It’s the Monday after Ragnar Michigan, and I’m reflecting on an another amazing Ragnar weekend.
Ragnar Michigan has had a special place in my heart since it began in 2016. I captained my own team the last 2 years, but my gut feeling this year was that I wanted to take a step back and let fate guide me to the right team.
I have been following Michigan Runner Girl for years. She is such a positive voice amongst runners in Michigan, and her podcast is a wealth of knowledge that I happily scoop up every week from Arizona. The last two years I was hoping to even get a glimpse of her or meet her, and I never saw her at all. But this year, after listening to her podcast with the Ragnar MI race director, I immediately messaged her and said I would love to be a part of her team this year if she had a spot.
And here I am! I was lucky enough to meet up with 2 ladies coming through Grand Rapids who could pick me up and get me to the spot where we were all meeting in Traverse City. Along the way, these 2 Ragnar newbies peppered me with questions nonstop, which was hilarious. They were so eager and excited, it was contagious! We met up with everyone and rolled out to packet pickup. We were 12 ladies of all ages, plus each van had a driver! So awesome!
Our start time was 7:30AM, so we rolled on out to Pere Marquette state park. We got to the start line literally 2 minutes before takeoff. Crazy!
The best part about this race is the incredible scenery. Kelly got to do the “Ragnar Leg” which was the longest at nearly 10 miles. She was rewarded with this view. And a bonus medal!
I was runner 6 this year, which I did back in 2016 as well. They changed the route a bit, and I ended up on a nice trail most of the way through Montague, which is such an adorable town. It was AWESOME!
Check out the exchange video here - action shot!
Major exchanges are always a great opportunity to see the rest of your team and and of course take more pics! It always bums me out that you don't get to know the other van members that well at Ragnar.
We headed out for food and then hit up the major exchange. It really didn’t feel like we had much down time at all, at least not the kind of down time where you are bored and can’t wait to get going. We cheered in the amazing Rose and sent off Mallorie.
One of my favorite spots on this course is at the Pentwater Beach. We timed it perfectly at sunset again, and the pictures were incredible!!!
I especially love this photo of myself and Heather. Doesn’t it look like we have known each other for years? It looks so natural and happy, I love it. The wind was really kicking up and it was getting very chilly.
I was super excited that Heather (Michigan Runner Girl herself), who was our driver, offered to run my night leg with me. I typically dread my night leg especially when it is running through remote areas. I was excited for the chance to get to know her better. We had a 4 miler just south of Ludington, and once again the route changed for the better. It still had a mile or two of running on the shoulder of a highway, but then we ended up seeing a little of the downtown and near the water. I talked her ear off the whole time, poor Heather!
After our night legs, we headed to Manistee where we got to sleep for 4-5 hours! Yasss!
It was super cold in the morning, with a “feels like” temp of 37. Yikes. We stopped at the scenic overlook in Arcadia to cheer on Erinn and grab some pics. She was doing great powering up that endless hill!
This place is just gorgeous. Pure, unspoiled Michigan beauty!!!!
Pretty soon, it was time to run my last leg! It warmed up to high 40’s and a little sunny. We were ready to get this done and head to BREAKFAST!
I had a really great run, full of energy and 12 kills! I’m very happy with all 3 of my legs – they all came in under 10 min miles.
After an amazing and indulgent breakfast, we had time to go and cheer on van 2. It was nice for me to see some parts of the course I haven’t gotten to see before.
We headed to the finish line where I Picked up some extra bling – I got my awesome 6x Ragnar bonus medal, yay!
It was unbelievably cold at the finish line. Most of us were wearing multiple jackets or blankets around us. I can’t believe that just 5 weeks ago I was sweating to death at the Ragnar Great River finish line in Minneapolis!
Lots of great finish pics with this incredible team!
This was such a great experience, I just can’t even explain it. I felt so supported, ,so taken care of , got to meet new runner friends, all in my favorite place in the world. Ragnar Michigan, I can’t quit you! I know I will be back.
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!