Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Final Stretch

Breakfast ends and it is time to hit the road again!  So, off we go to the final VTA and some goofing around.  You see we have these team t-shirts.  The back looks like this:

and the front like this:
and then somebody had the brilliant idea of recreating the shirt LIVE!  So LIVE FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE IT IS THE T-SHIRT!  Okay, not as exciting as Saturday Night Live but still.
Overall, this is certainly one of my all time favorite relay pictures!  Dora was perfect for the van's "runner" sitting on top in a yoga pose.  It took some convincing but she finally agreed to handle the honors!

We did actually do some running.  Here I am somewhere in the home stretch
Later on Kevin was off and running.  What a trooper!  He had some injury issues earlier but with some help managed to ward them off and looked great in his final leg.  Here is Jay cheering him on
Finally, no Rosie Ruiz Fan Club relay would be complete without the "We finished!" team photos!  First down at the beach
and then at Jay's house with the all important road kill boards
Our road kill boards are not your typical road kill boards.  Most teams take this seriously (yes, seriously they take it seriously) and to make fun of those that do we have ours!  On a typical board you get one road kill per person you pass.  On ours, you get a sticker if you pass somebody, get passed and if you pass back and forth the sticker count can really soar! Our goal is to fill to sheets of poster board with lots of stickers and we succeeded!

Did I mention that the Green Line sand baggers saved us in the end!  Yes, it is true.  Had we arrived on schedule the poor runners in the Orange Line would have been soaked!  About an hour after we got in, it started to rain.  A cold, miserable rain began to fall.  Not fun!  But, we were done by then!

Alas, that was the end of our annual adventure!  But, I hope to see the team back in action for the 2015 Reach the Beach Relay!  Ride Rosie Ride!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Back on the Road

After a good few hours of sleep it was our turn again.  In the Green Line you run a leg, have "dinner" (think plain pasta if you do not want to reeat dinner on your second leg), run your second leg, nap, run your third leg and head to the beach.  In the Orange Line you go off to have lunch (big mistake if it is more than a Cliff bar and I paid for that mistake), run a leg, nap, run a leg, get breakfast and then run to the beach.  Which means that post napping we were off for the first of our two remaining legs.

The Green Line pulled into the VTA and here is where we took over.
Night legs mean night time pictures, which are really, really tough to get.  You cannot use a flash because we are all wearing reflective gear.  But every now and then you get a photo that is something other than a blurry line of light.  This one is of Nancy at the van waiting for one of our teammates to run by.
The next shot is of Jay and is in my humble opinion one of the best night time action shots I have seen.  Even then it does not do him justice.  Seeing Jay race walk is something else.  He is fast!

Towards the end of our second leg the sun started to come up and Kevin, always in a good mood, actually has the presence of mind to wave to the camera after basically having had very little sleep and by now run several miles!
The end of the leg brings the Orange Line into the park where the Green Line was spending their nap time.  Here is Dora coming into her finish line.
Next up breakfast!  What does a team look like after two legs and no sleep you may wonder?  Not bad, not bad at all!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

And We're Off!

I would write at long last the Green Line arrives and it is our turn on the course.  But the Green Line turned out to be just chock full of sandbaggers!  Some people!  They showed up about an hour, an hour!, ahead of forecast.  So, after a quicker than expected lunch it was the Orange Line's turn to cover the course.

Robin comes in and Paula heads out.

As you can see by now all of the clouds cleared off and we had a beautiful afternoon and evening sky under which to begin our run.

As night settled in the temperatures started to drop and the later it got the heaver the clothing.  Here is Nancy at one of the RTA and as you can see it was now time for some long sleeved shirts.
In one of those rare night shots that looks good we see Jay waiting for our teammate's arrival.
Then in comes Kevin, out goes Dora (our last runner) and then Paula (on the right hand side of the picture) and the rest of the Orange Line get some down time for a nap.
And here we are parked for a good night's nap.
Now there was just one little detail here at the VTA.  You see, Nancy and I thought teams would be allowed to sleep in the school gym at the VTA.  No dice.  It was the van, outdoors or nothing.  Nancy and Kevin picked outdoors in sleeping bags, the rest of us shacked up on the seats in the van.  Actually, I think this worked out a lot better than the hotel option the team has used in the past.   The reduced travel time and extra nap time was a good trade.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

And The're Off!

Our first runner out of the gate was Nick.  We started under cloudy but rain free sky.  It seems like it rains every year during the race, with some luck maybe this year will be different.

I know others on the team managed to get a better picture of Nick than I did, but for now you will have to live with this one.  Nick is in a yellow shirt hidden and is mostly hidden behind the guy in blue.

Fortunately, I did get a better shot of Nick along the course:
Nick then handed the wrist strap (a.k.a. baton, but in this case gross and sweaty) to the other Matt and off he went.
Matt clearly knows how to get a good running picture!  See that smile and that form!  Nancy looks impressed too!

This is the first year I have ever run with the Orange Line.  The Green Line starts on the course first, so when Nick headed out they headed out after him!  The Orange Line started to mosey on down to the first VTA and take pictures along the way.  This shot is actually along the relay route.  It is one of the more picturesque spots with a view of the valley and a railroad track in the background as you drive along.

From left to right:  Me, Nancy, Kevin, Paula, Jay and Dora.  By now the clouds had cleared and a beautiful sunny afternoon was on tap!

Eventually we made it to the VTA and headed off to our first real test: lunch!  Yes, in on the Orange Line that is your first task, get to the VTA and eat lunch.  At first I thought we had this chore down pat.  But later that night I would find out otherwise.  But before then things looked good as we waited for a table.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Why Blogs are Losing to Facebook

I tried posting to the blog from my cell phone.  But, mostly it just ended up saying post failed.  At least if it included pictures.  My teammates (sand baggers and all) instead posted to Facebook.  Posting there via a cell phone -- easy!  They even went so far as to create a Rosie Ruiz Fan Club 2014 Facebook page.  So if you want to see some posts about our adventures apart from what I add here, go check out the Facebook page.

In the meantime I will do my best to keep the Rosie Ruiz Fan Club blog going for at least this year.  I will add a post and picture or two per day until I cover the whole adventure.  Where to start?  Easy, at the beginning which would be Thursday night dinner!  We stayed at the Nordic Inn and as it turns out a pretty good restaurant called the Common Man is just about next door.

Clockwise from the left:  Nancy, Andrew, Robin, Jay (hey, Jay look up!), Nick, Denise and about two-thirds of Paula.

Post dinner it was off to bed and then up for a morning of van decorating!

That is Matt (the other Matt on the team) and Nick hard at work putting up the Christmas tree lights which we use at night.  Ever wonder why teams decorate their vans?  Just imagine trying to find your team's van among a few hundred identical white 15 person vans and you will get the idea.  Why put lights on top?  Imagine trying to find your van in the dark among a few hundred vans that all look alike when it is dark out!

Of course, the Green Line is not the only van that gets the royal Rosie treatment we do the same for the Orange Line.

Here you can see the somewhat finished product. The lights are up and many of the large side decorations are too.  I tell you, when you are running there is nothing like seeing that bright shiny "The Orange Line" sign up ahead!

Last here is a shot of the whole team in front of one of the finished products.

Front row from left to right:  Andrew, Robin, Jay and Denise
Back row from left to right:  Nick, Matt (the other Matt), Kevin, Jennifer, Paula, Nancy, Dora and Matt (a.k.a. me).

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Whatever Gets You Through the Night

A few hours later and Robin is on the road. Time to rise and groggy for the Orange Line. For the first time we skipped the Friday hotel. That means no shower but more sleep than I have ever had on a relay like this. Good trade!

Survived the Night

We finished our legs. Maybe in more ways than one! Five out of six members remain of the Orange Line. The surviving members Nancy, Jay, Dora, Paula and I are at breakfast. Alas, we lost Kevin. Word is he is asleep in the van. The other word is we survivors wish we were asleep too! But one must do with what one can do.

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Night at the VTA

Our sand bagging teammates are back out on the road.  We are at the next VTA getting ready to go to sleep for the "night"  that is if by night you mean 3 hours max.

Orange Line Lunch Stop

This is the first year I have ever been on the Orange Line (van 2 on most teams). The Green Line is on the course and we have a few hours to get something to eat. We have stopped at the Cabin Fever Restaurant. Boy do I wish they had WiFi! But I really hope that the food is good.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Crashing for the Night

We are all here at the mountain. Or at least were. We checked in. Then went to dinner at The Common Man restaurant in Lincoln New Hampshire. It was pretty good. Nothing fancy. But good.  Then it was a short, as in walking distance short, drive to the Nordic Inn where we are spending the night.

I brought the muffins and breads Nancy and I made yesterday in from the car.   Then Nancy confiscated it all! Yes all!! Women! Harrumph!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Rough Ride for Rosie But All is Well Now

This has been a hectic few days for the Rosie Ruiz Relay team.  On Monday morning Amandeep withdrew after coming down ill leaving our noble crew with 11 runners.  Plans B and C swung into play.  Plan B was to find a new twelfth runner.  Plan C was to figure out a rotation using just 11 people.  With only three days to find a new teammate, it seemed like it was going to be Plan C for sure.  But, just this afternoon, with less than 24 hours to our first van's departure for Cannon Mountain our hero arrived!  Dora is once again on the team!  Three cheers for our teammate coming to bat for us.  Appropriately, she is currently scheduled to be runner 12 in the rotation and will bring the team into the finish!  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

T-Shirt Sneak Peek!

Want to know what this year's team t-shirt looks like!  I bet you would!  So without further ado, here is a sneak peek for you to savor.

Darn box got in the way!  Well they are safely inside it.  Really!  Sorry this is the closest you get to the shirt prior to the team's arrival at Cannon Mountain!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Then There Were 11 and Then 12 and Then 11 and Then . . .

Well, getting this team together has not been easy!  For the fourth, yes fourth, time we have a full compliment of 12 runners!  Earlier iterations have been hidden from those reading this blog as they occurred prior to my posting with the whose on the team list.  That list seems to have been quite ephemeral.  I am sorry to report that we lost Chris to his new employer.  But, in his place I am happy to welcome Kevin!  A big hand for Kevin for coming to our rescue at the last minute!

To keep the current roster intact, Robin suggested that until the race we wrap ourselves in bubble wrap and not pick up any calls from work.  I tried running in bubble wrap this morning and all I can say is it is really hot!  Taking a shower also proved difficult as the water just rolled right off of the plastic.  I think this idea may need some refinement.  Jay apparently lives with his boss and we have suggested he get a divorce and move out.  For some reason was not too keen on that idea.  Some people!  All right, none of this is true.  Well, none other than Robin's suggestion. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

I would like to introduce the Official 2014 Rosie Ruiz Fan Club Reach the Beach Relay team!  Yes, yes, I know you have waited up late at nights in hope the news would break.  Well now it has!  (Just nobody, and I mean nobody get hurt between now and when we leave for Cannon mountain!)

In no particular order: me - (1) a.k.a. Matt, (2) Paula, (3) Chris, (4) Andrew, (5) Nancy, (6) Matt (yes, we know this will be confusing), (7) Jennifer (the better half of the confusingly named other Matt), (8) Robin, (9) Denise, (10) Nicholas (son of Denise), (11) Jay and (12) Amandeep.  (Applause, applause!)

Our team is set.  Our hotel for the night before the race is booked.  The vans are booked.  The decorations are all ready to roll.  Last but not least this year's team t-shirts look like they will show up tomorrow!