Monday, December 19, 2011

A few results to wrap up 2011

What a year it's been for Google1. You can read the blog for the details of our three relays, where we went undefeated in the corporate category.

More recently, the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge produced not one, but two team wins (, as our men's team swept the field, winning by a combined 3 minutes and our mixed team dominated as well. So look for Google along the streets of Chicago, site of the 2012 Corporate Challenge World Championship.

Last weekend, a few members of the team closed out the season with a win in corporate at the West Valley Christmas Relays in San Francisco.

We had a number of notable individual performances in 2011 as well which certainly bodes well for the many miles we have planned for 2012.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

First place corporate division!

The unofficial results are in! (I think) we won the corporate division for the second year in a row! We all joined Craig, our anchor runner, in a ceremonial jog across the sandy finish line. Eddie, Blake and I jumped in the frigid waters after vacillating a bit in the shallows, only to watch an older lady jump right in with no hesitation. After the dip, we joined the others to relax a bit in the beer garden while a rock band played on a beach stage.

Despite a train crossing that held us up for 10 minutes in Portland and a few other minor logistical hiccups, we finished with a time very close to last year's. The official time and results will be available on the Hood to Coast site likely in the next few days.

Thank you Eddie for the many hours of hard work organizing. And thank you to Kerry and Megan for fearlessly piloting the ships and putting up with 12 smelly runners.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Pig Destroyer

Pepperoni, bacon, and meatballs


Van 2 is sitting down to a well deserved slice at Sizzle Pie in Portland. Good luck van 1!


After a solid set of performances from van 2, Craig handed the snap bracelet baton off to Mary Liz, van 1's first runner, in Portland. Van 2 is off to track down a well-earned pie from a local pizza shop. For van 1, it's back to work. Headlamps, hills and 24 Hour Energy ahead.


Van 2 gets to work!

Clean hand off and van 2 is in business. It's really hot on the course and people are needing lots of water.

Latitude is up!

Follow us on Google Latitude! All night! Since it's Friday night and you probably have nothing else to do :)

Mary Liz, Blake, Gretchen and I were discussing how it would be cool to have an app so we can see our current status in the race.

Wow. We just picked up Eddie as he was skipping down the road in his knee-high compression socks. He'll probably say it's some sort of cool-down routine, but I think he just likes to skip.


Van one is DONE ... with Leg one

Big Cat Higgins just wrapped up van one's legs under a brutal late afternoon sun. Earlier, after their blisteringly fast downhill legs, Blake and Mary Liz talked strategy for dealing with the bottom of their feet, which were looking quite gnarly. To pop or not to pop? It's a tough question this early in the race. Luckily we just stopped at a Walgreen's to pick up some mole skin, since I believe they both elected the former.

We're actually not 100% sure if Nike Bowerman started with us. If so, we're not too far behind.

Since we've never started this early, the heat has been a new challenge to deal with. But the worst of it is over. And Eddie just pointed out that we will get awesome tans ... and Blake just suggested getting a Google tattoo on his chest for next relay.


Google1 go!

Google1 is off and running. Mary Liz, in her debut relay, kicked us off from the peak of Mount Hood, dropping ~2000 ft in 5.6 mi. She'll be feeling that in her quads in her third last leg.
She handed off to Blake, who's looking strong. Nike Bowerman, a team that started with us at 1:45 pm, is flying, quite a ways ahead.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Portland. Gorgeous.

Google1 goes back to work

The last weekend in August means one thing for distance relay aficionadoes: Hood to Coast. The team will be heading to Portland tomorrow morning, reporting for our afternoon start. The goal this year is clear: defend the corporate crown.

We'll be posting updates to the blog as we run (as well as running Latitude over the course), so subscribe to the posts and feel free to use the Twitter feed to suggest which pump-up tunes we *need* in the vans for those difficult, early-morning third legs.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Finishing Strong (Van 2 legs 31-36 recap)

The final 6 legs can be summarized as blazing fast downhills followed by some absolutely brutal climbs. Project Mayhem started the set with a sizable lead and extended it into the finish. DSE followed with Google1 in pursuit and Ooyala falling back. We were able to whittle DSE's lead over us to 5 minutes, but didn't have enough ground to overtake them in the end.

Big props to Eddie and Chris for running two of the hardest legs on the course. Also, great performances by Project Mayhem, DSE, and Ooyala. This has been by far the most competitive relay I've run since joining Google1. There was no need for kill counts to occupy our minds this year. Only three other teams to duke it out with. We'll be gunning for you guys next year.

Great job today, Google1. We laid it all out, and I think I speak for everyone in saying there were no regrets. Special thanks as always to our drivers Kerry and Christine. Also, thanks to Eddie and Kerry for your tireless efforts at organizing these relays. They do not go unappreciated.

Breaking it down

I know Eddie will be breaking down our leg times and other details, but I thought I'd provide this one tidbit...

In the last decade (prior to today), there were exactly two performances at The Relay that were faster than the 6:11 pace we managed today:
  1. 2008, Google-1, 6:08 pace
  2. 2004, 12 Angry Men 3, 6:04 pace
The fact is, we did show up this weekend, and we beat our own projections by twenty minutes.  I think we all deserve a congratulations for that!  

Oh, and of course, the two teams who managed to be even faster today deserve a shout-out as well:
  • DSE Racing, 6:09 pace
  • Project Mayhem, 6:05 pace
Well done, folks, and once again it was a privilege running with you.


The Competition Was Fierce (Van 2 legs 19-24 recap)

Van 1 kept us close coming off the Golden Gate Bridge to finish their second set of legs. Project Mayhem (Chico Wildcats Track Club) went through at an undetermined time in first with DSE Racing Team chasing farther away. Back a handful of minutes was Ooyala with Google1 in hot pursuit, trailing by only 30 seconds.

I hawked down Ooyala's runner within the first mile despite being outmatched to provide some motivation for the van and making up some time on DSE in the process. Mike next passed Ooyala and proceeded to go mano-a-mano with DSE's Thor, whom we appropriately nicknamed for his flowing blonde locks and likely participation in the Clydesdale division. Blake showed off his speed by closing the gap with DSE, proving to be a key addition to the team.

Next, Eddie held tough against a strong Ooyala ringer who powered back ahead of us, leaving us a minute behind them and only another minute back from DSE. Kerry gunned the van down the highway so Chris could keep it close on his abbreviated leg before handing off to Cedric who methodically pulled us into the front of the chase pack and then some.

Done and done.

And not a minute too soon. Google 1 did a great job finishing 1st in the Corporate division and 3rd overall. It was by far the most exciting Calistoga relay we've run. The weather was fabulous albeit a tad warm.

After the finish, we joined team Ooyala at the Whale City Bakery for burgers and a very refreshing local brew.

Highlights for me:
-The gopher/groundhog
-Blake Arnold : splendid van 2 pickup
-Eddie's panicked/motivational speech
-Chris Holstrom really taking a few legs for the team
-Brandell sporting not one but a series of bandanas

Many many others come to mind. Thanks all for a great weekend and another victory at The Relay. I didn't get a team pic on my camera but here's an Ooyala/Google pic instead

Van one done

We continued to improve on our predicted finish time, but sadly two teams did even better, and are now ahead of us - one by about 6 minutes, the other by about 9.

It's all on the fast guys in van two now... Run them down like the punks they are!

Top o' the mornin

Nice work so far Google1. Time to polish off those last 5 hr energies and kick it in.

Good luck (from Dublin).


It's going to be close

We have made up ground on all the leaders... There's still one other team with a 6 minute lead, but they seem to be fading a bit. The other teams are behind us for now. Come on runners, let's keep it that way!

Vermin update

Raccoons and lots of them. Crafty little bandits. Saw one scale a trash can, open the flap door, get in AND get out with trash/food for his friends. Impressive.

Golden Gate behind us

Larry, David, Loren, and Angela after can one finished the second set of legs.

Up and at 'em!

We're up after a brief nap at Blake's apartment. So nice to lie down. Sleeping in a van seat is for the birds. One downfall: Blake's roommate had been drinking heavily and walked around all of us sleeping then took his clothes off. No photo.

Still ahead, but still behind

Van one came in several minutes ahead of schedule, but we're still chasing the leaders.

Off to the Google offices in San Francisco for a well deserved nap.

Go get 'em van two!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fun, fun, fun, fun

Andrew crushed his leg giving van two a decent gap with our expected time.

We are still mixing it up with team two, and we think there is another team that is pretty far in front of us, but we're fighting!

Van two back on the course

All the runners are done with their first leg, and we are pretty much right on schedule. Unfortunately, we are trailing a few teams... The field is brutal this year, but we're still in the hunt.

Reelin' Them In

Van 2 just finished off our first set of legs with two solid runs. Chris closed the gap by three minutes, putting us six minutes back from the leaders. Cedric followed up on leg 12 by catching Ooyala--who had dropped out of the lead--and moving Google1 two minutes closer to the leaders.

Van 1 now takes over with four minutes to make up. This is still anyone's race.

We Have Ourselves A Race

The competition has been tight up front with Ooyala and DSE alternating leads. Google1 is in the hunt along with Project Mayhem in the chase pack.

Currently, Big Cat is powering though the 8.1 miles of leg 10. Ooyala has a stud up front putting considerable distance on the field. Project Mayhem is also running strong, recently passing DSE to move them into second. The current gap between Google1 and the leaders is 7 minutes and 25 seconds with 2 miles left in leg 10.

Runner 10 going strong.

After a minor flub at the last exchange, Eddie is going strong. Ooyala, however, is crushing this course. There are a lot of love bugs flying around some gorgeous scenery.

Van 1 done with first leg

Van one came in three minutes, sixteen seconds ahead of schedule on the first set of legs.

We are still trailing another team by about a minute and a half, but hopefully van two can get the lead back.

Pack it up, Pack it in

It pays to be punctual.  After last year's close call at the start, we've learned our lesson and made it out of Safeway with plenty of time to spare.  Calistoga here we come.

(Currently playing on the Bone:  "You Can't Always Get What You Want" - Rolling Stones)

In napa

On 29 going through St. Helena. Starting to see runners...

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Welcome to the NEW blog & Organs R Us

Google1's preparing for the Calistoga Relay this weekend. We'll post updates to the blog and to Twitter (follow us @google1relay) as the race approaches.

Meantime, our congratulations to Organs R Us, the beneficiary of the race this weekend. They recently were awarded a grant from Google to expand their message using Google advertising. The importance of the cause of organ donation is impossible to overstate and Organs R Us has done an excellent job raising money and awareness, with $25 million raised to date. We're delighted to partner with them and join the hundreds of others in the Relay.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Official results and pictures

A race well run--official results are here (pdf)! We finished in a little over 20 hours, clocking 6:07s over 197 miles of beautiful Arizona desert. Below are some pictures--see if you can tell when the sunset turns into a sunrise.
Ragnar Del Sol 2011

Thanks to all of the volunteers (especially those from Future for Kids, the organization that benefited from the race) from the race organizers. And, finally, to the steady hands on the Google1 van wheels, Kerry and Megan.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


We finished around 11 am in Tempe Arizona (near Phoenix). Angela closed it out with a strong kick at the end. We enjoyed the complimentary massages at the end and muscle milk samples to refuel (and get huge). Just had a nice brunch at a nice little spot called U.S. Egg. We finished in first place!

After some food, two hours sleep and the second leg done looks like we are still ahead!

Van 1: zzzzz...

It's been a hard day's night, and now it's time to catch a few winks.  Van 2 has taken over the grind.  If their first set of legs is any indication, we should be further under our projected finishing time (and extending our lead going into the final set of legs).

Friday, February 25, 2011

Start and sunset

The glory of mobility

Testing the mobile blog posting.

The desert is gorgeous, were back on pace and van 1 has finished its
first set of legs.

Sent from my mobile device

Time-out to watch the sun set

Sun's down gun's out

We're about a minute ahead of the second team, passing cacti and mountains as we cruise through the desert. Sun is setting ... yet sun's out gun's out: in the middle of his leg, Crosby flexed, flashing a Ragnar temporary tat on his forearm. Brian is killing it on his leg currently. Eddie, Brent, Jeff and I have also run our legs


Google1 Van 1 Dressed for the Ball

Heading to Wickenburg

Update from van 1: we're off and running -- not literally quite yet. Jeff kicks us off at 3 pm. Brian just arrived and we have a PHX to Wickenburg drive ahead of us under sunny, relatively clear skies. Veteran van pilot Kerry and Megan are at the wheel.