With the Spring Break FitPlan almost over, maybe you’re in need of a new challenge to look forward to [+ to grab all your #RunCHAARG friends to train with ; )]. Ragnar is a series of extreme road + trail relays organized in locations all over the country. Each race averages 200[ish] miles total + is completed over the course of 2 days. That’s right — with Ragnar, your team will be running through rain, sun, + sweat at all hours of the day. Think you’re up for it? Read on for more reasons why you should challenge yourself to *find your inner wild* —
1] GEAR UP
Before you hit the road, there’s a few things you should know. Depending on the type of relay that you choose [road or trail], you’ll need to make sure that your whole team has the necessary safety gear, as outlined by the Ragnar guidelines. Once the sun goes down, each runner will need a headlamp, reflective vest, + blinking LED tail light to safely navigate their nighttime legs of the course. It might sound extreme, but you’ll be happy to have them once you’re hitting the trails alone at 4AM with not much else to guide the way. Additionally, you’ll need to have two large SUVs or vans to split between your runners — while one teammate is on the course, the others will be driving ahead for the next handoff. Get cozy with your fellow runners because for the next two days, you’ll be sharing granola + peanut butter, keeping everybody’s spirits up while surrounded by each other’s smelly sneakers [+ it’ll be awesome!].
2] RACE TO THE FINISH
Each person will run three legs of the relay, all of varying lengths + difficulty levels — the average Ragnar runner completes 17 miles by the end of their race. In between legs you can rest, eat, or shop for gear at the *major* exchange points [where van 1 runners meet up with van 2]. Cheering on your teammates is one of the best parts of Ragnar — some teams dress in tutu’s for their legs + others go all-out in costumes // matching gear! If you’re running for a charity like Team Hole in the Wall, you’ll see sponsors throughout the race + get lots of free #swag to wear during each leg. Hopefully you’ve packed a change of clothes, extra sneakers, sunscreen + an air freshener [or two ; )] — you’re gonna need ‘em!
Everybody knows there’s no better feeling than crossing the finish line, especially when your team is exhausted from two long days of running! Completing a Ragnar relay is no easy feat. Once your team has posed for group pics to show off those well-earned medals, head over to the post-race party for food, music, beer + mingling with the other teams. One of the reasons why Ragnar is so popular is because every runner who joins it walks away feeling like they’re part of the Ragnar family. Not only will you be proud of yourself [+ have major bragging rights from now on], you’ll become so much closer to your teammates + have the opportunity to meet some pretty awesome runners you might never have crossed paths with otherwise.
Ragnar isn’t about winning or losing — it’s about pushing your own limits, because sometimes we don’t realize we need to challenge ourselves until we’re 85 miles into a race, when our only option is to keep moving forward.
+Alyssa (amatts_inchaarg) // UConn CHAARG