Also known as, how to survive 36 hours in a van with strangers without harming yourself or someone else. This post is sponsored by @OrtonPants, who just brought me a beer in exchange for this writing. Cheers!
A - Arrival. As in, arrive at the exchange before your runner. There’s nothing worse than missing someone and having them stand around like an idiot.
B – Beer. (Obviously.) Longtime readers of ihearpikermis.com will recall how much I look forward to the post-race beer. Now sponsored by Sierra Nevada, count me INNNNNNNN.
C – Cheer. For everyone. At all times (unless you cash out in the back of the van WHICH HAPPENS SOMETIMES I SWEAR, YOU GUYS). It makes your team a team.
D – Delegate. A captain can’t do everything on their own, no matter how much they try. If no one offers to help, delegate tasks based on people’s strengths. If everyone is a stranger and you don’t know strengths, make them up.
E – Energy. No matter how tired you are and how much you wish everyone in your van would suddenly die, someone needs to be enthusiastic enough to keep the team going. That person is @OrtonPants. (Not really.)
F – Foam roll. You don’t need to do this. If you’re rolling out phantom injuries, then you’re probably being antisocial and not hanging out with your team. Not acceptable.
G – Gators. As in, alligators. Easily the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my headlamp while running. Don’t keep bacon in your pockets, and keep the meat sweats (or meat “sweets”) to a minimum.
H – Honeybucket, the Ragnar word for smelly poo house. Get to know it, and get to love it. (Also, hold your breath.)
I – Icebreaker. In the event that your team is a bunch of strangers, an icebreaker is a good way to get to know each other. I recommend beer… or Cards Against Humanity. Or both.
J – John Travolta. He is the most beautiful man ever. And when someone decides to commemorate that by drawing his Jedi likeness on someone else’s van, it spawns a storm of crazy that ends in #whalesvagina.
K – Kills. As in, when you pass people during Ragnar. Kill or be killed, but only count the positives, and tally them on your van!
L – Locker room. Most major exchanges with indoor showers will have a locker room. Expect lots of naked people walking around. Get over it. Or, if you went to Catholic school, use the skills acquired there to change your bra without showing off your tits.
M – Meat Wagon. By far the greatest van name ever.
N – Nap. Your sleep for the 36 hours of the race will consist of short naps, one of which will likely end when you wake up in a panic, fumbling for your running shoes, thinking it’s your turn. Relax dude, you’re probably off duty. Or not.
O – Orange. The official color of Ragnar. I always paint either my fingernails or my toenails orange for the occasion.
P – Poop. Ragnar stomach is a very real thing, and it does not disappear for days after said event. So poop is imminent.
Q – Quit. Quit your bitching (aka, keep it to yourself). But don’t quit your enthusiasm.
R – Reflective vest. Your new best friend during nighttime hours. Never leave the van without it.
S - Sunrise, sunset. No, not this. But you’ll get to see at least one sunset, and maybe even two sunrises. Take pictures. It’s never looked more beautiful than when you’re sleep deprived and hungry.
T – Taco Bobby. He was our waiter for the celebratory dinner we had in Key West. Cool name. Too bad he sucked at being a waiter.
U – Underwear. Skip it. Shorts have a liner. It’s just one more thing to stink up the van, and we all know there’s enough of THAT.
V – Van. Your new home. Give it a name. You’ll be on very intimate terms by the time you have to drop it back to the rental place.
W – Whale’s vagina. Also known as Hashtag Whale, our team name for Florida Keys. It sprung up from an inside joke, and it’s the best thing ever. Our logo is pretty cool too.
X – XXX. One of the Ragnar FLK exchanges is in the parking lot of a porn store. That’s all I got.
Y – Yeti. Bigfoot is real, and he lives in Lake Forest. I would know.
Z – Zzzzz… sleep will never feel so good than the first time you get to sleep on a mattress. It’s basically a little slice of heaven.