Being a Ragnarian is almost like being part of the Illuminati. It’s an exclusive club, there’s a symbol that may or may not mean something and once you are a member, you learn all kinds of secrets. Before you run, we’re willing to let you in on a few (but not all) of the secrets you’ll learn by running your first Ragnar Relay. Here are seven:
One: It’s Not All About the Running
Yes, a Ragnar Relay is a running race. And yes, you will run anywhere between 12 and 26 miles. But, unlike traditional races, you don’t run all your mileage at once. It’s a team event that is run relay style where your mileage is divided into three chunks. Between each leg, you’ll have 11-people’s runs worth of downtime. That means time to grab snacks, take a shower, sleep a tiny bit, look at Ragnar Gear, explore partner tents, cheer for your teammates and bond with your teammates.
Two: The Night Run is the Best Part
When you hear that you’ll be running in the dark, your first thoughts may range anywhere from “oh hell no” to “I’m terrified of bears” to “I think ghosts are real.” In other words, you may have some nerves about running at night, but again and again, Ragnarians claim that the best part of a Ragnar is the night run. Once you calm your fears, you get to enjoy the rare experience of running under a billion stars on a calm road. It’s almost life changing.
Three: You’ll See Some Unforgettable Scenery
Every single Reebok Ragnar Relay course takes you 200-ish miles through some of the most breathtaking parts of the country. Some of it is places you never thought you’d see. And, when you slow down a bit, you’ll get the chance to take in the view and watch the sunrise.
Four: A Positive Attitude is Everything
Ragnars are a bizarre mix of being trapped in a van, an endurance event and a sleepover where you don’t sleep. Even if you have the optimism of Jimmy Fallon, you will come across times where you either want to drive off without one of your van mates or you’ll doubt your ability to finish. How you overcome these situations will both make your experience more fun and make you a better person in the long run. Just remember to smile and have snacks on deck.
Five: The Things that Go Wrong Make Your Experience More Memorable
Just like a Griswold Family Christmas, a Ragnar is much more memorable when some things go astray. Though we don’t recommend bringing jello in a cardboard box, be prepared to beat your van to an exchange, possibly get lost, get hangry, find a way to jump your van, run in weird weather and a slew of other things. And then, be prepared to laugh about it all later.
Six: You Will Become Best Friends With Your Teammates
In 24-36 hours, you’ll go through a lifetime of experience with your van mates. You’ll skip the awkward small talk and immediately jump to the poop jokes. Then, by the end of the race, you’ll have a new running friend (and possibly more, as people have been known to meet their significant other at Ragnar).
Seven: It’s Strangely Addicting
Think of it in an If You Give a Mouse a Cookie way. Sure, you’ll start out by running one Ragnar. Then you’ll want a double medal. Then you’ll want the flair. Then you’ll probably want the immortal medal to go with it. Every time you run a Ragnar, you’ll have a different experience, whether it’s because you run different legs, have different teammates, run into different challenges or try a different course. And it will keep you coming back for more.
So, get in on all the secrets of being a Ragnarian. Find your next Ragnar here.