NYC 26.2 was meant to be my last marathon (2014) until I entered the lottery for London, on a whim. Two years after London (2016), I still hold firm with this statement. Why? Alpine hiking has been my preferred sport since moving to New Jersey.
I’m still running, just shorter distances.
I have been interested in running a Ragnar race for years - unable to overcome the race logistics (12 runners, two vans, drivers, etc..) I accepted that I will likely never experience this race. If only because I don't know enough people who run.
That all changed earlier this year when I saw a post on Facebook mentioning that a team needed a runner. This was my chance!
Named after Ragnar Lodbrok, a legendary Danish and Swedish Viking hero and ruler, known from Viking Age Old Norse poetry and sagas.
Ragnar, the race, is a team relay style run.
A quick visit to the race website tells you that ** actual history may vary from our romanticized version:
A conqueror, a wild man, a leader, fearless and free-spirited - in much the same way, today’s Ragnarians fulfill their freedom to roam, to explore, to lead, – a free-spirited desire to get out there and experience an outdoor adventure with friends.
Who are we? People that seek adventure, love fitness and the outdoors, give moral support to each other at 3 AM, enjoy camaraderie, don’t stop for bad weather, accomplish the amazing – together, aren’t afraid to wear crazy costumes, cheer others on, and ring cowbells to celebrate victories – small and large.
I signed up to drive hours, run, and camp with complete strangers. Driving four hours to meet three of the team of eight, we then drove eight hours together. The race they chose was two hours north of Toronto, a trail Ragnar. Trail and camping were the keywords to get me to sign up.
The experience was a mix of joy and amazement.
Everything I was nervous about ended being okay.
My first run was TOUGH, 6.5 miles at 3:15PM: Hot, humid, no breeze. I was sitting outside all day, and it impacted showed. I felt I let down my teammates.
The second leg, 7.1 miles at 1:15AM: this was my favorite moment of the weekend. The mental strength to run in the woods, alone, with the trail illuminated by an almost full moon. I thought about Eleanor and how much she would have loved this experience.
Lack of sleep is something you hear about this race. Yes, it's true. I slept only 2-3 hours for 30 hours of racing.
With bad weather approaching, runners doubled up to make sure most finished the race. I ran my third leg five hours after completed leg two, with a teammate who twisted her ankle on the course.
This text from Bill sums it up!
An experience far beyond my comfort zone! Taking chances, creating experiences, making memories.