I often say I'm never going to do something, then end up eating my words. I said I would never run a marathon, and of course that happened. I also said I'd never run a Ragnar Relay race, but here I am, registered to do my first one next month!
For those of you unfamiliar with how Ragnar works, it's a 200 mile relay race over 2 days with teams of 12 people (or 6 ultra runners). We are split into 2 vans, and over the course of the 2 days each runner has 3 running legs, around 20 miles total. Usually 2 daytime legs and one nighttime leg. The idea is to test yourself physically and mentally, running 3 times in 2 days with little to no sleep.
The reason I said I'd never do it is several, really:
1) I didn't want to ride (and sleep) in a van for 2 days
2) I didn't want to be in a smelly van with sweaty runners for 2 days
3) I didn't want to run in the middle of the night on the side of a highway
Well, here we are. I'm set to run Ragar del Sol with Team Sweatpink Arizona!!
So how am I getting past these issues?
Well the being in a van part, I'm just going to have to make the best of it and hope that my teammates are awesome (I've never met any of them!). I was told there may be designated sleep areas at community centers that we could crash at along the way.
As for the smelly/sweaty runner problem, we have a solution! Our team is being sponsored by Shower Pill, which are antibacterial cleansing body wipes for athletes. Hooray! Something tells me we really dodged a bullet there!
And lastly, the fear of being by myself in the dark in the middle of nowhere has some practical solutions as well. I'm going to have a reflective vest, headlamp, blinky lights, and my teammate's husband has offered to run as a pacer with any of us ladies who don't feel comfortable being alone on the road at night. Plus my nighttime leg "should" only be 5 ish miles. That seems doable. So how can I say no, right?
I'm hopeful for a great experience for this event next month. I hope to make some great new friends and cross another "I'll never" item off my list.
Have any of you ran Ragnar before? Any advice you can pass along?
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!