Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Do You Ragnar...

Have you heard of Ragnar? Up until six months ago I had not. Relays seem to be all the rage right now. I heard about the granddaddy of them all Hood to Coast last year.

What could be more fun than a twelve person relay that lasts for 200 miles? A course that is not closed, not supported the whole way, and a race that lasts for 24ish hours? I am totally going to be in Oregon for HTC one day, but for now I am perfectly happy to stay a little closer to home and get the whole relay experience.

So, what is Ragnar?

Ragnar is the overnight running relay race that makes testing your limits a team sport. A team is made up of 6-12 individuals; each individual runs 3 legs. The legs of the race vary in difficulty and distance, from 3-8 miles, allowing elite and novice runners to run together. Over 2 days and 1 night, teams run across 200 miles of the country’s most scenic terrain. Pair that with crazy costumes, inside jokes, a great finish line party and unforgettable stories. Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it Ragnar.

In two weeks, I'll be heading to Colorado for Ragnar with these girls.

Patti, Rochelle, Kim (okay, Kim isn't going, but she was drinking wine with us on Sunday when we were talking about it so of course she's in the picture), Kelsey and me.

We are van #1, for the Starbucks All-Stars/OK Runner team. If they are giving out awards for the most boring team name, we are definitely in the running. We are a sponsored team though, so our name has to give a shout out to the people paying the bill. When there are teams named "I can't feel my Aspen" and "50 shades of altitude sickness" and " the assess chaps and six cowgirls" it just makes you wish you seemed a little more creative.

Oh well, life goes on, no matter what your team name is. Flights are booked and legs have been decided. So here's the deal, there are twelve of us, six from Oklahoma, including this guy, and six from California. We have been segregated by state, not sure if Okies (which I don't claim to be) and west coasters would mix, and we have decided who is running what.

The hardest part of the process is looking at the leg descriptions and then deciding what you want to do. I am much better at being told what to do, so having to decide which runner I want to be when the legs have descriptions like "very hard", "hard" or "easy" is not an easy task.

It has been decided and I am going to be known as Runner #4 from now on. I so need a t-shirt that says "I am #4". So here is how my responsibilities work out.

46.6 miles | Hard5.9 miles | Hard2.1 miles | Easy14.6 miles

I'll be looking forward to that 2.1 easy miles at the end. I have to survive the 5.9 hard miles in the middle of the night. Yes, I am scared. Mostly because things like this happen in familiar places when it's dark outside. You can imagine that I might be a little worried about running in the dark in unfamiliar territory. I have been promised that I will have either a bike pacer or someone willing to run with me during the nighttime leg.

It should be pretty interesting, it could get pretty smelly in the van too. Luckily, the girls will,outnumber the boys in van #1, so I'm hoping that will help.

How do you prepare for altitude when you like in Oklahoma? You run as many hills as possible and hope the heat you ran in all summer prepares you to be a little miserable. We will see if that plan works out for us. Kelsey is worried about bears, I'm mostly worried about ax murderers.

It should be an interesting 200 miles.

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