This weekend I ran the D.C. Ragnar for the 5th time! This is a race that I know I am going to run every. single. year. until the day I die or can’t run any more (which will likely be the same day 😉 ) My first Ragnar in 2010 was a defining race for me; one that awakened my inner “crazy runner chick”, turning me from a casual 3-5 mile a day runner to a confident, marathon loving, “beast moding”, long distance runner! Because seriously, after surviving 2 days crammed in a smelly van competing in a 200 mile relay…it feels like ANYTHING is possible! 😉
This year I ran with a fabulous new group of gals, and our token white boy (aka Stud Driver!), on a team named “Offical Pace Van” #donotpass! While we were totally unsuccessful in “tricking” the other teams into following behind us ;-), we had one crazy fun time! I’d share all the juicy details, but official Ragnar rule….”What happens at Ragnar, Stays at Ragnar!” 😉 I will say, you get to know 5 other people VERY well by spending 30+ hours in a van together! Hehe The Ragnar is a super fun, well organized, well supported race, with lots of fantastic volunteers! These race series has events all over the country, and it’s a totally insane/fun concept….it’s a race, hippie-fest, road trip, and party rolled into one!
This particular Ragnar starts in Cumberland, Maryland and ends in the National Harbor, D.C. The hills one the first 1/3 of this course are super challenging; well suited for “billy goats”, “mules”, and bad ass runners that are on the constant quest for new/more insane challenges! You can get together 12 of your best friends (or make it more interesting by joining a team of strangers! You’ll be BFFs or hate each other by the end of the race…either way, I promise it will be and adventure!) or be double crazy by putting together an ultra team, meaning half the runners and double the miles! (Oh, please someone do this with me next year!!!) I also just found out about the option to put together a “six pack”, where you only have to find half a team and Ragnar the team you up with another “six pack”. I wish I would have known about this option before, because it’s sometimes difficult to find 12 crazy or 6 double crazy people to put together a team for this race!
Each team divides their runners into two vans, each runner is assigned three legs (of varying distances), and there are 35 exchange points along the course. The first 6 runners in van 1 complete their legs and hand off to van 2 at one of the “major exchange” points where there are food tents, sleeping areas, massages, showers, and other fun activities. One van is “chillaxing” while the other van completes their legs, and you trade off again. You might get a chance to take a power nap at one of the major exchanges or in the van, but for the most part, there is NO sleeping during the Ragnar! And you Run, Rest, Repeat several times, until you finally reach the finish line! This means running at least one leg in the middle of the night, wearing a head lamp and other reflective safety gear! And no, this is not your typical race! The course is not blocked off, you will be running up some insane hills, over bridges, under highways, past cow fields, and so on! The vans “leap frog” their runners and cheer them along throughout the race. It’s a very fun and supportive environment! And it tends to get pretty crazy in the van as the race goes on!
When you finally do make it to the finish line it’s such a sense of accomplishment! You and your team just ran 200 freaking miles, across the entire freaking state! How crazy is that? And I LOVE the functional Ragnar bling! The race medals double as a beer bottle opener!! Sweet! (I actually use my other medals to open beers, the work very well!) The finish line party is a blast too, with free pizza and beers for the teams, music, and tables to relax at overlooking the harbor! Like I said before, I WILL be back next year (hopefully as an ultra team) and every year after that! 🙂 If you are interested in running a Ragnar in your area, check out their web-site:
I knew I was going to be running high mileage during the Ragnar, so I took it easy for the rest of the week. I was runner 12 on my team, running 24 total miles (I had a little extra sneaky mileage on my final leg due to the finish line being moved) and one other 6 mile run during the week.
Total Weekly Mileage: 30 miles
Total 2014 Mileage: 966.45
My goal this week is to break 1000 miles for the year! Time to stop playing around…I got this! 😉
Anyone else do D.C. Ragnar this weekend? What was your race experience?