This is the true story… of 12 strangers… picked to travel to NorCal…run 200 miles together and sleep in two vans… to find out what happens… when people stop sleeping… and start drinking Nuun…The Real World Nuun Edition.
But in all seriousness, this past weekend was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had running. I had the absolute privilege of being invited to run the Ragnar Relay Napa Valley with Team Nuun a.k.a #NuunNowWineLater. Running a Ragnar Relay has been on my bucket list for a long time, but always just seemed a little tough to organize on my own, especially for a race on the other side of the country. Running with Nuun gave me the chance to compete with relay veterans, lovers of Nuun and fellow crazy runners. We traveled from all over the place, representing New York, Atlanta, Birmingham, Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma, Orange County, San Jose, Michigan, and Houston…all brought together by a pretty fabulous brand (and running of course). An extra bonus of my trip was being back in the Bay Area, where I spent seven of my most formative years of life (7th – 12th grade). One of my former classmates actually works for Nuun, so reconnecting with her was a great walk down memory lane.
I definitely learned quite a lot on this trip, about running and having a blast with 11 of my new best running buds. Here are my 15 lessons learned:
- Runners of all ages, backgrounds, and from cities across the country make a strong team together.
- Van decorating and carbo loading is WAY better as an adult (READ: Beer).
- When Nuun tabs get wet, they will fizz, expand, and you can say goodbye to the rest of your tube because they’re never coming out.
- Living in Houston makes you a baby when it comes to cold weather.
- “Kills” refer to passing people on the Ragnar course. I will now imply this term to every marathon, 5K and possibly training run, so don’t worry I’m not actually violent.
- Selfie sticks are fun, even without the camera.
- Rockin’ jams make for a rockin’ van. Girl Talk anyone?
- Butt sweat is a reality of running, then sitting in a van.
- The best time for wine tasting is after running, when you haven’t showered, slept, or eaten a real meal in 24+ hours.
- Deck changing is one of the best skills I learned through competitive swimming.
- Sharing high school memories from 10+ years ago makes me truly appreciate where I went to high school.
- Hashtags make every joke or sleep deprived experience funnier. #truth
- Goldfish and salt & vinegar chips are the breakfast of champions.
- I’m apparently one of the only runners without Strava. The situation has been remedied.
- Don’t leave the trunk of a van open, you will lose your water.
Have you ever done a Ragnar Relay? Any tips you’d like to share?