Wasatch Back Stories: Adam’s Story

Quebec HMMy name is Adam Silverstein, I’m 27 from North Las Vegas, Nevada and am proud to be Runner 3 for Team 97, Ragnar MizFitz, for the 2013 Ragnar Wasatch Back. This is my sixth Ragnar, my second Wasatch Back, and is on the heels of finishing 2013 Ragnar Niagara just one week ago. I used to run because I could. Now I run because everyone, including my own body, tells me I can’t.

On August 29, 2012, after two months of worsening muscle weakness in my eyes, face, neck and arms, I was officially diagnosed with an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder called Myasthenia Gravis. In short, my body’s immune system is attacking the acetylcholine receptors in my muscles, preventing them from properly contracting and causing weakness and fatigue, sometimes because of overuse, sometimes because of stress, environmental changes, infections, etc., and sometimes for seemingly no discernible reason whatsoever. And while there is no known cure, I am currently undergoing several treatments, including an oral medication I take 3 to 5 times daily and an IV therapy I receive every other week. And while there’s no guarantee, the possibility exists that I could go into a period of remission when the disease seemingly lies dormant within my body, but could flare up without warning at any point.

Some days, I’m fortunate enough to be able to chew more than bite or two of food at a time. Other days, I’m happy not feeling like 50-lb. weights are hanging from my eyelids. Sometimes I get to look forward to a moment of clarity, when I can take off the eye patch that’s become a permanent part of my wardrobe, and can actually focus on a single image. And occasionally, it takes every ounce of energy I possess to consciously take in each and every breath. All of this added together makes it difficult, if not impossible, to run. I may wake up on Friday feeling the strongest I’ve felt in nearly a year, or I may find myself lucky if I’m able to put one foot in front of the other through 19.4 miles. But I will push forward, I will fight back and I will refuse to let the disease win.

I choose to run, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. 





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Dylan’s Wings of Change – Ragnar Cape Cod Follow up

dylan hockleyLast month, team Dylan’s Wings of Change, came together and conquered the almost 200 mile course at Ragnar Relay Cape Cod to honor the memory Dylan Hockley, age 6 from Newtown, CT. Six months ago Dylan’s life, and the lives of 25 others, was cut short in the tragedy that took place in the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. Team Run for Dylan was featured in the race day publication, the Ragmag at Ragnar Relay Cape Cod. The bravery, honesty, and emotion that this team was willing to share with their fellow runners touched both the staff at Ragnar, as well as anyone connected to the event. On the 6 month anniversary of this tragedy, we reached out to the team to find out how the experience of coming together as a team affected the healing process.


“We did (Ragnar) for Dylan,” said Jennifer Carello, a family friend of the Hockley’s and a member of the 12 person team. “We didn’t do Ragnar because we were runners.”


The team ran Ragnar to raise money for Dylan’s Wings of Change. The charity is dedicated to providing support for children with autism and other special needs and committed to positive change for the future. The goal is to ensure that these children can gain access to the vital services they require that enhance their ability to reach their personal potential and lead productive, fulfilling lives.


Team run for Dylan

“We had been in a dark place and running this event brought us a little bit towards the light,” Jennifer said.  Jennifer and her teammates, including Dylan’s father,  collectively raised $20,042 and plan on doing the race again next year – they might even have 2 teams running for Dylan. You can still donate to their cause.


On Jennifer’s night run, her hardest leg of the race, her legs started cramping.  “My legs hurt so bad,” Jennifer explained. “The only thing that kept me going was thinking about Dylan and the other children. The pain is nothing compared to the experience they had.”


Keeping Dylan in mind during the race kept Jennifer and her teammates going. One step at a time, the team is making the world a better place through Dylan’s legacy.


Each and every Ragnar runner has encountered “the dark place” at some point during their 200 mile journey. For many, it is the night leg. For others, it is running through the heat, or running through injury, pain, and even personal self-doubt. It is never easy to make it through these moments and having a team counting on you, supporting you, and walking/running along-side you has often been the key factor in making it through. It feels better on the other side, and maybe part of the appeal of these otherwise insane endeavors is the release you feel when you’ve made it through to the other side.  With many during these dark moments, and certainly for Dylan’s Wings of Change, are the loved ones you hold dear. Sometimes it is the loss of a loved one. Sometimes it is for the hope of recovery. Sometimes it is just to find something inside of yourself that you weren’t even sure you were capable of.  It’s personal and unique for every team.


Certainly for Team Dylan’s Wings of Change, it is a message of hope, loss, pain, and struggle. But also a chance to breathe in and breathe out for a purpose greater than ourselves. We hope that anyone running can find solace in the strength of teams like this; we hope they find joy in their journey too. One mile at a time.


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Ragnar Relay Niagara Ontario – Meet Katie

Katie Aston Seeley

Tomorrow is a day for adventure. A day for pushing oneself beyond the known limits. For crossing the boundaries of self-doubt. This is the first international Ragnar Relay Niagara Ontario. And you, lucky runners, are the very first Ragnarians to conquer the course, one kilometer at a time.

Keeping an eagle eye on all of the participants is a woman who came to Ragnar a year ago with big ambitions and just the right amount of heart to throw together a 311 km overnight relay, and make it look easy. Katie Aston Seeley, the young, up and coming race director, not only wrangled the logistics of this beautiful Ragnar, but managed to do it all this year and get married in her spare time. She’s pretty proud about both accomplishments, but you’ll hear her going on and on about this stunning course. “Ragnar Relay Niagara Ontario is one of the series’ flattest courses, allowing runners to push themselves for even faster times, and teams to push for record completion times for a Ragnar Relay. And, if running itself doesn’t take your breath away, the Toronto skyline at night sure will! Plus, this has to be the most incredible finish line ever: runners will get to celebrate a great finish while looking down at both the American and Canadian Falls in Niagara.” She has a point. But, it’s not just the course that makes this race special. The real secret to an awesome race is, well, you. Katie describes the Ragnar Relay Niagara Ontario as “the most adventurous of the Ragnar Nation, and the bravest of the Canadian running community that truly embodies the Ragnar Viking spirit of venturing to new lands and conquering with a sense of adventure. Plus, Ragnar runners are helping us give back to the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, an organization dedicated to building trails and communities conducive to running and active lifestyles.” It’s true: Ragnar runners rock. And this weekend, they’ll be making Ragnar history. Good luck runners!

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Scheels Pre-Race Van Decorating Party and Pre Race Expo

The 10th anniversary of Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back is almost here and Scheels is here to help you get ready! Join us for a van decorating party and the official pre race expo at Scheels, in Sandy, UT.

Who: Come one come all! Ragnarians, future Ragnarians, wannabe Ragnarians, friends, cats, lizards…. you get the point!
Cost: FREE
When: Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 – 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Where: Scheels, The official Sporting Goods Retailer of the Wasatch Back – 11282 S State St Sandy, UT 84070

Pre-Race Block Party at Scheels
Live music and appearances by local dignitaries will be part of the fun. You’ll also have a chance to win prizes from Scheels, FM100 and the Arrow.

Van Decorating Party
ragnar vanScheels is proving a FREE Van Decorating Kit to help teams get their race day vehicle’s ready. You’ll also have a chance to win Free Asics Shoes for your Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back Team. We’ll choose our favorite Van and reward the entire team with Free Asics Shoes on Wednesday night.




Limited edition commemorative Ragmags

Scheels has a limited number of Ragmags available for purchase for just $5. Stop by and get your extra copies.

Ragnar Gear
ragnar gear at scheelsScheels has all the Ragnar gear you need on sale now, including all Ragnar approved safety equipment. Preview and purchase our Brand New 2013 Ragnar gear.






Free Pre-Race Dinner provided by Morning Star Farms & Scheelsmorning star
Come enjoy a tasty, complimentary meal provided by our partners at Morning Star Farms. Their delicious vegetarian products are a healthy alternative to greasy burgers and are the perfect pre-race meal.

* Van decorating kits and pre-race dinners are first come first serve, until supplies run out.

We hope to see you there!

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