Wednesday, September 27
Always 70 and Sunny
Always 70 and Sunny

Public Displays of Bag Balm


Eight overheated and occasionally confused runners posted for F3 RVA’s first Ragnar.  Two more PAX came to support the crew, and everyone lived to tell about it.., with some mental scarring.

Thang:  The team of eight runners rotated through 3 loops (Green, Yellow and Red) within Pocahontas State Park from 1730 Friday to 1700 Saturday.  The loops stayed sequential so that all eight team members did each loop. Each of the loops were also fairly different with us rotating in the following order: Honey Do, Mr. Peabody, Toga, Lab Rat, Lockjaw, Ear Muffs, Saab, and BT.  Each runner came in and transitioned at the same spot.

NMM:  Mr. Peabody and YHC arrive ~0845 to learn that we were fairly early for Friday setup, but it turns out that most of the serious and experienced Ragnarians come in on Thursday.  This meant that we were the tallest midget/best possible site for those who didn’t know about this.  Mr. Peabody scouted ahead while YHC took the shuttle back from the parking area.  Mr. Peabody sent the following text, “potty or swamp?”  After confirming that he was indeed explaining our campsite choices, we wisely chose swamp and had the profound luxury of a tree that took up a lot of our 300 square feet, but provided some amount of shade.  We then acted as Sherpas carrying gear and supplies down the hill and way down the field (this comes into play on the return).  YHC borrowed the kids’ wagon, and many a Ragnarian looked on with jealousy and disgust as we hauled in our loot.

Shortly thereafter Lab Rat arrived with the remainder of the gear.  The focal point of this was the classic wooden (yes, wooden) card table that Lab Rat was supposed to treat with the utmost care because of its antique status.  Very little care was taken.

The rest of the gang piled in with time to spare before our 1530 official checkin and safety video.  The PAX practiced diligently at the “make yourself look big and make lots of noise” instructions in the event of running into a bear.

For those looking for a play by play like TYA’s recounting of The Colonial, forget it.  We learned that Ragnar does not have the team at each transition like you would in a van relay.  The entire PAX, including Sippy Cup and Offshore, went up the hill with Honey Do to see him off at 1730, and then the cycle began.  Several people went to eat, some went to get ready, and some went to lounge at the campsite.  Usually the next guy and maybe the guy after him went up the hill as people were scheduled to come in, and a handy timing screen told you when they were a quarter mile out.  We repeated this little dance 23 more times, and the PAX put in some great, hard work through the heat and humidity of the park.

General Observations:

  • Special welcome to FNG Geoff = Mr. Peabody.
  • Running in the “shade” in the woods does not mean it will be cooler.  There was little wind and plenty of humidity to add to a fun filled evening.
  • EVERYONE’s favorite leg was the one they ran in the middle of the night.  It was also the coolest.  Coincidence?
  • You get more sleep at Ragnar vs. BRR.  There will be comments about this, but these are the facts.  Lockjaw may have slept more/snored more than at home, Mr. Peabody was gone for hours in his hammock, and Saab never menstruated.  He was downright jovial except for the headphones.
  • Saab really doesn’t like people that wear headphones when they run.  He’s passing so many people with his blazing speed (a very real fact) that they don’t hear him him screaming out “On your left!”  This causes Saab to vent a lot in the wee hours of the morning to the delight of all our neighbors.
  • Funny thing about headphones.., YHC was either nearly bitten by or nearly stepped on a snake while listening to Asia’s Heat of the Moment.  YHC just couldn’t hear the runner in front of him yelling “Look out for the snake!”  Come on!  It’s a solid, classic song, and it was damn hot.  Maybe Saab is on to something.
  • TYA’s proud tradition of publicly applying bag balm is alive and well.  Lockjaw proudly set the can of bag balm on the aforementioned antique table and went to work with an audience of at least four PAX.  When urged to take the show somewhere else, it was explained that TYA taught Saab and Saab taught Lockjaw.  It’s beautiful when knowledge is handed down (get it, “handed”.., I kill me sometimes).  it should also be noted that Lockjaw deposited the balm next to the stove.  Is that stuff flammable?
  • YHC is not aware of anyone pooping in anyone’s yard.
  • Ear Muffs knows everyone in the fitness community.  At any given time he would run into folks from various Crossfit boxes, Marathon Team in Training, 10k Team in Training, … This should have helped with meeting tomatoes.
  • Tomato quality at Ragnar is not what one might hope.  There was one hopeful bearing the stars and stripes of Wonder Woman.  Due to campsite proximity we saw the stars up in the air all the time.  Lab Rat later reported back that this was not the Wonder Woman that you hope makes you tell the truth.  C’est dommage.
  • Nothing gets to Honey Do.  The heat, lack of sleep, seeing hairy men apply bag balm three feet away.., not even an arched eyebrow.  The guy is the Val Kilmer/Ice Man of F3 RVA.  Is it the military training, the mask of a serial killer, or because gingers have no soul?  We may never know.
  • Lab Rat just wants to play games.., any game: Risk, Spades, Hearts….  He will renew this request regularly even if you act like you can’t hear him.
  • YHC can’t say it enough, but there were some tough runs in this.  Everyone had at least one rough leg, but everyone was there ready and waiting at the transition.  Honey Do really blazed a couple of his legs, Saab clawed back some time for us, BT crushed the glory leg in spite of seeing all of us come back with warnings to drink and carry as much water as possible.  It was a strong showing by all.

Thanks for letting me be a part of this team!


Stay Classy,



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  1. Honey Do RVA on

    Great organization Toga, dare I say up to TYA standards. That last leg in the heat wore me out and wanting to walk more than any other relay, BRR, etc. Was totally spent. On the plus side F3RVA looks like track stars compared to the others there. Would do it again!

  2. BT (Big Tennessee) on

    Great event. Thoroughly enjoyed the continual 2nd F, although a good deal of it is fuzzy in my mind. Could have been the bag balm, I imagine. I crashed as soon as I got home and didn’t move until almost 11 pm when my son woke me up and asked if I was going to feed him.

  3. Excellent organization and great effort by all. The camping was a different spin having to haul all the gear in and out and close proximity to our neighbors.

    Soreness still resides but will eventually fade, not like the memories of this experience with a great team.

  4. Great performance by everyone on F3RVA…I was truly impressed. Extended thanks to Toga for his preparation, schlepping, and all around effort in making this event happen.

    With great company administering a lot of laughs throughout, the PAX served as my MIDOL to keep my menstruation at bay.

  5. Dude, hats off to Toga for organizing this! Seriously great event. I had a blast and will echo everybody else’s sentiment: That last run in the day was one of the hardest runs I can remember…ever. Had a blast though, cannot wait for the next trip! Two teams next year?!?

    Also, anybody up for Scrabble?

  6. Forgot to add, welcome to Mr. Peabody! He fell right in to the flow, great dude to have around.

  7. BT (Big Tennessee) on

    For the record, I’m a little disappointed in not getting to witness a full blown Saab menstruation cycle.

  8. Way to push through the heat and represent F3 RVA. Congrats and welcome to Mr. Peabody.

  9. Well done Ragnar team. Way to represent.

    Welcome Mr. Peabody – hope you make it out to an AO near you soon.

  10. You can tell that you have come off a relay weekend when your Monday morning snack is a grape Gatorade and a peanut butter cliff bar. Instinct and habit kicking in….