Google's team blog for the Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage

July 20-21st 2012 Google's 6th year at the Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage! This is a two day, 190 mile relay race from the northern tip of Washington in Blaine, through farm country and along the coast, across Deception Pass and finishing at the southern end of Whidbey Island at Langley. This isn't your average team offsite!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ragnar 2011 Post-mortem

Please comment with any ideas, suggestions, or thoughts for next year!

Race results are in!

4th place Male Corporate
78th place Overall
26:49:30 total time
8:36 average pace

7th place Male Corporate
212th place Overall
29:49:45 total time
9:34 average pace

5th place Male Ultra
162nd place Overall
28:29:24 total time
9:08 average pace

There were 8 teams in the Male Corporate division.
There were 7 teams in the Male Ultra division.
284 teams competed, the fastest finished in 18:55 and the slowest in 34:50

Long-running Batch Jobs actual timing

StreetView actual timing

Feetburner actual timing

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cheat Sheet

Regular teams: 3am Google Kirkland Parking Garage
Ultra team: 8am Google Kirkland Parking Garage
Sergey: 6:30am Starting line in Blaine


Ragnar Gantt Chart

Matthew wrote some code to create a chart of our runs, color coded by the difficulty of the run. Happy geeky running!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our awesome volunteers!

Please heed volunteers directing traffic. They have a difficult job. Be courteous to them. We want them coming back again next year.

Please remember to thank the volunteers. Along with our runners, they are really the heart and soul of the race, and we couldn’t do it without them.

Our volunteers:
Katya M (Googler) - Exchange 16 shift 2, Friday 22:15-03:30
Emily A (Evan's wife) - Exchange 34 shift 1, Saturday 07:30-13:15
Amy C (Googler) - Exchange 11 shift 1, Friday 14:30-19:45

Bill H (Matthew's dad) - Exchange 16 shift 1, Friday 17:45-22:45
Anna R (Sergey's fiancee)- Starting line shift 2, Friday 11:00-19:00
April A (Will's girlfriend) - Merchandise finish shift 2, Saturday 14:45-20:00

Safety Highlights

  1. Each of the 36 legs has been designated as either Support or No Van Support legs. On support legs teams are allowed to support their runner along the course. On non-support legs teams are not allowed to support their runner.
  2. No Van Support/Partial No Support leg are: 2,3,8,29,31,32. There will be a water station on the full no support legs. These sections are clearly marked in the race bible. These No Van Support and Partial No Van Support legs are on roads where the speed limits are higher and dangerous for runners to get in out of the vans and cross the street. Do not leave your vehicle on these sections. In Fort Casey on Leg 31 it has a partial no support portion you cannot stopon. Fort Casey doesn’t want us stopping on the no support part of that leg, It is clearly marked in the Race Bible.Because they have asked us to do that I have reserved Driftwood Park, where you can pull into and wait for your runner. Again all this is marked in the Ragmag
  3. Any team member, who is not currently the “runner”, must carry an orange reflective flag when crossing any street, day or night. At the start line van 1 will be required to check out 2 flags; at exchange 6 van 2 will be required to check out 2 flags. We will take your credit card information, and if flags are not returned your card will be charged $15 per flag. Be sure to bring your credit card to the start line. For more information on road crossing safety, refer to the race bible.
  4. There will be 3 race officials monitoring all race rules along the course. Teams will be observed throughout the race to make sure they are following the rules. Teams will be notified by text message when a rule violation has occurred. If a team receives 3 violations they will be disqualified. Course marshals may also disqualify teams on the spot without prior warning for serious rule violations.
  5. There will be mandatory safety training at the Start Line for van 1 and at Major Exchange 6 for van 2. Each team is required to have all team members, attend the safety training. The safety training will last approximately 10-15 minutes. Please arrive an hour early to give your team enough time to participate in the safety briefing prior to running. Each van will receive a safety packet at the training (Van 1 at the Start Line, Van 2 at Exchange 6). The safety packet will include items that will need to be displayed in the vehicle along with the safety rules.
  6. No sleeping in parking lots. You must sleep on the grass, in designated parking areas, or in your vehicle. There will be indoor sleeping at 12 & 30. Outdoor sleeping at 18 & 24

Top Road Rules

    Van 1: Start Line - 2 Headlamps, 6 Reflective Vests, 2 LED Tail Lights
    Van 2: Exchange 6- 2 Headlamps, 6 Reflective Vests, 2 LED Tail Lights
    Ultra Teams: check in once at the Start Line with enough for just 1 van.
  2. All runners must run on the left side of the road (into traffic) unless directed otherwise.
  3. All runners must have their team number pinned to the front of their shirt or shorts, on the outer most layer of clothing. When you are running at night we suggest that you pin your team number to your reflective vest in a way that doesn’t cover reflective material. The volunteers must be able to identify the runner as they arrive at exchange points.
  4. Only one vehicle per team is allowed to park at each minor exchange point.
    Vehicle 1 is allowed at exchange points 1-6;
    Vehicle 2 is allowed at exchange points 6-12 etc.
    Both vehicles are allowed at every 6th exchange point (6, 12, 18, 24 and 30).
  5. Runners must run in the same sequence for each segment of the race.
    For example, if a runner runs leg 3 he/she must also run leg 15 and leg 27. In the event of an injury any of the 11 remaining runners can replace the injured runner.
    You are not allowed to bring in a 13th member of the team to run the remaining legs.
  6. Vehicles are not allowed to follow racers to illuminate the road for them, or to pace them. Foot pacers are allowed during night time hours but they must also wear the required safety gear at all times. Pacers must obey all traffic laws.
  7. Be Respectful. We depend on the cooperation of local communities and ask that you be respectful and help us maintain a good relationship. Any runners who violate this rule (i.e., littering, defecating, and honking in residential areas at night) will be disqualified and will not be invited back.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Running Times

Here are the current predicted running times for all runners. I'll update this in the next few days as things change.

Group gear list

Please look below to see what you have signed up to bring. If you are signed up for something and can't bring it, please let Amanda know ASAP.

If you don't have a reflective vest, please either buy one (HomeDepot has them cheap) or coordinate with someone who has extras to borrow one. If you have extra vests please bring them just in case.

If you are signed up to bring multiple first aid kits or ice chests, you only need to bring one. We won't need them all but this will allow us to mix and match.

Van info

Van drivers will need to pick up the vans in Kirkland on Thursday ~1pm

Van Drivers:
Matt W
Dennis G

Matthew, Brie, and Amanda will ferry people to the rental agency

Returning the van (Saturday evening):

Thank your drivers!

Major Exchange details

Starting Line
  • Race bag/Shirt pickup
  • Water spigots to fill jugs/bottles
  • VIA Coffee from Starbucks till 11am
Exchange 6
  • First-aid
  • School food fundraiser
  • Water spigots to fill jugs/bottles
Exchange 11 will have food for sale at Edison café. She will have hamburgers and wraps for the racers.
Exchange 12
  • First-aid
  • Water spigots
  • Smores
  • Indoor sleeping
Exchange 18
  • First aid
  • Water spigots
  • Hot cocoa/coffee
  • PB&J
  • Outdoor sleeping
Exchange 24
  • First aid
  • Water spigots
  • Some snacks available for sale
  • Outdoor sleeping
Exchange 30
  • First aid
  • Water spigots
  • Breakfast fundraiser $7
  • Indoor sleeping
Finish line
  • First aid
  • Beer Garden: Each runner will get a $1 beer ticket on their bibs. All other beers are $4 all proceeds are going to the Langley Saratoga Community Housing
  • Food vendors will be there to sell food: Pulled Pork, Island treats, Hot dogs, and Greek wraps
  • Massage, fruit, cookies, cliff bar, Ragnar gear, FRS sport drinks, and more

Important Reminders

  • If you need to drop out, you are responsible for finding a replacement runner. We will not refund the signup fee.
  • Please do not make any special arrangements for starting/finishing the race! Plan on being gone all day Friday and Saturday.
  • Every runner needs a reflective vest, and must wear it at all times from 8:30pm to 5:30am

What to pack

Pack as light as possible, as you will have 6 people + gear in a minivan. Don't forget to put your name on all your gear, especially Google branded stuff!
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle with your name on it
  • Please limit the number of bottles and refill with those powder packets/tabs
  • Running food of your preference (clif bars, goo, whatever you like)
  • Running shoes
  • Running shirt/shorts/socks
  • Three runs, so you may want to bring changes of socks/shirts/shorts.
  • Look at the predicted times and plan according to the weather
  • You’ll get a ragnar tshirt at the starting line
  • Toiletries + small towel for showers - major exchanges have showers
  • Lounge clothes/shoes for when you aren’t running
  • Small sleeping bag/pillow - major exchanges have sleeping areas
  • Cash in small bills- major exchanges have food/showers/sleeping areas for sale and we will be stopping to eat along the way at grocery stores/restaurants)
  • Camera/cellphone and charger
  • Check the gear post to see what team gear you are signed up for (headlamp, buttlight, first aid kit, cooler)
  • We'll put a cooler in each van, and pick up ice and drinking water along the way.

You may want to also read the post mortem from last year

Monday, June 20, 2011

2011 Runner Assignments

Big thanks to Brie for solving the annual leg assignment problem. Here
is the result:

Google Feet Burner
  1. Chrissie O
  2. Amanda H
  3. Kym P
  4. Amanda C
  5. Nicolas Z
  6. Matthew H
  7. Nick D
  8. Brie F
  9. Xinlai N
  10. GC
  11. Sergey U
  12. Gene A

Google Street View
  1. Becky A
  2. Rob E
  3. Dmitry S
  4. Matt W
  5. Dennis G
  6. Ken M
  7. Shuichi K
  8. Alberto M
  9. Jeremy N
  10. Anna C
  11. Patrick O
  12. William M

Long-Running Batch Jobs
  1. David L
  2. David L
  3. Moishe L
  4. Moishe L
  5. Dave M
  6. Dave M
  7. Jordan T
  8. Jordan T
  9. Ken H
  10. Ken H
  11. Evan A
  12. Evan A