Team ProModel Conquers Ragnar Once Again!

Team ProModel at the Finish Line

Team ProModel at the Finish Line

The 2014 Ragnar Relay Recap…according to Jay Wisnosky, Tim Shelton, and Pat Sullivan

So there’s this event  where 12 people team together, split up runners into two separate vans and then run a 200 mile relay. It’s called the Ragnar Relay.  Yes, that’s how it first gets explained to you…

Then you get more information like, “you’ll have to run about 15-18 miles tops. It’s tough and there’s a lot of hills, but it’s a lot of fun.”  Fun?

https://www.ragnarrelay.com/

“12 friends, 2 vans, 2 days, 1 night, 200 mile relay…unforgettable stories.”  This is Ragnar. Pat Sullivan’s blog about Ragnar began with this quote last year, and I think it summarizes the event for the rest of us still.

But to get a true picture of Ragnar, you really have to put yourself in a white, 15 person passenger van with 5 other people. It’s close quarters in there. It goes from clean one minute to trashed the next and never smells good or is quiet enough to sleep. Some people are your co-workers, some are friends, and some are complete strangers. You then have to imagine you are about run anywhere from 4 to 8 miles – it’s now YOUR turn. Whatever routine you had to get ready to run at home is gone…replace that with stretching in a van surrounded by running shoes and gym bags. This is when you start to get nervous because you’re in unfamiliar territory, you’re excited, but also tired, and there’s a good chance you have to go to the bathroom from all that water you’ve been drinking. This is when you hope you trained enough. This is when you tell yourself that after this leg, you still have two more to go…and you probably won’t be sleeping between them. This is when you say, “what did I get myself….” and then one of your teammates asks, “what do you need? Some water? Something to eat.” And you relax, knowing that the collection of people in that van are with you -they have your back and will help you through it, even if you are wishing you trained for this a lot harder than you actually did.

Kelly handing off to Jason

Kelly handing off to Jason

Another year, another ProModel Ragnar team built on commitment, dedicated teamwork and a great mixture of veteran leadership and new, eager faces.  From October  24-26, Team ProModel meshed as a team in one of America’s most grueling endurance races. The Chattanooga to Nashville Ragnar Relay undoubtedly demanded an often extraordinary level of dedication and sacrifice.  The twelve person 2014 team consisted of team captain Tim Shelton, (ProModel Sr Army Program Manager), Pat Sullivan (ProModel VP for Army Programs),  Dan Hickman (ProModel CTO), Clay Gifford (ProModel Developer for DST), Jay Wisnosky (ProModel Technical Writer for DST) Brian Brown, Susan Whitehead, Sheri Shamwell, Mickelle Penn, Kelly Parker,  Lisa Reyes and Jason Mcormick.  And of course, with a great deal of support and commitment from Keith Vadas and Carl Napoletano…and the incredible effort of Christine Bunker (ProModel marketing) and                                                         our awesome driver (Chief Reyes).

Lisa Reyes kicked off Race day at 07:30 Friday morning at a beautiful waterfront setting on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga.  Each runner was scheduled to follow for three legs during the estimated 34 hours to complete the race.  We planned for each of our 12 runners to complete 16-19 miles each.  The two vans of Team ProModel met briefly through the race, with 5 intersection points where the baton was handed over from one van to the next.

Lisa Reyes going uphill

Lisa Reyes going uphill

Miles and miles passed with each runner facing his or her own set of obstacles. Some ran steep hills (Brian Brown climbed 1300 feet in elevation over 8+ miles with his first leg), or through the wee hours of the night with the sounds of dogs barking (and growling sound machines coming from another van) as Mike Penn would come to experience. Others came down the other side of those steep hills and endured the bright autumn mid afternoon sun – which Pat Sullivan can now vouch that 9 miles of beautiful Tennessee countryside is sometimes blurred by surprising heat.  However, Team ProModel banded together to support each other, as well as other runners from other teams.

 

 

Dan Hickman feeling strong...on his first leg

Dan Hickman feeling strong…on his first leg

There were plenty of laughs in between – often times over snack choices, foot odor, getting passed on the course by 12 year olds, bathroom strategies, sore muscles that make you walk funny, and delusions caused by lack of sleep. We spotted the little known Ragnasaurus, our vans were “branded” with magnets and paint from other teams, some people gained nicknames, and we all learned the value of fast restaurant service and having a bed instead of a gym floor to rest.

Team ProModel made it 198 miles through the mountains, into the rolling hills of Tennessee and eventually to the Music City that is, Nashville. This group grew to become teammates and friends, after starting out with one common goal in mind – just run and have fun! Thanks again for the great support and allowing us to represent ProModel…know you would have been proud.

Susan Whitehead with the Ragnar Bear

Susan Whitehead with the Ragnar Bear

Tim Shelton running his last leg

Tim Shelton running his last leg

 

 

 

 

Lisa Reyes, Brian Brown, Dan Hickman, Tim Shelton, Kelly Parker

Lisa Reyes, Brian Brown, Dan Hickman, Tim Shelton, Kelly Parker  

Knight Runner

Knight Runner

Dan Hickman, Clay Gifford, Pat Sullivan, Tim Shelton, Jay Wisnosky

Dan Hickman, Clay Gifford, Pat Sullivan, Tim Shelton, Jay Wisnosky

Dan Hickman hands off to Tim Shelton

Dan Hickman hands off to Tim Shelton

Team ProModel 2014

Portfolio Scheduler To Be Introduced at Microsoft Project Conference 2014

Portfolio Scheduler is a new and exciting Enterprise Portfolio Simulator (EPS) feature that helps organizations make better decisions by facilitating rapid what-if scenario development.  ProModel is proud to introduce this new feature at Microsoft Project Conference 2014 #ProjConf.  After you simulate a Portfolio in EPS, you can simply visualize the portfolio in a single view. See the impact of projects schedules on your constrained resources.  More work than your resources can handle? Click and drag to change project schedules.

MS Conf 2014 Blog Post Ellen - pic

Please view this short video demonstrating Portfolio Scheduler

EPS Product Summary:

http://www.promodel.com/pdf/EPS%20Product%20explanation.pdf

Microsoft Project Conference 2014 (February 2-5):

http://www.msprojectconference.com/

Team ProModel Ragnar Relay: The Experience

RPS_Business_Portrait

Pat Sullivan – VP, Army Programs

“12 friends, 2 vans, 2 days, 1 night, 200 mile relay…unforgettable stories.”  Ragnar

ProModel continues to demonstrate a commitment to building teams.  Over the past several days (25-27 Oct), Team ProModel grew as friends and athletes in one of America’s most grueling endurance races. The Chattanooga to Nashville Ragnar Relay undoubtedly demanded an often extraordinary level of dedication and sacrifice.  That dedication was played out during the race, but initiated and nurtured during the miles of running our team did in the months leading to the race…well, I must stop here to introduce the entire team, as some members considered their training was                                         an unnecessary crutch.

Team ProModel preparing to leave Huntsville

Team ProModel preparing to leave Huntsville

Ragnar-lockup-blue-backgroundThe twelve person team consisted of team captain Tim Shelton, (ProModel Sr Army Program Manager), Pat Sullivan (ProModel VP for Army Programs),  Brian Brown, Susan Whitehead, Jennifer Harbaugh, Ryan Harbaugh, Robert Brown, Sheri Shamwell, Barry Crocker, Cori Wilkerson, Wes Wilkerson, and Eric DeBolt (the ringer).  And the team could not have run one step had it not been for the commitment of Keith Vadas and Carl Napoletano…and the incredible effort of Christine Bunker (ProModel marketing) and our awesome drivers and support crew (Jim Craft and Kelly Parker).

So, back to the memories… our race day started when we met at our link up point in Huntsville and received our great running gear before loading up our well apportioned vans…the ones we called home for the next several days.  Thanks to our sponsors we had everything one would need…except maybe for a personal masseuse and about three more weeks of training.

Eric “The Lightning” Debolt takes off from the first major exchange point

Eric “The Lightning” Debolt takes off from the first major exchange point

Once on the starting line, in great ProModel fashion, our #1 runner (Robert Brown- a late arrival to the team) voiced the first of what would be many quotable moments. After the race director, announced that “this start represented the culmination of all the months of hard work and training in preparation for Ragnar,” Robert, turned to the team and said “hey, you didn’t say anything about months of training!”

And then the gun went off…at a beautiful waterfront setting on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, the team was off on our journey.  The plan was set and optimized.  Each runner was scheduled for three legs during the estimated 34 hours to complete the race.  We planned for each of our 12 runners to complete 16-19 miles each. And we delivered…the team completed the Ragnar in under 31 hours!

Jennifer Harbaugh pushes through her last leg through the beautiful horse farms just out side Nashville

Jennifer Harbaugh pushes through her last leg through the beautiful horse farms just out side Nashville

As the sun dropped, the miles faded and the temperature plunged.  Now, some of you may think that running in 25 degrees in the middle of the night is not that cold.  But for a bunch from the south, it was painful.  Couple that with little to no sleep over two days…and the mettle testing of endurance racing was on!

Rob Brown runs in the early morning light as the sun rises and the frost covers the ground. Temperatures dropped 30 degrees overnight

Maybe 25*?

After a cold night, with most pushing through on less than 2 hours sleep, each leg became more punishing… and as the sun rose, Team ProModel made it through the mountains, and into the rolling hills of Tennessee.  With the frost on the ground, the beautiful country side made for a memorable sight as the team passed the 100 mile mark.

Here are a few quotes and observations from the team:

Tim Shelton & Ryan Harbaugh exchange early morning

Tim Shelton & Ryan Harbaugh exchange early morning

“We are two legs up…”  Tim Shelton called in after conferring with the Race Director on our current progress.

“I’m JUST a stay at home Mom…”  An attractive young lady shared with Wes just before their leg.  Once the hand off occurred, she dropped him like a bad habit on her way to averaging 7:15 minute miles.

Eric “the lighting” DeBolt…delivered as promised by turning continual 6:00 minute miles…and then got up early on Sunday to run an “easy” 15 miles at 7:00 minute mile pace.

Jim Craft van driver/team manager/time keeper/ sleepless companion…was often heard mumbling through the night, “this is like herding cats.” 

Pat Sullivan runs through downtown Nashville towards finish line

Pat Sullivan runs through downtown Nashville towards finish line

Pat Sullivan often lost focus…”squirrel!”  What was I saying?

“Just one mile of suck left…”  a common quote Wes shared at each “one-mile to go” marker. 

“Where’s the van…Where’s that “one-mile-to-go-marker.”  Almost everyone racing… J

“Time to get up” says Jim to Barry…”but I never went to sleep.” Replies Barry.

“You are not my favorite person…” Rob says to one of his teammates while seven people tried to get some sleep in a van.

I wrote this somewhat generically…it’s hard to fit in all the stories and express the depth of our appreciation for having the opportunity to represent ProModel.  Thanks again for the great support and allowing us to represent ProModel…know you would have been proud.

Cori Wilkerson runs through the Tennessee hill country

Cori Wilkerson runs through the Tennessee hill country

Brian Brown running towards his first exchange point

Robert Brown “hey, you didn’t say anything about months of training?!”

Susan Whitehead pushes up hill as Team ProModel makes its way through the Tennessee mountains!

Susan Whitehead pushes up hill as Team ProModel makes its way through the Tennessee mountains!