Technically speaking, a Ragnar is a long distance relay race that can be run with a team of 12 individuals (standard) or the ultra version can be run with a team of six. The race is broken up into “legs” which average between 4-10 miles in length. On a 12 person team, each runner runs three legs, on a six man ultra team each runner runs three double legs. Ragnars are point to point races. The Ragnar, Del Sol runs from Wickenburg to Tempe, Arizona and covered 197 miles of desert terrain.
I ran the 2011 Ragnar, Del Sol with a team of dailymilers and I will tell you what a Ragnar really is… It’s AWESOME!
Our team consisted of people I had met in person and those I only knew of from dailymile online. Below is our roster:
- Steve S., Virginia
- Jenny J., Missouri
- Joe M., Texas
- Michael M., Arizona
- Sean B., Ohio
- Nina, Texas
- Kimberly M., Arizona
- Andrew, Arizona
- Dan, Arizona
- Carol T., Arizona
- Eddie, Texas
- Thomas N., Maryland
The weekend was a whirlwind. Before you know it, you are standing at the starting line cheering your first runner on. Ragnar stutter starts the race based on runners’ expected finish time. The hope is all the teams should be finishing around the same time. Our team had a combined estimated pace of 7:30 minute miles. We started in the afternoon around 1:30 p.m. and after the first seven of us ran we were right on target.
Anyhow, here is what you do. You get out of your van and cheer on your first runner. You get back in the van drive to half way of the runner’s leg. You get out of the van and you cheer for them and hand them water. You get back in the van and go to the next leg exchange spot. Repeat this 6 times. Then your second team van repeats this while your van eats or rests. Before you know it, you are back cheering on your first runner repeating the whole process a second time. At this point you are pretty tired and either thinking:
a. let’s get this over with or,
b. How am I going to run again I am exhausted?!
Here is the deal with the 12 man team. Once you are in a van you don’t see much of the other half of your team at all. Be in the van that has the people you want to experience the event with. While in your van you will bond with those people. It is like a “Real World” kinda situation. You are all on top of each other, you stink, and you are as human as you are going to get. It also really brings out the cheerleader in you. Nothing was better than seeing a teammate run well. Excitement built after each leg was completed.
If you have an extra 12 minutes watch this video, it will show you what a Ragnar is like. PS- the last song is a bit of an inside joke. That song was on the radio every 5 minutes I swear!
Special thanks to Zensah for outfitting our team with the orange calf sleeves! I wore mine for 26 hours straight.