CONDITIONS – Sunny and warm, then dark and cold – repeat x 2
History was made on March 24 as 12 Swamp Rabbit weirdos became the first team to ever ruck the Palmetto 200 Relay. Wait, what was that noise? Oh just #FiA ladies swooning and fainting all across the Carolinas. But there is so much more to this story and here’s how it all went down, well at least the stuff that was appropriate for publishing.
SUMMER 2017, back when these 12 men were still friends. RoadTrip was already at the center of a nasty custody battle between Team Urban and Team ATM. It was just like high school when the chorus and band were fighting for RoadTrip’s talent. But for those who don’t know, RoadTrip has struggled with identity issues…a runner born in a rucker’s body. ATM, struggling with the same issues, eventually secured parental rights.
Soon after this pre-Olympic team was built, ATM had a “brilliant idea.” And typically when ATM comes up with any kind of idea, it is nothing short of ridiculous, like rucking the P200. So the PAX did what most grown men do when they hear a dumb idea…grunt, drink more beer and commend him on a brilliant idea. But turns out, the only reason ATM wanted to do this is so Short Barrel could hear heavy breathing again. Anyway, Short Barrel is in school and apparently still intoxicated from his pledge party last night because he suggested we pair up so each PAX rucks 2x the miles as any other team. That’s an awesome idea Short Barrel, like a parachute that opens on impact. But just like that, the pre-planning was set in motion. You see, it was after RoadTrip fell for the switch and bait that Team ATM became Team #ZeroRucksGiven (#ZRG).
Honestly, YHC figured this idea would never come to fruition so I played along. But I wrong as ATM started assigning the PAX “jobs.” ATM also selected duos based on pace, body size, eye color, astrological sign and assigned them to a Team Van, which were appropriately named after the hard-charging Cheese Steak who, at 63, pushes himself to the limit every workout. If he can push it, so can we and so Van 1 became “Team Cheese.” Van 2 became “Team Steak” … also because of their love meat (draw your own conclusions). And of all the original signees, only Lite Brite defected Team #ZRG and was discharged from F3 because his new job cut into his early morning training times. But looking back, he could have totally done it because these lazy asses didn’t train hard at all and they still did it. But we did skip the leg days because we were perfectly happy with buns of cinnamon rather than buns of steel.
So the search for a new replacement began. Hot For Teacher was in, then he was out because he still had to buy and sell a few more rucks. My Two Dads was captivated but didn’t fall for it and Runoff retired from rucking after his inaugural ruck of 12 miles with 2 dumbbells in an Adidas backpack. And then there is Mayo…but let’s be honest, no one has seen Mayo since he was adopted by 3B and tied him up in his backyard. Besides he couldn’t leave Momma Dukes home alone with youngins Bo and Luke because they would just harass Sheriff Little and wrangle “nakes.”
So Johnny 5 took out a personal ad on Craig’s List and this is what is said…
If you like Piña Coladas and think sleeping in a van is insane
If you´re not into running, and you have half a brain
If you like rucking past midnight, in the backroads of this State
We’re the P200 team that you long for, come with us and master……this race
He received many pics from a few anonymous “Teddy Bears” until Uncle Remus comes zip-a-doo-daaing along and is intrigued by the proverbial briar patch. He was the perfect fit because he wasn’t familiar with rucking or the P200. So PAX were teamed and paired as follows:
- Johnny 5 and Uncle Remus made up Team #SLGB (short for So Long Gay Boys). It’s like Upside Down in Stranger Things…or a gay night club. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Remus just fell into this one, either way, no one asked…we just went with it.
- Data and Quickie made up Team Old Bad Quickie Brown Mutha Rucker Farts. And those two will do anything for a patch…anything.
- Padre and Third Base made up Team Paddington because they bear crawled for their legs…each other’s legs…basically anyone’s legs that got in their way.
- Short Barrel and ATM copyrighted #Team Dessert because they had a willingness to seek and destroy every local bakery and keep the team pace “Honest” by never missing a selfie opp. They were a perfect pair, just like those cute matching salt n pepper shakers from Pier One.
- RoadTrip and Thumper started out as the Road Warrior Express but later succumbed to the Mulky Brothers after a long night with the coyotes and Monks Corner rush hour.
- Mint Julep and Look Out Below became Team BBC (for Bourbon Butt Club) or just Hot Toddy’s because they have great asses.
1 WEEK BEFORE LAUNCH – It’s getting close. The Twitter group chat is giddy. I mean, I haven’t seen a group of guys this excited since the Jedi returned in 1983. But it pays to be an Enterprise loyal customer because RoadTrip just got upgraded with matching top-of-the-line Tahoes, at least that’s what ATM thinks…text conversation went like this
A FEW DAYS LATER – ATM had a plan of retaliation for RoadTrip
Little did ATM know, but RoadTrip had already unleashed his inner CSI and created another plan to debunk his #fakenews. Snap… and just like that, ATM’s was “replacement” was secured faster than Dale Earnhardt’s pit crew could change 4 tires and top off the fuel. But all joking aside, I think ATM’s feelings were hurt and his pride was a little deflated…wait, WHO the F’ keeps asking about Deflated? DAMMIT DANGLE!!!!
T MINUS 4 DAYS – Thumper publicizes his new rash. It might be Tuberculosis. It might be polio…actually we think it was rabies. Either way it’s probably from all those visits to that Dr. Poop guy he’s always tweeting about. And why the hell does he still go see that wack job….never mind I think I just answered my own question. But never fear Dr. Poop gave him a prescription. The bad news…it was the wrong prescription. The good news…he should be free of heartworms for the rest of the summer.
D-DAY – THURSDAY 2pm – It’s time to put this man…I mean plan, into motion with a fine detailed schedule that only benefits Team Steak because Team Cheese has already started the relay and we don’t really care about them. Short Barrel comes in hotter than Church lady and fresh off his 9 weeks test with RoadTrip and ATM shooting snap guns in the air and blaring Whitesnake from a pair of Bluetooth speakers. In fact, they don’t even have the truck in park before they pop the seal on one of the 27 cans of Pringles supplied by Road Trip. Not to mention the new stickers on Short Barrel’s truck declaring Bama Nation as the Champs. But don’t worry, he’s not flipping or floppy, it’s just part of a bet he lost…basically another “brilliant” idea. I don’t know about you, but I “can’t wait” for the day he can wipe my ass and nurse me back to health. Anyway, they find Mint Julep sitting in a worn out fold up chair in the garage wearing an Apollo Creed tank top and…well nothing else. He’s high fiving himself in a mirror while he searches GIFs on an old Radio Shack computer. Look Out Below rolls in passing out beers and Mint Julep’s Oreo cookies in order to close the lid of the snack container. All while Thumper tries to figure out how to set up an office in the back row of the Van. This Ruckin’ Spring Break has started. Queue Fat Missy.
Anyway, you probably wonder what a pack of chunky monkeys eat during a grueling 200 mile adventure. Berries? Nuts? Energy gels? Protein Bars? Nope, nope and nope…What do you think this is? Some kind of fat ass camp? This race is all about carb overloading and over-tapering with a wide variety of Costco sized snacks like chips, M&M’s, cookies and a tub of cookie dough. Basically, we rucked 207 miles, pooped in 7 counties and still managed to gain a team cumulative 14.5 pounds in the process. And some jokester, probably Mint Julep’s nosey ass neighbor, put some bananas and oranges in the van, which were used to take out any skinny ass ultra-runners that attempted to “kill” us.
Mint Julep takes the wheel and heads to Columbia…sort of…because who knew Woodruff is on the way to Columbia. Don’t worry, it’s a short cut…Anyway, Mint Julep must be auditioning for Fast n Furious 19, because it’s like he’s hot doggin’ Ponch’s Honda Civic and seeking out every pothole and railroad crossing between Woodruff and Gaston. I’m sure Fat Missy Elliot’s velvety vocals gave him street cred to outrun any Smokey who dared to stop this tour bus. RoadTrip was bouncing around in the back seat…check that…RoadTrip AND the back seat were bouncing around because the seat wasn’t even anchored to the van. YHC was just hoping those back doors didn’t open because…anybody seen RoadTrip? Not since the railroad track crossing by the Piggly Wiggly in Swansea. But I’m not complaining, I’m trying to keep quiet so Thumper can sell camels…(I swear I heard him talk about camels.) Besides, I don’t want to drive because I’m depressed about the living arrangements and pooping in pot-a-jons for the next 48 hours. Anyway, we haven’t been on the road more than 20 minutes and this van already smells like swamp ass and I can’t imagine how any of us will ever remain friends after this. And have you ever tried to sell medical equipment with the sounds of butt jokes and grown man farts in the background? Well Thumper has.
We arrive in Columbia just in time to tour a Mexican liquor / tattoo shop which left just enough time to see Team Cheese launch Leg 4, find out Quickie had a redneck brother (may he RIP) and Data and Remus pass out MRE’s. And as if we didn’t already have enough food, Team Steak was already in hot pursuit of a place to carb load to get the Pringle taste out of our mouths before we started our rotations. In trying to decide where to eat, RoadTrip just suggested we just park and eat ass but surprisingly only two takers and their names have been withheld to protect the guilty. Then like a mirage in the Sahara, we stumble upon a lone street light and a quaint eatery in in the blustering metropolis of Calhoun. It was called the Calhoun House of Pizza which was Greek themed and was run by Hispanics…hmm. But that’s OK, Thumper had an app to teach us Spanish in under three minutes. The only thing that would have made that place better is if they sold Sun Drop and day old hot dogs from a roller cooker in the parking lot. Afterwards, Short Barrel and ATM banged out their next leg with a dreadful elevation change of 361 feet, which is about how long it took for them to finish. They probably would have made better time had they not polished off 3 feet of meatball subs.
Team Cheese was holed up in one room at the Motel 8, but at least they left the light on for them. All the while Team Steak hunkered down in a church parking lot between a dumpster and an air condition unit. If this van is a rocking, don’t. ..oh never mind. RoadTrip fought insomnia by watching gay prison shows on Netflix while Thumper was able to sleep in the most awkwardly small places while holding conversations about camels with himself.
The final rotation leg for Team Steak put Look Out Below and Mint Julep on a quiet stroll thru the Santee State Park in the dark hours of the night but the thought of prepaid showers pushed them through. That is until they arrived at the exchange point…which was inside the park…which was closed…and gated. In other words the van could not get to them, so they had to ruck another mile to the van. Oh yea, the showers weren’t open yet either. F’ Ranger Rick and thus the 1st casualty on the #ZRG Kill List.
FRIDAY – At the Van transition, hotel keys were exchanged and Team Steak hit a Waffle House before naps and showers. In case you are keeping track, that’s each of the Team Steak PAX with two race legs and two restaurants in the first 12 hours. Suck it Team Urban. Back at the hotel, shower rotations were now in full swing…speaking of full swing, the bathroom door flings open to reveal Short Barrel in a Slim Goodbody suit…or it could have been Under-Roos…seeking tucked vs untucked advice. He dabbed then disappeared into the florescent glow of shower steam like Frankie Avalon going back to the malt shop in the sky. But then there is Short Barrel’s version where he was sitting on the jon reading his bible, when Mint Julep kicks open the door and demands all of the hotel sized hair products. The more I think about it, this must have been a dream, because it was never mentioned again. Anyway, I am sure the hotel staff wonders what kind of orgy just went down in this room because between Team Cheese and Team Steak, we went through 14 towels, 8 hand towels and 13 wash cloths in a matter of hours. But we cuddled and banked some much needed ZZZs because we still have 36 hours to go. That didn’t stop Short Barrel and ATM from double bunking in a pull out cot and exchanging sweet talk…sweet like cronuts, Oreos, Twinkies and chocolate thingies.
Showered up, rested and hungry…See, here we were looking for food again…did I pick the best team or what? Suck it Team Urban. Team Cheese met up at Greater St Paul UMC around 12 pm ready for our prepaid lunch. However Rev Jones said they don’t do lunch till 4pm. Are you effing kidding me? Apparently in Cross SC, you pay for lunch and you receive a blessing and a handshake in return. Somebody call Dangle, we captured the Rev and tied him on the roof of the van where he remained until he escaped somewhere near Cordsville. Long story short, no one got their prepaid lunch and thus Rev Alfonza “No Show” Jones became the 2nd casualty on the #ZRG Kill List and the snack bins of both vans took a heavy hit.
Short Barrel and ATM start their first leg of the day, which took abnormally longer than expected. Ready to send out a search unit, we see their blurry shadows crest a distant hill. Turns out ATM blew a front left but Short Barrel was able to keep him out of the ditch and in the center of their selfies…I’m talking 100’s of selfies. And ATM’s blister!! Holy shit! That thing looking like one of Aunt Jemima’s flapjacks big enough make Uncle Ben blush. He packed it with peanut butter in order to make friends with all of the free range dogs encountered along the way. Thus ATM’s Feet became the 3rd casualty on the #ZRG Kill List
RoadTrip and Thumper killed a 10 miler but not before a crossbow sniper almost killed Thumper. There was a lot of time for reflection and turns out YHC likes the longer rucks, especially when they are done by someone other than me. The RunGo App with talking Betty kept us company as she searched for some dude with the initials G.P.S. for two freaking hours. After stumbling back to the van, Short Barrel offered his pillow for RoadTrip’s head. Little head or big head? Either one, just don’t fart on it, because nobody wants pink eye. But Betty never stopped talking, which is probably why that G.P.S. guy left and never came back. Thus The RunGo App became the 4th casualty on the #ZRG Kill List.
Mint Julep and Look Out Below finished up their first leg of the day and crawled into a local Subway, where the veteran sandwich artist, MeeMaw was making everyone’s parmesan dreams come true, well except for Mint Julep’s and Look Out Below’s. She was very detail oriented, and Mint Julep and Look Out Below almost died while waiting, but at least the chain gang thinks we are winning the “Amazing Race.” Nonetheless, MeeMaw became the 5th casualty on the #ZRG Kill List.
Rotations rotated thru and Mint Julep and Look Out Below were back up. RoadTrip and Thumper were greeted by ATM and Short Barrel grinning like a mule eating briars. They had just killed another sleeve of Pringles and were happier than a hobo with a ham sandwich because they had concocted the most elaborate plan yet…We are going to Applebee’s so Celine Dion can touch me like this and hold me like that, drink some beer and watch some basketball. Then we will pick up Mint Julep and Look Out Below and check into the Hampton Inn, which includes…you guessed it…free breakfast. Damn I love these guys…suck it Team Urban. Except the Applebee’s crew was too busy making plans for Biker Week and left Mint Julep and Look Out Below stranded in yet another State Park in the darkness of night and this train was 30 minutes away from ground zero. But we didn’t panic. We finished our beers while we discussed how to pick up our brothers in a wildlife infested forest in a timely manner. Yea right…we didn’t make it. Luckily Team Cheese Uber-ed Team Hot Toddy to the next checkpoint where Team Steak could pick them up as well as some guy named Doug. After being stranded in the woods by his closest friends and fighting off a tea-bagging ninja squirrel, Mint Julep just wanted a beer, but Short Barrel was too full from Applebee’s to reach into the cooler and ATM was too busy licking his feet. Thus Ranger Rick became the 6th casualty (and 1st double kill because he’s like that Vorhees freak from Crystal Lake) on the #ZRG Kill List.
Now back to the plan. On the way to the hotel, we scout out…you guessed it, a good place to eat tomorrow. Have you ever seen a group of sweaty dudes check into a swanky hotel carrying plastic totes as luggage? Don’t ask questions, we’re with the band and don’t blow our cover because we don’t need any groupies tagging along. Look Out Below and Thumper sipped their fine bourbon neat while discussing wine tastings, cigars and silk socks. The aroma of bourbon filled the room and RoadTrip fought Jim Beam vomit flashbacks from college while he checked his eyelids for cracks.
SATURDAY – Short Barrel and ATM got a head start while the remainder of Team Steak slept in. Their pace got progressively slower. Turns out they have been posing as homeless and receiving food and rides to the next checkpoints from the kindhearted this whole time. But those plans changed as they crossed the IOP connector at sunrise when Short Barrel ran block because ATM had an epiphany and was in need of some new gloves. Either way, I guess Short Barrel was serious when he said he was going to be in Charleston Saturday night, even if that meant someone was going to drive him there.
Salty breezes met us at daybreak Saturday morning and some of the skinny ass runners are finally catching up with us now. A pantless Look Out Below chased them away while Short Barrel hurled bananas and oranges at them. It was about this time our team was getting delirious and Out of Touch, but Hall and Oates kept us grounded One on One. And if you know anything about this team by now is that You Can’t Go For That, No Can Do. Good news is that we are still in first place in the rucking division and we have our pre-paid Chick-Fil-A breakfast waiting on us…or not. We came thru too early and missed it, but luckily we were able to pick it up when we came back through the checkpoint the second time. It was comfort food of the highest order. I can’t even tell you how good it tasted with a beer after 192 miles and 44 hours. But we still haven’t finished this thing yet. Just roll up the windows because at this point a fart would be a refreshing fragrance in this van. Speaking of vans, not much else is known about Team Cheese other than Padre made the PAX sit on plastic bags on the front two inches of their seat. 3B and Data never removed their rucks, Johnny 5 wears capri jeans, Quickie has some suggestive parking lot poses and Remus already listed his ruck on ebay. And Soccer Mom poops a lot, while Pet Stain does not…wait wrong van, wrong team.
Anyway, Mint Julep and Look Out Below finish this thing out while the others built a glorious pyramid of Pringles cans in the back window the van. Look Out Below crossed the finish line while showing off an oozing rash on his lower back from his ruck sack. Dangle’s gonna hook him up with a tattoo artist to tattoo the outline as a tribute to the P200. Mint Julep crossed the finish line looking like he just rolled out of Great Clips, while Short Barrel, who was rested up and slinging back beers, looked like he rode thru a car wash in a truck bed…untucked. But whatever, everyone is ready for a beer-taco-beer. Oh yea, that’s 1500 people and 1 taco line. Way to go Moe, you effing moron. Thus Moe was the 7th casualty on the #ZRG Kill List.
But seriously I can’t tell you how many people waved, saluted, honked, nodded, or stopped for an encouraging word or autograph and photo opp when they saw Ole Glory coming down the road. They were black, white, Hispanic, young, old, gay, straight and everything in between. Many teams heard about us; they gave us high fives and cheers of encouragement. Some teams were even giddy like they just saw Justin Bieber trying on jeans at The GAP. We just poked their eyes (and Look Out Below just poked em) and kidnapped their taco tickets. #Savage. Other than that, we obeyed all course rules as far as we know and were careful to avoid traffic cams so little video evidence is available of any shenanigans. Plus, one of the unexpected perks – every port-a-jon was filled with sparkling virgin purple juice…when we arrived at least. Best of all, this team is now common law and registered on Adam and Eve.com.
It was a pleasure and quite an accomplishment that I am proud to be a part of. Suck it Team Urban. But would we do it again? Well, ask us this time next year. And speaking of Team Urban…he and Pet Stain were last seen in that long ass taco line in Mt Pleasant so we’re taking credit for the kill even if there is no body to identify #CerealKillers…thus Urban and Pet Stain are the 8th and 9th casualties on the #ZRG Kill List. And while you are at it, somebody better call homicide because #ZERORUCKSGIVEN just killed the P200…beyotch! And thus the Palmetto 200 is the 10th and final casualty on the #ZRG Kill List and history was made. See ACA, Last Will Be First (#LWB1st) sort of…we may have started first and finished last, but it is the same thing. But we started a trend as many ruck teams are already forming for 2019, but take our advice…Don’t Go For That, No Can Do because that’s a stupid idea. Or just call us at 719-266-2837 and we’ll give you advice.
Until the next ridiculously stupid idea, SYITG…or not…whatever…I don’t care anymore
The R.T. is O.U.T.