I had a great Ragnar overall this year. Despite being a bit undertrained, I ran well. The team was great. My vanmates were awesome. I had the pleasure of sharing the ride in Van 2 with Jeff Wallichs, Ken Novak, Hilary Klein, Greg Battoglia, Pat Egan and Beth Folkmann. Our Van 1 was April Lasker, Anna Debush, Megan Finkelman and the three amigos Doug Schenkelberg, Rob Breymaier and David Kahlow. We had a bunch of veterans this year, but also expanded our South Oak Park Ragnar gang with some first timers. All of the newbies and veterans were already making noise about running again next year and the ever-enthusiastic Mr. Wallichs was advocating for an ultra team pretty hard.

This year saw some tweaks to the van which were pretty sweet. After seeing some teams with shelving units in the back cargo space last year, I knew I had the answer to the issue of things getting buried and lost. In years past, the back of the van turns into an unmanageable pile as the rush from exchange to exchange goes on. I have typically had to unpack and repack the van at each major exchange. Not so in 2013. The little modular shelving we used allowed us to keep the sleeping gear, coolers and group supplies (first aid, snacks, etc.) separated from everyone’s personal gear. They worked like a charm.

We had great weather and great team spirit. Our only negative was a couple of lost runners. I missed a turn in Racine, WI during the middle of the night which was really unfortunate because in the cool evening air I was a few minutes ahead of my projected time and felt great. In the end, I went a good 1/2 mile out of my way, but only finished a couple minutes late.

The finish line was awesome as always. I nabbed the runner 12 spot this year so I got to run the final leg. Next year, I’m hoping to be runner 1. After three years in van 2, I’d like to see the start in Madison for once.