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The Ragnar Relay (Pt. 3)

STAUNTON RUNS RAGNAR - IT'S THE FINAL STRETCH! 

Welcome to the final installment of The Ragnar Relay blog series!  In these Staunton themed Ragnar Relay posts, you get to learn more about the fun, crazy, and ridiculous members of our team. Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 to read about the rest of our team members and learn about a meaningful cause. 
 

The Recap

In the previous posts you were introduced to 7 members of our team. Today you will learn about the final members. The same questions have been asked: 1) What are three fun facts about yourself? 2) Why are you running this race? 3) What do you hope to accomplish by participating in this race? So without further ado, let's meet this week's team members! 
 

ANNA MERRITT

Three fun facts?

1) Back flipped off a 30-foot cliff in Canada 2) In 2010, competed in the Ragnar Relay (with a priest in my van!). 3) On the final stretch of my last leg, I threw up black from Mylanta (& 5 hour energy).

Why you're running Ragnar?

So that this mostly men's team could have an advantage and compete in the mixed category? But really,  I am on the "Graeme made me" team.

Hope to accomplish?

To finish (without throwing up black!)
 

RYO YOSHIIKE

Three fun facts? 

1) I married a U.S. Citizen to avoid taking the 5 questionnaire from the US Immigration Office.... I keep forgetting to schedule the exam, that was 4 years ago. 2) Got stuck in Tokyo with an expired U.S. Visa.... made a few calls to the "U.S. embassy", they provided asylum and got me through customs. 3) I prefer to fly economy, i like the feeling of being swaddled in my cozy seat and be with my "people". 

Why you're running Ragnar?

My plan was to back out of this race last minute.  I just wanted to be part of the email chain.  Then my internet service provider went out for several weeks and I missed my opportunity to opt out. I played a dangerous game, and now i'm paying the price.

Hope to accomplish?

I hope to run this race without eating any solid food.  I tried getting sponsorship from Soylent (meal replacement)... still working on my sponsorship.

 

RICH DEDIC

Three fun facts?

1) I peaked in 3rd grade.  I won first place in the Burbank decathlon and the next week, Beth Hobard (that b*tch) beat me in a run-off in our 3rd grade class.  It's been down hill from there (see picture). Then I met Graeme. I trained hard, found Beth Hobard, challenged her to another run, and yes, I beat her (granted, she lost one leg to a horrific ice cream truck accident and has a bit of a drinking problem). 2) When I was about 10, I was on the toilet...and was playing with matches. As I was sitting there, I noticed the toilet paper just hanging there so I thought, "matches... toilet paper... toilet paper... matches... let's see what happens."  My parents were NOT happy for the next few years looking at tile that had its finish burned off. 3) In my 30's, I was in church with my parents for Father's Day mass and I was completely hung over.  Towards the end of mass, you shake the peoples hands and say things like "Bless you."  A little old lady turns around and says to me, "Bless you, are you a father too?”. I was not prepared for the question and the only thing I could think to say was, "Not that I know of."  She had a look of disgust and my parents looked at me with this horrible expression. I still see that woman. 

Why you're running Ragnar?

I have always wanted to sit in a van with 6 guys for an entire weekend who have run hundreds of miles without bathing.  Check that baby off the bucket list. 

Hope to accomplish?

1) Eat RYO. 2) What's this "for charity" bs?  I plan on making some money off this. 3) Hit Graeme with the van.
 

TOM MERRITT

Three fun facts?

1) One of 2 non-U.S. Citizens to ever win the prestigious GreenBlazers Golf Championship held at Sidney Marovitz. The other winner being from Ireland. 2) Unknowingly trained for Ragnar every summer between the ages of 11 – 20 by carrying canoes across portages connecting lakes through the Canadian wilderness. The longest of such trip was 21 days with some portages as long as 6 miles. I have been tapering since then until now… I am confident I am finally ready for this challenge. 3) I am a better ice skater than runner so if we were to do this in the winter and we could skate, I would be much more helpful to the team.

Why you’re running Ragnar?

 I am running the race because so I can have one of those “once in a lifetime” experiences. And I do mean I will only do this once.

Hope to accomplish?

Hope to prove to everyone, including myself, that I can actually run 3 separate times in a 24-hour time frame. 

See you at the FINISH LINE

Follow us on social media during the race for live posts, pictures and more! 

Don't forget to check out our donation page for Charity: Water to help bring clean water to the 748 million people living with out it! https://my.charitywater.org/staunton-for-ragnar 

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The Ragnar Relay Series (PT. 2)

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Staunton Runs Ragnar

Welcome to part 2 of the Ragnar Relay blog series! Be sure to check out part 1 here, to learn all about the Ragnar Relay and the cause we are supporting along with it. In this multi-part blog series, you get the opportunity to learn a little about the unique individuals that make up our 12 person team!

The Recap

In each post we ask the team members the following three questions: 1) What are three fun facts about yourself? 2) Why are you running this race? 3) What do you hope to accomplish by participating in this race? So without further ado, let's meet this week's team members! 
 

 

ERIK SEVERINGHAUS

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Three fun facts?

1) I'm mostly viking blood and may or may not be a direct descendent of Ragnar Lothbrok. 2) "Severinghaus" is an ancient norse word that means "drinks whiskey at the finish line". 3) My training regiment is inspired by Kenny Powers.

Why you're running Ragnar?

I have never found a drug that's nearly as much fun as adrenaline.

Hope to accomplish?

I live about a half mile from Montrose beach, so I'm just hoping to make home it one piece.
 



KEITH KLEBACHA

Three fun facts?

1) Survived 3 Burning Man Festivals. One dressed as Elvis.2) Successfully cleared 75 m underwater 3) Work part time as a professional wedding crasher.

Why you're running Ragnar?

For the shear thrills and spills of it all! 24 hr run race always brings out the best. Just no Mexican food the night before. :)

Hope to accomplish?

To build new friendships and solve the Worlds problems.  One mile at a time! Giddy up!


 

STEVE KEHM

Three fun facts?

1) For College, I attended Ball State University, in Muncie, IN where the latest story to hit national news was that a lady poked her friend in the eye with a fork for taking the last BBQ rib during a picnic. 2) I was once called an “animal” by a police officer after a run from the cops in flip-flops while still carrying my golf clubs. 3) I have broken a bone, only once, and it was during warm-ups for a football game.

Why you're running Ragnar?

  Not really sure… I did it a few years ago, and thought afterwards; “that was fun but wouldn’t do it again”. Basically Graeme made me do it. And appointed me organize it as well. WTF. 

Hope to accomplish?

Finish the race uninjured and with a few good stories and a beer at the finish line.
 

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BOB MILHIZER

Three fun facts?

1) Started going gray at 13 and have never looked back. 2) Rowed for one of the top 10 lightweight crews in the country while in college. 3) Had the good fortune of playing two little league all-star games in Wrigley Field as a kid.

 Why you're running Ragnar?

I was hammered when Graeme asked me...

Hope to accomplish?

Eight minute mile pace (or under) for all three legs.

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The Ragnar Relay Series (PT. 1)

Staunton Runs Ragnar
 

Summer is right around the corner, and that means it's almost time for The Ragnar Relay!

What is Ragnar? 
The Ragnar Relay Series starts with 12 awesome individuals. Each member runs three times, with each leg ranging from 3-8 miles varying in difficulty. While you're running, your teammates support you in a team vehicle driving to the next checkpoint.  

Charity: Water
In addition to running the race, our 12 members are using this opportunity to raise money to make clean water accessible to the 784 million living without this basic necessity. Click here to view our fundraising page

The Team
Each part of our Ragnar blog series will share a look into the lives of each of our eccentric team members (you've been warned!). We asked each member the following 3 questions: 1) What are three fun facts about yourself? 2) Why are you running this race? 3) What do you hope to accomplish by participating in this race? 

Rick Wilson

Three fun facts?

1) Left college for a semester to live at a nudist, Hopi indian, vegetarian Geodesic Dome retreat. 2) Known as the “too much salt” guy at the Illinois Institute of Art’s Culinary school.  3) My hero is Jon Snow.

Why you're running Ragnar?

Graeme made me and said he’d tell everyone about that incident if I didn't.

Hope to accomplish?

Avoid having my parole officer find out I left the state.


DAVID WACHTENDONK

Three fun facts?

1) I’ve been cow tipping before. 2) My nickname in college was Frank the Tank. 3) When running the Cape Cod Ragnar I carried a live lobster to taunt my competitors.

Why you're running Ragnar?

I’m testing a hypothesis that replacing running gel & gatorade with cheese & beer can reduce my race time by 15%

Hope to accomplish?

To show my kids that if you get your a** off the couch you can get sh*t done. 

 

GRAEME STAUNTON

Three fun facts?

1) In 2000 I bought a van, drove all the way around Australia in it, and spent most of the time running from snakes. Good Ragnar training. 2)  In 1979, I fell through a skylight which looked like a fun slide and landed in a crib in my Mum’s shop.  It was too close to imagine what would have happened if the crib had not been there. 3) In 2005 I met Rich. He is as big as they say, and he may be double the weight of Ryo. In 2007 I met Ryo. He is far too smart for me. Why is this a fun fact about me? I am not sure but it makes me laugh to think of these two arguing in a van for 24 hours straight.

Why you're running Ragnar?

 It is another box to tick and need me some new challenges as bored of doing triathlons. Next year we might do this: http://transrockies-run.com/.

Hope to accomplish?

Raise a bit of money for charity water. And have a good laugh. Oh and run like a mad man.



Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series to learn more about our Ragnar Team! To learn more about the Ragnar Relay visit: https://ragnarrelay.com/

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Where In The World Are We?

We're barely into 2015, but we've already been all over the globe (and we have the selfies to prove it)! From Seattle to Barcelona and some cities in between, where exactly in the world have we been?
 

Barcelona

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Greetings from Barcelona! Graeme recently ventured out to the beautiful country of Spain for the Mobile World Congress. Mobile World Congress is the largest exhibition for the mobile industry in the entire world. While Graeme has visited Barcelona many times before, there is always something new to learn each visit. Here are Graeme's top three takeaways from Barcelona:
 

  1. Biggest takeaway was seeing different parts of the city and being blown away by how beautiful it is. But- could not get my head around the fact there were no outlets at the arrivals hall in the airport which is not good when your bags are on the flight after you!
     
  2. MWC has grown to 80,000 attendees from when I was there last when could not have been more than 5,000. Back then though mobile was not so big!
     
  3. Saw a lot more selfie sticks while sitting back eating paella. Must be a Spanish thing. #vanity

 

Seattle

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Hello from Seattle! Steve spent two weeks in Seattle earlier this year. Steve flies out to Seattle frequently and always enjoys his visits. He loves to take advantage of the city's natural surroundings. During this trip, Steve went to manage the installation of a prototyping project and meet with clients.  There was still plenty to see and do during his down time. Here are Steve's three takeaways from the trip:
 

  1. People in Seattle must tell the rest of the country that it is super rainy to keep them away. Great weather for two weeks straight!
     

  2. The Market Theatre wall of gum in Seattle is really pretty gross, but still a work of art.
     

  3. Driving near Seattle seems worse than Chicago, and maybe even New York. No wonder Redmond claims to be the “Bicycle Capital of the Northwest”. It’s the only way to get anywhere.

     

New York

Hello from the Big Apple! Our newest addition to the team, Ginger, recently flew out to New York to check out one of our current projects. This was a quick trip for Ginger (eight hours to be exact), and she spent all her time in Manhattan. So what impression did Manhattan leave on Ginger during her first and quick visit there? Here are Ginger's three takeaways from New York:
 

  1. Not only are the streets congested but the traffic lanes are narrow... I would be scared to drive in lower Manhattan.  
     
  2. In New York you are right on the ocean but there are no beaches to chill out on like there are in Chicago! #LakeMichigan.
     
  3. Beyond the natural congestion you would be expect in a large city, the view of the skyline from the water front is beautiful and made me want to explore all the various neighborhoods and ports. I really enjoyed walking along the water front and seeing the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty.

     

Chicago

Welcome back to our home base in Chicago! While, Graeme, Steve, and Ginger were traveling- Jose and Gurleen held down the fort in Chicago.  They went through some freezing temperatures but managed to survive until Spring. While Gurleen works on marketing, Jose takes care of some project management tasks. When asked about Chicago, they each reflected on the famous food:
 

  1. Gurleen:  I have a huge sweet tooth, and Chicago is home to the famous Garrett's popcorn. Did you know they have a big fan blowing the delicious caramel popcorn smell outside to attract customers? #deliciousmarketing 
     
  2. Jose: I love Chicago because it allows me to try new things, and this includes all the different restaurants. One of my favorite spots is called The Bagel. It's this Jewish deli/diner that has the BEST matzo ball soup. 
     

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