With rolling green hills, breathtaking farmland, and unending river views, Reebok Ragnar Great River is known for its unexpected beauty. This course begins in Winona, MN and ends in Minneapolis, straddling the Mississippi River and the Wisconsin-Minnesota border along the way. But, there is much more that makes this race unforgettable. Here are six reasons you should run Ragnar Great River.
One: River Views
Throughout the course, you will cross a river, either the Mississippi or the St. Croix River, four times. Plus, half of the legs run along the river at some point. You’ll get to soak your feet in the water and if you’re in the right place at the right time, you’ll see the sunset over rolling green hills and river boats or the moon reflecting off the water’s surface.
Two: Quaint Towns and Country Fields
When you aren’t running next to a river, you’ll be going through the Wisconsin and Minnesota farm country: through amber waves of grain, tall cornfields and past picturesque red barns. Scattered throughout are small towns rich in history. You’ll pass through Alma, known for the Battle of Alma in the Crimean War and its business district, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; Pepin, the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the Little House on the Prairie Series; and many other small Wisconsin towns.
Three: Orlin Brommer’s Flag Memorial
On Leg 3 of Ragnar Great River, local Wisconsinite, Orlin Brommer sets up 156 American Flags over 400 yards in honor of the local soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. He sets up the memorial on holidays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and for Ragnar Great River. Ragnarians get to run through the memorial on their way to the next exchange. “It means a lot to the families of our fallen veterans,” he says.
Four: The Night Run
After watching the sky turn a million shades of orange during sunset, get ready for the best part of any Ragnar Relay: the night run. Billions of stars will come out overhead, unaffected by light pollution, as you continue to run from small town to small town before crossing the border from Wisconsin to Minnesota. If you’re not sure what to expect during the night time run, read the 10 Stages of the Ragnar Night Leg.
Five: The Finish Line
Getting to the finish line is more than worth the trip. The arch is set up in East River Flats Park, next to the Mississippi River and across from the University of Minnesota. Finish hand in hand with your team surrounded by green trees, iconic bridges and rippling water.
Six: The Best Weekend Ever
A million inside jokes and 36-hours of team bonding later, you’ll realize that Ragnar Great River is an experience that you and your teammates will keep talking about for years to come. It’s a chance to escape reality and have fun surrounded by your friends. Plus, you’ll get a medal or two to remember it forever.
Register your team for Reebok Ragnar Great River here. Plus, browse through last year’s fan photos in 70 Photos that Show the Reebok Ragnar Great River Experience.