We are the mad ones. We are the ones who seek adventure. We are the ones who look to better ourselves, mentally and physically, above all else. We are, Ragnarians.
This past week I competed in a Ragnar, a 12 person, 200-mile relay race, from Huntington Beach to San Diego. Each team member runs 3 separate legs throughout the race, ranging from 2.5 to 12 miles. Yes, that means each runner will run between 11 and 30 miles total… While a runner is crushing their leg, the rest of us are crammed in our decorated white vans (we painted them before the race as a team, with the most clever running puns and drawings you could think of), racing to the exchange location, so the next runner can stretch, eat some quick protein, or pop some energy jellybeans (yes this is a real thing…it’s called jellin’). While runners are technically alone during their run, which can be at any time day or night, the truth of it is, you really are never alone throughout the 200 miles.
The unwavering support from your team, other teams as they pass by and cheer you on (even at 2 am), and fellow runners giving you high fives on the course, is something out of the ordinary. While the Ragnar brings people from all over, and in all shapes and sizes, the most important idea is that it brings people together. This event is about pushing yourself into new territories of the mind and body with a group of like-minded individuals.
There is no doubt in my mind, that I couldn’t have completed my legs of the race, if I ran alone. My team pushed and supported me through laughter, positive energy, and their own personal strength. This made us unbreakable as a unit, and even if there was an injury or a wave of exhaustion, our team was one, and we were going to finish that way.
I joined this team only knowing one person beforehand. After 29 hrs of straight running, intimate van time, meals in the middle of nowhere, constant dehydration and hydration (which led to lots of porta-potty breaks), incessant adjusting of van temperatures, delirious jokes, one hour of sleep, epic van driving, and enough inside jokes to last a lifetime, I left this race knowing an incredible group of people that I am happy to not only call my teammates, but also my friends.
Ragnar is a one of a kind event, and I would like to give a big thanks to Bumble Bee Tuna as they sponsored our team and provided us with the best snacks (super high in protein!) and gear possible. Thank you everyone, and I can’t wait until next year! Let’s go Smokin’ Hot Tuna!