Or my twitter...
Or my facebook page...
Then you've heard my talking about Ragnar.
I pretty much tell everyone I meet about it. And I haven't even actually run it yet.
So to say I'm a little excited about my upcomign Ragnar Relay race is probably a slight understatement.
But, if you're like most people I talk to in West Michigan, then your first question when I mention Ragnar is "What's that?"
Seems pretty straight-forward, right?
Ragnar is not the only race series that does these long distance relays, but it's definitely the largest of the companies that organizes them. Ragnar started back in 2004 and has grown from one race to 16 relay races, as well as banching out into trail racing with the Ragnar Trail series, which has six of its own races.
The way it works is a course is set up, running from Point A to Point B. The total distance is usually around 200 miles. With a typical team of 12 people, this equates to each person running approximately 16.6 miles. However, the expectation isn't that each runner does all 16 miles straight. The courses are divided into 36 "legs," with each leg varying between approximately 3 to 9 miles. With a typical team, each teammember is given a runner designation 1 through 12 and then runs the legs assigned to that runner.
As for getting the runners to the different legs, that takes slightly more planning! Typically, teams will separate into two vans, with the first six runners in Van 1 and runners 7 through 12 into Van 2. At the start of the race, usually everyone on the team is there to cheer on Runner 1 as they cross the start line. Then, Van 1 will head to the first exchange and wait for Runner 1 to arrive. At which point, Runner 2 will start their leg and Van 1 will pick up Runner 1 and head for the next exchange. You repeat this over and over again until they reach Exchange 6. After the start, Van 2 will head out for Exchange 6 and wait for the first van and Runner 6 to arrive. At which point, it's time for the runners in Van 2 to start their legs!
Basically, the whole thing is a game of leapfrog throughout the entire course.
It also means that the runners in the vans always need to be prepared to jump out and run their next leg. There's very minimal sleep and overall just a lot of fun and comraderie. There's a reason why the motto on some of the shirts Ragnar sells are "Run. Drive. Sleep? Repeat." You can pretty much plan on short naps, lots of late night conversations, and making new friends.
Even now, before the race, I've already made new running friends from my team that I can talk to about when I have a bad run, or what I want to do for training, or just when I need someone to talk to.
My co-workers and family are sick of hearing about it, and the race is still six weeks away. But I can't contain it. I'm so excited and it seems like everything I do is somehow related to Ragnar... And I love it!
Thankfully, I have my blog and twitter to share my excitement with all of you!!
Anyone else out there run a RAGNAR?!? Words of wisdom or advice for a newbie? Packing tips? Techniques for preparing to run three times in 24 hours? SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!