I am about to leave for my fourth Ragnar Trail in Snowmass, CO. I have done every single trail Ragnar that as been at Snowmass! I LOVE Ragnar Relays, both the road and trail versions, but being in the mountains and camping makes the trail series all that much better for an outdoor-lover like myself. Altogether, Ragnar does a fantastic job with these events.
Every year has brought different experiences and memories. Every year has had ups and downs. This year, I am with a completely random team, not having known anyone prior. Some of them are new runners and we are looking forward to a fun experience!
This post was originally written for Becoming Ultra when they recruited me to write about Ragnar for them. It never ended up getting published on their site and it really bummed me out. I worked really hard on it. It was also supposed to get posted on the Ragnar blog, but the employee that talked to me dropped the ball as well and she no longer works for Ragnar.
It ended up only on my blog. I am re-blogging this post because, frankly, I really liked it and thought it was some of my best work.
Here’s to trail running, new friends and the great outdoors! Cheers!
It all ends when I finally get home, I examine myself, taking note of what I’ve done to my body and mind.
I am very tried, about to fall asleep.
I’m dirty, literally covered, head to toe with dirt.
I smell like a high school locker room.
My muscles are sore.
I have a few blisters spread out on my feet.
There’s chafing in places only my boyfriend sees.
I’m sunburnt in various spots, showing where I can’t reach.
My hair is coated in grease, staying in a pony-tail without a hair-tie.
My eyes are dry, my head hurts, and my ears are plugged.
But I feel accomplished.
What is Ragnar Trail Relay?
Start with a 2 day and 1 night running relay with 7 of your friends on there different loops of beautiful trails. Mix in camping, music, laughter and s’mores and you got yourself a Ragnar Trail Relay.
What was my Ragnar Trail Relay?
It all started at 4am the morning before. In about 28 hours, I ran close to 15 miles between three separate runs. I climbed a total of 2,295 feet up a mountain, only to come back down, three different times. I slept less than 8 hours in total and tried to remember to eat and drink water when I needed to.
If you read the fine print, I tortured myself for almost two days straight and I called it FUN.
I have made new friends and strengthened current ones. I watched the sun set then come back up again, all while sitting besides a giant bonfire. I ran 3.5 miles catching up with a friend of mine, four miles with just the light of my headlamp and the stars above, and 6.8 miles in the heat of the day, all while being distracted by tall, snow-capped peaks.
That is what my Ragnar Trail Relay was.
Running is different to everyone. Some enjoy the roads and others like the trails. Some get thrills from the long run and others just run a few miles each time. Some appreciate company on the journey while others prefer to chase the miles alone. Most of us are a mix of all of these. No matter what type of runner you are, you can find your place at a Ragnar Relay.
My experience with Ragnar Relay has been three years in the making. Every time I join a team and start hitting the trails with seven other team members, I have a new experience. That’s what makes this race series unique. It may be the same three trails every year, but each year you can create new memories and experiences.
The first year, I was chased by a sage grouse that I coined “The Velociraptor.” In year two, I desperately searched for some dry clothes to warm up in between runs. This year, my third year, I chased the sun and got to finally see the views from the red loop. I was also the last runner and was joined by my team to run through the arch at the end of my last leg. Each year has been made more and more memories.
The brilliant thing about Ragnar Trail Relay is they provide you with the essentials: Trails, music, good vibes, nutritious food, games, good products, a great host, and a campground. From that, each individual experience is unique; from person to person, team to team and year to year.
So I ask you….
What will your Ragnar Trail Relay be?
Quote on the back of the 2017 medals when you put all eight together:
“We believe that being a Ragnarian is about more than being a runner, that misery loves company, that happiness is “only real when it’s shared”, that there is a badass inside all of us, that everyone deserves to be cheered at the finish line, that dirt in your teeth boosts the immune system, that what happens in the village, stays in the village, that adventure can only be found if you are looking for it, and that a little sleep deprivation is a small price to pay to watch the sun rise with our friends. Together we ran Ragnar trail. Together we can accomplish anything. We are Ragnarians.”