It's hard to describe a Ragnar Relay. The part that people latch onto first is the 200 miles of running. For some, the astonished and disbelieving stare is about all you get out of them. For others, the words "You're crazy!" leap from their mouths almost unnoticed. And for the precious few... friends like mine.. "Sounds awesome!"
I sort of fell into Ragnar DC. I had heard people talk of the Florida Keys relay, another Ragnar race. Running from Miami to Key West. And since I have not yet been to Key West, I had sort of mentally added it to my bucket list. What better excuse to go to Key West, right? So when someone posted on the Richmond Road Runners Club's Facebook group that there was a group that was still looking for a runner, I tossed my name in the ring.
Now a Ragnar Relay can be run either as a regular team or an "Ultra" team. A regular team has 12 runners who rotate through the 36 legs of the race, with each runner having about 12 hours between runs and a total of 15-18 miles over the course of the race. That sounds totally doable. Almost easy, especially with being a coach for the Marathon Training Team. We would be at a scheduled 16 mile run for that weekend, so having the total mileage split over 2 days wouldn't be bad at all. An Ultra team, however, is limited to six people, which means double the mileage and half the rest time.
To cut to the chase, I ended up joining an Ultra team because the regular team had already filled their open slot. The Ultra group had been planning for and talking about the race since New Years, and here I was, a last minute addition to the team, trying not to let everyone down. They had also run with and had fun with each other for years, so I was an unknown element being added to the mix.
A full race recap is in the next post.