Runner #1:  Jaclene Simpson

Ragnar Experience: Jaclene will be making her Ragnar debut and leading us off at 7:30 am!

Connection to the Team: Clene is a friend of Josh, but a Chicago native who’ll be joining the PA van.

Jaclene, we hear your coworkers laughed at you when you said you were doing a Ragnar?
They laughed at Louis Armstrong when he said he was gonna go to the moon. Now he’s up there laughing at them. ”

Runner #2:  Rodney Gruin

Ragnar Experience: This will be lucky #7 for Rodney.  He’s run 5 DC Ragnars and a legendary WV Trail Ragnar with Ian and Spencer.

Connection to the Team: Rodney, aka the Rod Dog, is married with Tracy… Tracy works with Karis.

Rodney, when things go sideways on the team, what do you say to regroup everyone?
All right, this has got to stop right now. From here on out, you guys are a team. You understand? You are going to eat together, sleep together. You are going to pee together. You’re going to file a joint income tax return. Practice starts now. End of discussion.”

Runner #3:  Sarah McDaniel

Ragnar Experience: Sarah is running her 4th Ragnar, having 2 DCs and a PA Ragnar under her belt.

Connection to the Team: Sarah works with Ian and was guilted into subbing in 3 days before her first Ragnar. She’s now training to run ultras!

Sarah, rumor is that you brought along your favorite toothbrush for the race?
No exaggeration, I could not love a human baby more then I love this brush.”

Runner #4:  Tracy Gruin

Ragnar Experience: Tracy will be running Ragnar number 6, but making her debut outside of DC, where she’s run her previous 5 Ragnars.

Connection to the Team: Tracy is a teacher at Twin Valley and works with Karis.  She’s also married to Rod Dog and goes by Tre Tre on Ragnar runs.

Tracy, what’s a likely statement to hear you say to your vanmates during a Ragnar?
Ugh, I’m getting sick. You smell like aftershave and taco meat.”

Runner #5:  Karis Gendreau

Ragnar Experience: Karis goes for double digits this year, with 7 DC and 2 PA Ragnars in her past.  Great Midwest will be #10.

Connection to the Team: Karis is married to Ian and works at Twin Valley, where she’s recruited a long list of runners.

Karis, you’ve got a reputation for your tips on dealing with wildlife during Ragnar. What do you say to the animals?
“Hey! Hey, you little forest creatures! None of you sons of bitches try to be heroes!”

Runner #6:  Josh Hong

Ragnar Experience: Josh is running his 3rd Ragnar, having run Ragnar DC and PA in 2018.

Connection to the Team: Josh joined us through his Sarah connection and will be taking on the Ragnar leg of the race this year.

Josh, you’re really fast and a great guy, but I hear you had a troubled childhood?
“Troubled childhood? If you consider a 9 year old kid with a 35 year old girlfriend troubled.”


Runner #7:  Wes Muller

Ragnar Experience: Wes is making his Ragnar maiden voyage this year, fresh off a sub-3 hour Boston Marathon performance.

Connection to the Team: Wes is married to Aimee, whose sister is Julie, who is dating/tolerating Spencer.

Wes, you just finished Boston. How are you feeling about that race heading into Ragnar?
“I remember Boston, and that victory was as sweet as the cream pie for which the town was named.”

Runner #8:  Julie Keenan

Ragnar Experience: Julie is also a Ragnar first-timer and the first person in Chicago Spencer sweet talked into doing this race.

Connection to the Team: Julie is dating Spencer, at least until she sees him in glow-in-the-dark neon glasses at 2am.  Then all bets are off.

Julie, supposedly Spencer has a sweet apartment that the PA crew is going to be able to crash at.  Is that true?
“We don’t have any of that. What we got is a cold storage unit that a buddy of mine let me flood with a garden hose.”

Runner #9:  Spencer Sunde

Ragnar Experience: Spencer has run 7 DC Ragnars, adding in a Trails WV race to make it 8 overall.  Great Midwest will be #9.

Connection to the Team: Ian and Spencer are immortalized on the Liberty Tap Room wall together, and was talked into Ragnar after just 12-13 high octane beverages.

Spencer, Ian is finally coming out to Chicago.  How will you likely greet him?
“I see you still look like a 15-year-old girl but not hot.”

Runner #10:  Molly Murray

Ragnar Experience: Molly is another member of our Chicago team making her debut at Ragnar Great Midwest.

Connection to the Team: Molly is a friend of Julie, who is dating Spencer, who is one of our long time Ragnar regulars.

Molly, how would you rate your vanmates preparation for Ragnar Great Midwest?
“Not only did we embarrass Marky Mark, we let down the Funky Bunch.”

Runner #11:  Aimee Muller

Ragnar Experience: Aimee is the last Ragnar newbie making her first Ragnar appearance at leg 11.

Connection to the Team: Aimee is Julie’s sister, … okay, seriously, you get this all by now, right?

Aimee, what does the word Ragnar actually mean?
“No one knows what it means! But it’s provocative. It gets the people going!”

Runner #12:  Ian Gendreau

Ragnar Experience: Ian is running Ragnar #13, with 9 DCs, 2 PAs, and a WV Ragnar Trail on his resume.

Connection to the Team: Ian found this crazy race online in 2010, mentioned it to a couple coworkers, and a decade later, here we are.

Ian, Karis is running in the other Van this Ragnar, so how’s that going to work?
“Well, this is Rice without Montana. Ali without Frasier. Han Solo without Chewbacca.”