Run. Drive. Sleep? Repeat. Throwback thursday! Ragnar style!

Rewind to 2010…I’m still relatively new to this whole running thing, and with a few races under my belt, I’ve become acutely aware of “Runner peer pressure”.  You run a local 5k and have a blast mingling with other runners post race…by the time you leave you’ve agreed to run another race (or 3)!  While training with a Co – worker for my second marathon (marine Corp marathon), he casually mentions that he isn’t going to be able to run a relay he signed up for due to a conflicting work conference.   He asks me if I’d mind filling I’m for him.  In retrospect, maybe I should have asked a couple questions, but without even thinking I respond with an enthusiastic, “Sure! It’ll be fun!”  So that is how I become a member of “Team Microsoft”. (Oh, did I mention I’m a geek who happens to know a lot of other geeks?!?)

A few days later I meet “chipper” Jim, the team captain, who gives me an animated explanation of the “Ragnar”.  My eyes are glazed over; confused by why I need a sleeping bag, snacks, multiple sets of running clothes, a head lamp?…by the end of our conversation I realize I signed up for a 202 mile relay that started in western Maryland and finished in Washington D.C.!  Huh?!?! What the hell was I thinking?!? I was intimidated but also thrilled to be part of something so insane!  All the arrangements were made, I’m runner 3, and meeting up with van 1 the night before the race to head out to a hotel near the starting line.


Runners from van 1, bright eyed and bushy tailed at the starting line!

This ended up being the best race experience of my life!  It was unlike any other race; it’s not a closed course (meaning you have to look out for cars), the terrain is varied/intense in places (with some steep hills and trail running), there are moments where I wondered, “where on earth am I?!”, and running through the pitch black country side with a head lamp on was a trip!  On top of that, the atmosphere was lively; with costumes, elaborately decorated vans, and plenty of cheesy runner humor (Like “Who fartleked in the van?)!


Running my first leg, first time ever running a hill this big!

  This race was the beginning of my “ultra-relay” obsession! To date I’ve ran 4 Ragnar relays (3 with my original team!) And 1 American odyssey race (a similar but admittedly not as well organized race).  I not only got a lot of great swag from these races (Ragnar race medals double as beer bottle openers! Awesomeness! ), I also developed many incredible memories and friendships! 


My original Ragnar team!

If you’ve never ran this style race before, I strongly advice given it a shot! (There’s that “Runner peer pressure” *wink wink*)

What is the craziest race you’ve ever been “Runner peer pressured” into doing?


One thought on “Run. Drive. Sleep? Repeat. Throwback thursday! Ragnar style!

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