What is a Ragnar relay all about?
The Ragnar relay is a race that is anywhere from 180ish miles to 200ish miles long. You put teams together and break up the mileage amongst 12 or 6 participants and then run your little heart out. If you choose to run with 12 participants (which is what I would recommend) you get two vans or large suvs and break up the team into two sub-groups of 6. In our van (both times I ran) I was in van 1. If in van 1 you meet at the start line and start the race for your team. The legs of the race are broken up from 2 miles to 10. The first runner begins, the van with the 5 remaining participants meet up half-way through the leg to drop off water, and then to the exchange point, where the second runner takes the bracelet from runner one and is off to complete the second leg of the race. This goes on till the first six runners have completed the first six legs of the race, and then we pass the bracelet on to van 2. While van 2 is running, van 1 has about 4 1/2 hours to either eat, rest, do homework, read, or wander around. It is a very draining race, cause you never have enough time to rest fully before your next leg (in total, each runner should run three legs of the race-- a total of about 15-22 miles a piece). In total, the whole team runs 36 legs, and someone is always running-- even through the night. We had a biker to bike along side of us through the night. We had to wear headlamps, little blinking lamps on our backs, and reflective gear.
It's a very good, but very exhausting race to run in. It's not just physically exhausting, but mentally and emotionally as well. I think that running in a marathon is easier. People find that hard to believe, but I feel that pushing yourself for 4ish hours and then being through is a lot easier than pushing yourself for an hour and a half, then sitting for nine hours, then pushing, then sitting..... you get the picture. Not only do you think about the race for over 30 hours, but your muscles tighten up because you are sitting in a van. By the last leg of the race your legs feel like bricks-- seriously, it's draining.
The first time I did a ragnar race, it was in UT. The Utah race is called the Wasatch Back. I was able to participate with my good friend Crystal, and met ten other new friends. The second time I did a ragnar was this past weekend, from Cumberland, MD into Washington D.C. I was able to run with Sean, my friend Samantha (Pittsburgh), and a group of fun singles from D.C. We had several fun discussions!
Fun story: As I was at exchange 3, ready to begin my first leg, I noticed a man wearing a Hobble Creek shirt. I asked him if he was from Utah. We continued talking and found out that they were all mormons. We became good friends with them all and had a great time chatting with them as each of us ran and then also at the different exchange points.
I don't know if I am ready to do another ragnar, but I better be ready to run the St. George Marathon again, cause I will be doing it for the second time THIS SATURDAY!!! I am thinking I will need to let my legs, feet, knees, and joints rest for a bit.
My goal is to run in one marathon every year. With that said, if anyone wants to join me, I am going to try to run in the New York City Marathon next year... come join me, you know you want to :)
Van #1: Carl, Hunter, Samantha, me, Sean, and Katherine
Sean quickly finished his first leg (he's in the green)
Sean passing the bracelet to Katherine
Don't look too closely
Hunter and Carl just waiting in the van
Sean ran my last leg with me
Van 1 with our medals at the finish line
Van 1 and van 2 at the finish line