Go get 'em!"  Then I got back in bed and prayed that this stupid race would not be the cause of an injury or accident to my husband.

The Lord of the Ragnar started their race at 8am on Friday morning.  Saturday morning I took the boys with me to Whidbey Island to see Big D run the 33rd leg of the 36 total leg relay race.  When I arrived at the exchange point, I realized that The Lord of the Ragnar team was the most popular team there.  Everyone LOVED them, and were in total awe of their costumes.  They were seriously celebrities.  

Surprised, I decided to NOT pretend like I didn't know my husband, but instead cheer for him proudly. At each exchange, the guys acted out a fight scene that drew all sorts of attention.  Big D had only gotten 2 hours of sleep in a stinky car, but he ran his last 7 miles like a true Uruk'hai.  I followed him along his trail.  We would pull over and let T Bear stand on top of the car and cheer for him (and other runners - #80 was a favorite).  At Big D's finishing point, there was another epic battle.  When they finished a lady runner asked T Bear if that was his Daddy.  T Bear said, "Yes.  My daddy is the strongest."

All the members of the team ran together across the finish line together.  The director of the race turned on the theme music from the movie, and spectators pulled out their video recorders and cameras.  Big D and his crazy team created a HUGE battle scene as they crossed the finished.  People were coming up and asking to take pictures with them and telling them how awesome they were.  It was a total boost for their egos.

Big D had so much fun, he said he would do it again.  I conceded that I was glad I participated in this event with him.  I was proud of him too.  

Be sure to watch the video - it is so well done.  Thanks to Dust and his crazy family for getting us in on the fun.

-Miss T

Scary!  His friend made him fake teeth to wear as well, but they were not that easy to run with.

Strangers slowed down to take pictures of them running.  Doesn't Big D look good in those Women's Leggings?

FYI - The results came in.  And apparently if you do a theatrical show at every exchange you're not likely to WIN the Ragnar Relay.  The Lord of the Ragnar  team averaged a 9:30 minute/mile for 190 miles.  I thought that was impressive until Big D told me they were in the last 25% of the finishing teams.  The winning team averaged a 6:04 minute/mile pace.  INCREDIBLE!  This is definitely a race for the serious (and certified crazy) runners out there.  


  1. That video is awesome :) !! I am so impressed that the team could run in full costume - WOW!!