What is a Ragnar Relay, you ask? It is an approximately 200 mile race, run by a 12 member team. (The team is divided into two vans for logistics sake.) Each runner rotates through for legs that can range from 2 miles to almost 10 miles, for a total of between 13 and 21 miles per runner. And once you start, you keep going until you finish. So, for example, our team began running at 8:30 Friday morning and had a runner on the course until we finished a little before 3 on Saturday afternoon.
It's about 60% running race, 20% navigational challenge, and 20% teamwork exercise. And we did it all in tutus!
Why tutus, you ask? Our captain mother runner, Dimity (who is as big in spirit as she is tall), had recently run a different Ragnar and had loved how the tutus--which are specially made to run in--made her team members distinguishable from far away. Especially since none of us knew each other very well at first, the tutus were brilliant!
Of course, tutus or not, it doesn't take many hours to get to know people when you're riding in a van together cross-country. I was lucky to be teamed-up with....
- Nikki, who seemed like a quiet quilter-mom (check out her work), at first, but took on hills like a beautiful, smiling Mack truck.
- Angela, who looked sweet and innocent in her tutu, but made a hobby of "tagging" the other vans with our logo when no one was looking.
- Laura, who was incredibly chill until she started running, when she "killed" (passed) people with ruthless intensity.
- Aimee, a super laid back ultra-runner, with a gorgeous Southwestern drawl. (Aside: Do laid-back people become ultra-runners? Or does running ultras make you laid back? I can't decide which comes first, but every ultra person I know has that same "don't sweat the small stuff" outlook on life.)
- And Janelle, our mama-hen who was vital to keeping track of logistics and tough enough to keep right on running after a pretty bad spill on a dirt road in the dark.
A pony tried to eat my tutu. Also, I thought I lost the slap bracelet "baton" after my 3 a.m. leg. Thankfully, I had just pushed it up with my sleeve. Even more thankfully, I had teammates there to point it out before I could freak out too badly!
But even more than that, I slept in a corn field. I trekked down country roads with only the stars for company. I ran in just a sports bra for the first time in my life, for goodness sakes.
In short, I had a little adventure, which I think is a good thing for a mama to a not-quite-three-year-old to do every now and then.
A big old thanks to Dimity and Sarah of Another Mother Runner, as well as all the other companies that helped sponsor the team (Saucony, Nuun, Knuckle Lights, Hyland's, Sof Sole, 110%, NutZo, GU, Larabar, Ultimate Direction, Team Refuel, SkinFare, and, of course, Tough Girl Tutus--phew!). And if you want to hear more about the race, my team (Team Dimity's) recap is here, and Team Sarah's will be up in the next few days.