I like to run. I like to run with friends. But when it comes to spending over thirty hours in two vans with eleven other sweaty, smelly, exhausted runners, all while covering almost two hundred miles…I AM AN ADDICT.
The Ragnar Relay Series takes the solitary sport of running and turns it into a team event. Basically it goes down like this: a team of twelve rents two vans and takes turns leapfrogging through a two hundred mile course over two days. Each runner takes on three legs of the race and each leg is about 5-7 miles long. Run. Sleep. Repeat. Crazy, right? YES! What are you waiting for? Being a Ragnar Ambassador, I’ve spoken with lots of people about Ragnar. And I’ve heard lots of excuses.
Excuse #1 – I’m not ready for a Ragnar.
I am not a fast runner. I’m not an athlete. I average a 13 minute mile. I wear a size 14. I am not “ready” for Ragnar. But this April, I will complete my sixth race. I am the slowest runner on my team but I am consistent. I do my best, run my miles, and I contribute like everyone else. If I can do this, anyone can. I never in a million years thought I’d be able to run something like Ragnar. But I did. Five times. And so can you.
Excuse #2 – I can’t afford it.
Yeah, it’s expensive. Especially if you have to travel. But think of it this way: Ragnar is a great way to see the rest of country. There are Ragnar Relays all over the United States and one in Canada. Ragnar also just started the Trail Series, where you run trails instead of streets and camp instead of drive from one exchange to the next. How much would you spend to go sightseeing in your favorite city? And how much of that city would you actually get to see? I’ve raced in Washington, Las Vegas, Southern California, Napa Valley, and I am just dying to get on an East Coast team. Turn your race into a runcation and see the country like you’ve never seen it before.
Excuse #3 – I don’t have 11 friends who run.
Really, you only need 5. Each team of 12 is split into two vans. While Van 1 runs, Van 2 is resting and vice versa. If you can fill one van, chances are you can find someone else who can fill the other. You can also find runners on the Ragnar site who are looking to fill those spots. Our team, N.W.A, Ninjas with Attitude has had literally dozens of members. It’s a great way to make new friends from across the globe.
Excuse #4 – I like to compete on my own and I need a challenge.
This is probably the best thing about Ragnar. It’s designed for all fitness levels. Do you want twenty miles on 3 hours of sleep? We have a leg for you! Do you want hills at one in the morning? We have a leg for you too! Do you want it all? If you eat marathons for breakfast, you can join or create an Ultra team. Instead of 12 people, you run with 6. That means you can run like 50 miles over two days on very little sleep. How’s that for a challenge?
So now that I’ve killed your excuses, here’s the one BIG reason why you should run Ragnar. You become part of a community. There are teams that compete for time and there are teams that run dressed in drag. It doesn’t matter. We’re all running the same course and it’s all about personal goals. We’re in this together. When you cross that finish line with your team, it doesn’t matter if you were the fastest or the slowest, if you puked or cried, you finished. You’re a Ragnarian.
If you want more information, click the link to www.ragnarrelay.com. There are videos, maps, blogs, stories and all kinds of good fun. Find your Ragnar and I’ll see you on the course. You might not see me, though. Because I’m a ninja.