To most, spending over 24 straight hours in a van with 6 other people who have just finished running 15-20 miles each and haven't showered or slept would be the definition of a nightmare.
To me, it's the definition of a really good time.
Ragnar Relay is one of those races I knew I would never be able to step up to the plate and coordinate on my own. Trying to logistically put together the team members, who is running what leg, the van rentals, the van decorations, the hotels, and meanwhile trying to keep up with my own training would be like herding cats.
Ragnar is kinda complex, so I'll try to give you a Cliff's notes version.
Teams of 12 split up into 2 vans. Van 1 holds Runners 1-6 and Van 2 holds Runners 6-12. Each runner is assigned 3 legs of different distances.
(Runner distances and maps of each leg can be found here, if you're curious)
Runner 1 starts the race, runs their leg, then passes off the baton (in this case bright orange slap bracelet) to Runner 2, and this process continues until all 12 runners have done their first leg. Immediately after Runner 12 finishes, they pass the bracelet back to Runner 1 to begin the second leg. The vans follow along the course and wait for each runner at the exchanges.
My running coach sent out an SOS-type email of a team that needed an extra few runners for their team for Ragnar Key West. After
begging Prateek to let me do it talking it over with Prateek (and convincing him that being a van driver for 6 smelly runners would be the best decision EVER) I went for it and registered. Luckily I didn't injure myself after the Chicago Marathon and kinda-sorta was back in shape, so the timing was perfect and gave me a good reason to train through the holiday season.
Wanna know what other timing was perfect? Rachel (Running Backwards in High Heels) was going to be in Miami that weekend anyway to watch her Tide roll over the Irish in the National Championship.
After sending her the info to review, the choice was clear.
Cullman is going to be representin' along Highway 1, y'all.
I am SO EXCITED that she's running with us and can't wait to come up with THREE awesome race outfits.
There are tons of YouTube recaps of the race --here's a recap from Team "Shanghaid" from last year to give you a glimpse into kind of what we'll be doing.
Our team is called Sinners and Saints. It is yet to be determined if we will be in the "Sinners" van or the "Saints" van, but I'll be sure to pass that info along so we can get input on van decor and race attire.
We'll start in Miami, run all day, all night, and then most of the following day, and 196.9 miles (27-ish hours?) later, we'll end up in Key West at the finish line.
Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it Ragnar.
Run -- Drive -- Sleep? -- Repeat