Orange County Branch Newsletter
ASCE OC Members Enjoy a Leisurely (!!!) 200 Mile Relay Race
By: Carolynn Nepomuceno and Alex Maher
Recently, a group of ASCE Orange County members formed a team and ran the Ragnar So Cal Relay. What is Ragnar? It is an overnight relay race that spans nearly 200 miles starting in Huntington Beach and finishing in San Diego’s Mission Bay. Teams are made up of 12 runners that take turns to continuously run until all miles are completed.
Team ASCE was a mixed group with 9 men and 3 women. Each runner tackled three legs of varying distances and elevation changes. Most of the time was spent running, driving, and cheering on fellow team members; although, the team did manage to catch a couple hours of sleep. Ragnar So Cal is filled with challenges, from the blazing California sun and the frigid ocean breezes to the exhausting hill climbs and the empty darkness of night runs. Team ASCE persevered through the mental and physical challenges of running to build camaraderie through cheering and support of one another. Van decorations are a large part of the Ragnar Race series, it gives teams an opportunity to express what their team name means and who their members are. Team ASCE was no exception, they decorated their vans with civil engineering formulas, diagrams, and kill tallies (when a team member passes a runner on their leg). Team ASCE also had shirts with sprayed on pocket protectors featuring engineering must-haves: pens, pencils, and calculator.
After more than 30 hours of running, the entire ASCE Ragnar Team crossed the finish line together and received individual medals. These special medals fit together to form a giant medal that reads “Ragnar Relay Series. Together, we ran 200-ish miles”. Overall, the Ragnar Relay wasn’t just a race. It was a wonderful experience that brought together bright, active civil engineers and provided rich memories for a lifetime. Here are some of what the ASCE team members mentioned as their personal favorite moments from this year’s Ragnar Relay:
“Beyond enjoying 32+ hours with our van runners, I enjoyed my last leg starting on Solano Beach just before sunrise and watching the sun come up - beautiful leg, notwithstanding the climb.” – Greg Henk
“Best part – cheering our runners as they battled through hot weather, steep climbs, night conditions, early AM cold! Next best part – when you’re on the other end, feeling the adrenaline kicking in when you see your team-mates cheering you on.” –Josue Vaglienty
“You can’t run 200 miles without refueling! After all of our van runners had finished their final legs, we headed to Denny’s for breakfast. Eggs, sausage (I don’t like bacon!), and hash browns never tasted so good! It was such a great feeling to celebrate our accomplishments together and close out an amazing experience.” – Carolynn Nepomuceno
“I can’t pick just one thing. My favorite moments included creating the most nerdy engineering van art, having my team cheer me on as I climb the longest hill of my leg, and enjoying a mid-race beer with my teammates.” – Josh McNeill
“My favorite part about Ragnar was overcoming the challenges of a difficult course, night running, and cold to accomplish a goal together. Also, the impromptu trips for snacks and decorations during the relay.” – Jason Fix
“Ragnar is built on camaraderie and support of one another, from teammates to strangers, the roar of cheers for you to struggle onward is unforgettable.” – Alex Maher
Thank you to ASCE OC Branch for all their support!