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Ragnar Chicago Relay Weekend Recap! #mimm


And don’t forget to vote for Suz for Runners World Cover and to enter to try out YummyHealth’s healthy candy bars.

#thestrugglebusisreal  No, really. It is. We named our van #strugglebus. 

Thanks, Katie!

Thanks, Katie!


So much happened over the course of 48 hours that it would be impossible to take you through it all at once, so today is (like with the Phoenix Marathon Weekend and Race Recaps), split into the Weekend and the Race/Running related posts.

Ragnar Chicago Relay 2015 Recap

Ragnar Chicago 2015 Race and Weekend Recap Suzlyfe

Team #222 One Man Per Van

  • Van #1: Judy, Andrew, Alison, Mo (Captain), Ashley, Elina
  • Van #2: Sara, Jessie, Beth, Krista, Susie, Eric

Alright, let’s get to the fun!

Ragnar Chicago Race Weekend Recap

I picked Sara up from her work mid-afternoon on Thursday, and we had some fun in some pretty terrible traffic and met up with the others at Mo’s dad’s house, were we piled into our “vans’ for the drive to Madison.

suz sara beth bloggers ragnar chi

I say “vans” in quotes because we had one minivan, one medium/large SUV. Apparently, the rental agency didn’t think that Mo was serious when she reserved 2 minivans. The story is that older people sometimes rent vans but erroneously reserve 2, and I guess because Mo’s real name is Maureen, they thought that she was an old person and only reserved her one. Thus they gave us a really nice SUV that could “fit” 6 people.

strugglebus back seat

Well, let’s just say that it is built for 4 and their junk, not 6 and their junk. Fortunately, by and large we were excellent packers, and so we made it work. Jessie drove, Eric nav’ed, Beth and Sara took the middle captain’s seats, and Krista and I (being the shortest) took the rear (I also drove). 

We met up with Krista in Madison (where she lives)–the reason we were the #strugglebus was that 3 of our 6 runners were injured–Nancy had to pull out, and thus we picked up Krista the week before; Jessie had some ITB issues (she was really the only one that had issues on course, and on the last leg had to stop and stretch); and myself, coming off of my stress injury). So we had a decent amount of room on the drive to Madison.

Madison and the start

In Madison, we were all freaking out starving, and we headed to Monks for beer (I got a Captial Brewing Lakehouse, grilled chicken salad, and helped others with cheese curds and french fries)

Cheese Curds Monks madison

then got some Greek Yogurt and M&Ms for dessert. At the hotels Van 2 plus Mo hung out and watched the rest of the NBA game, chatted, and then got into bed around 11. Mo, OrtonPants and I shared the pull out sofa bed in the front room (Mo and Orton had to get going earlier than the rest, and I had to set up the giveaway, plus I knew that I was already too amped to sleep much!). Mo and I had totally inappropriate conversations as per usual.

Orton pants ragnar chi cheese balls

OrtonPants in his windbreaker with his snack and pace chart

Friday and the Start


It rained the entirety of our time upon entering Madison through late next morning–we had planned to take a team picture at the Starting Line, the ONLY time that we would all be together, but it was raining so hard that we gave up on it, and van #2 went to breakfast instead. 

cinnamon sugar donut montys blue plate madison

BTW, if you are in Madison, highly recommend Monty’s Blue Plate--I barely had anything to eat after eating way too much at the hotel breakfast, but I tried some of other’s orders and they were delicious!  Totally cute from-scratch diner with really fantastic and creative options. We killed time at another adorable coffee-shop-cafe-art gallery, Water Street Cafe, near to our first major exchange, and once some small children cleared out, we had a little too much fun with Cards Against Humanity.

van 2 struggle bus Ragnar Chicago 2015 suz

Van 2! (Clockwise from left) Jessie, Beth, Krista, Eric, Sara, me

We got to the first major exchange early so that we could do all of the requisite sign in things and browse vendors and sponsors, and then started decorating the van (while I ate, having finally gotten hungry). Lunch of champions of protein bar, animal crackers, and pistachios. Oh, and Cheese Balls 😀 (See above pic of Orton Pants).

Sara Finishing her First Leg

Sara Finishing her First Leg

Sara was our first runner, and after Elina came in, she took off, and the real fun started! For the next 5-6 hours, it was all about getting to the next exchange point, getting the next runner ready, waiting, then taking off to the next point where the previous runner recovered and changed. This happened person after person until Eric ran, then we took off to Noodles and Co and shoved food into our gobblers. 

suz finishing run ragnar chi

Post First Run

After some dinner (Noodles and Co), we headed off to our next major exchange (where the vans switch off). After some time in traffic, we arrived at MLK High School, and some people went inside (they had places you could spread out as well as Chickfila for sale). Krista, Jessie, and I stayed in the car and tried to rest/nap. We didn’t have tons of time off, however, and soon it was time for Sara to head off (I think I slept for about 30 minutes?), and we went started our cycle again! Krista and Eric (the legs before and after me) were the only ones that had serious issues with feeling lost/seriously weirded out during their legs, mostly because of how the trails were marked/not marked. Eric had offered to run parts of my leg with me, but ultimately it wasn’t necessary!

Saturday and Post Run 2

There was a tent city at the next big exchange, but we opted to peel out and go to the next big exchange (about an hour or so away). I dozed in the car, and then when we got to the next high school, Sara and I stayed in the car (we didn’t have sleeping bags), and I passed the F out for about 3 or so hours. It poured rain again during the night (sorry, Van 1!) but was over by morning, and we got some breaky at Dunkin and enjoyed real bathrooms. The last major exchange meant that the next time we would see Van 1 would be at the finish! 

dunkin donuts breakfast ragnar chi egg white flatbread coffee

The weather started warming up, but everyone still did great with their last legs. Jessie had some ITB issues and even had to stop on the way, but she finished like a champ. At my exchange, we didn’t get the text from Krista saying she was a mile away (which we did as a warning signal for the next runner), and all the sudden I heard them calling our number and I had to sprint to the exchange!

Van 2 about 30 seconds before I started sprinting...

Van 2 about 30 seconds before I started sprinting…

The Finish!

We went and met up with Van 1 just before the finish (except for Judy, who had to go to Iowa TO RUN A MARATHON the next day) so that we could run in as a (sort of together) team. But upon realizing how far away we were parked, Sara decided to go back for her stuff and ended up getting passed by Eric as he was coming in! I called her, she told me this, and though we planned to wait, she gave us her blessing to let Eric run in, so we ran in with him (seriously, I think he would have killed us if we had told him to stop!) and waited for her for the final team pictures. 

ragnar chi 2015 finish line montrose beach

mo suz ragnar finish line medal

orton pants beer ragnar chi lush

Then it was time for celebrating and beer! After a beer and another round for the others, Jessie, Mo, Beth, Eric and I (I stopped at a beer and drove us back to Mo’s) went back to the struggle bus and headed back to her dad’s house to pick up our cars, and I said goodbye to my teammates. 

medal sand suz ragnar chi 2015

I got home home around 5 or 5 30, unpacked and chatted with Alex, and then we decided to go get some dinner before I took a shower (I knew that showering would = sleep, and I was getting really hungry, having not not a legit meal since that morning (don’t worry, I had definitely eaten, just nothing composed). So we went to M Burger (I was craving meat #twss), returned home, I had dessert, we put on a movie, and I am pretty sure I was asleep by 8.

m burger ragnar chi suz


I woke up with Alex the next morning around 6/630 then had a big breakfast (still recovering!) and slept for another 2 hours. The rest of Sunday was dedicated to eating, watching TV, and doing laundry and groceries. that’s it.

Me, essentially.

Me, essentially.

Want to know how my runs themselves went? Come back tomorrow!

197(ish) miles, 12 runners, 2 vans, and #OneManPerVan Read @Suzlyfe's #RagnarChi Recap! #fitfluential #runchat Click To Tweet

What were you up to this weekend? 

What is your favorite Cards Against Humanity card?

When was the last time you ate a Cheese Ball or had an adult sleepover?

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