Bring on the Bling

Monday, July 6, 2015

Ragnar 2015

A few months ago, my former roommate, Kristin, posted a request on her Facebook wall for Ragnar volunteers. Ragnar teams that have a runner from the place where the race is at is required to produce 3 volunteers for the race. I know it doesn't seem like a lot, but when the shifts are hours long, in the middle of nowhere, and at all hours of the night, it can be pretty tough to scrounge up some willing friends. Since I didn't have any plans yet for that weekend (it was still pretty far out), I signed up and let her know. Pretty soon after, I heard from her team captain, Lindsey. She let me know that there was another type of volunteer, called a "SWAT" volunteer..."Sweaty, Wet, And Tired." These particular types of volunteers manage the other volunteers and have shifts for about 12 hours straight. Would I be interested in that, she asked? Why not! #YesYear2015

After applying online to be a SWAT (apparently there's a tough screening process since we would potentially be in charge of other people) and a brief phone interview, I was accepted and given an assignment. I was to manage Exchange #16 in Henefer, with 22 volunteers between 6:30pm-7:00am. Woof. I was excited as this was my first real experience with Ragnar. I will NEVER run this race, but am happy to help. Hopefully I'll be able to volunteer for Kristin's team every year!

Site of the exchange...complete with a dozen of the cleanest port-o-potties I've ever seen! Notice the lack of street lights...

Standard selfie on the route...and it's really HOT!

Our exchange was an up-and-back...meaning the runners didn't continue past us; rather they ran up to the church, exchanged runners, then ran back the way their teammates came...we didn't have a spotlight or any other street lights, so it was a little confusing at some points of the race.

Watching the sunset towards the beginning of the race... sunglasses match my awesome vest that all of us were required to wear...

The actual exchange/chute is between the orange cones where my volunteer was standing.

Some of my awesome 1st shift volunteers wearing the swag I brought for them...and the hats/vests provided by Ragnar!

Glow necklaces staring to fade around 4am

Waiting for the sunrise around 5am...with the last few runners nowhere to be found!

My exchange was fortunate enough to have one of the largest parking lots for the race vans. Unfortunately, the entrance/exit routes that Ragnar provided weren't the best...we had major traffic issues at prime time (about 1:00am)...but my awesome volunteers were able to figure out a better flow, so we were able to move the hundreds (yes...hundreds) of vans that were coming in and out of our parking lot. 

After working 9 hours of a regular day at the U, then driving 1 hour to get to Henefer, then working a 12 hour volunteer shift where I was again on my feet the entire time...I'm so surprised I was able to function. Granted, I did have to stop in Park City on my way home (at 7:00am) to take a quick power nap in a parking lot before I finished the drive home. I made it home to shower and sleep a bit. I fell asleep around 8:00...and woke up at 4:00pm. I guess I was a little tired...? empty parking lot!

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