For the past few years, I’ve been reading and hearing about these long distance team challenges throughout the country. Known as the Ragnar, they are, for the most part 200 mile races, with each team having a 12-runner roster (The Sixpack teams are insane!). My son and his college buddies have run the “Reach the Beach” Ragnar in New Hampshire the last three years, taking first place every year. So yours truly was more than intrigued when a member of our Saturday morning group run (And also a member of a loosely tied beverage/running organization running out of our store) asked me to join his Ragnar team. The challenge? Our twelve person team had to run from Cumberland Maryland to Washington DC. The time period was roughly two days for each team to finish.
After 30 hours of living out of a van, using porta-potties, running insane mountainous legs, night-time running, driving and running dusty back mountain roads, and sleep depravation, you’d think we’d all swear “no more!” To the contrary, the camaraderie, challenges to record a “kill” (when you pass someone from another team), elation after the hand-off, van “decoration”, meeting and joking with others at the exchange zones, running through beautiful areas of Maryland, and overall satisfaction with the finish, blew away any negative thoughts about the Ragnar!
Am I ready to sign up for next year? Give me a couple of months to think about it. But seriously, check out the website, www.ragnarrelay.com to start your Ragnar team. And we’ll see you at the finish line!