Root Family

Root Family

Jun 24, 2013

Ragnar - June 2013

I had the first opportunity to run the infamous relay race called Ragnar. Alene had already ran it a couple of times before. I am not big into running, mostly because I'm "big", but I finally committed to doing it. My only downfall was that my procrastination kicked in (as it usually does) and I failed to jump at the opportunity to select the route I would run. All of the routes with less mileage were snapped up quickly so I ended up with around 18 miles total. My first two runs were roughly 8 miles each and my third run was around 2 miles. This is all ran in around two days.

Each team consists of 12 people with 6 people in each van. While van #1 is running, van #2 is waiting at an exchange point for van #1 to finish, then while van #2 runs, van #1 is "resting" at the next exchange point. Each van has 3 separate segments to run until they all finish on the last 200 yards with the last runner at the finish line.

I spent a good amount of time training for this. The only other time I trained harder for something like this was when I played high school football. I wanted to take it serious and it was amazing how eventually I was running 7-8 miles with no major issues. Getting to that point was tough (lots of tight muscles, foot issues, etc.) but I felt good about it.

My first run went great. The first mile or so was pretty steadily going uphill, but then it dropped dramatically down a very loose dirt road where you had to actually stay slower so you won't slip when you planted your foot. After about 2 miles of running downhill, it was all flat running on a road for another 4-5 miles to the exchange point. I was always the last runner in our group so it was fun to see the entire other van there cheering me on as well.

My second run was brutal. It was in the dark and it was about 8.5 miles. The first 3 miles or so was relatively flat, but then it climbed up over 1000 feet and I was beat. It was so frustrating having to almost "give up" and walk a few of those climbs (I would still maintain that "running" look, but I might as well have been walking). I found a burst of energy toward the end at the exchange, then stumbled back to our truck where most of the team was asleep and collapsed. From there we drove to a major hub at a high school where you could park your vehicle and get a couple hours of sleep, buy some pancakes, then get moving onto the next exchange point. I think Alene and I slept about 1-2 hours is all, then it was up to eat and moving on.

My third run was brutal, even though it was only 2 miles. It wasn't the terrain (completely flat), but it was the fact that my body was SO sore. However once I got about half way into the run I was warmed up and on a good pace to finish off my run. I was such a relieve to hand off and I could only think about Van #2 and how they still had to finish their runs.

Not sure I'd do it again, but I'd definitely recommend it to anyone interested because it's such a fun experience.

Van #1 at the starting line

Alene and I at the starting line

Our "van"

Alene exchanging with Stephanie

Stephanie exchanging with Chris

Zheny, exchanging with Calle

Alene getting some water to Calle. She had a brutally steep run up this dusty, dirty road

Me, exchanging with Calle

Catching some Z's next to the sidewalk after our first run

Matt & Mike from Van #2 exchanging

Mike, finishing off Van #2's run and exchanging with Alene

Alene working her way down from Powder Mountain ski resort

Stephanie running her second leg

The ladies of Van #1 at an exchange point

Zhenya on her 2nd run

Alene finishing her last run around 6am the next day

Waiting to get Chris some water, we took a group picture above Jordanelle reservoir

Me, finishing my last run

Grabbing a bite to eat at the Wasatch Brew pub while Van #1 finishes their last leg (we almost felt guilty)

Cheering on and running in with Mike on the last 200 yards of the race

Team photo

Champions (in our own minds)

Van # 1

Our cool participation medals