Imagine this: 12 people, two vans, six people in each van, all working together to run about 200 miles in two days. This is Ragnar Relay in a nutshell. A few weeks ago, part of the Orange team (along with some brave runners who don’t work with us) took on the Napa Valley Ragnar Relay. In all honesty, this race couldn’t have come at a worse time. The weekend it happened, was basically the start of our busy season and many of us on the team were so caught up with work the weeks leading up to the race, we didn’t have much time to plan for what was ahead of us.
Our running adventure started Friday morning with the van we rented being unavailable. This made us late to the first exchange point, meaning our runner missed the exchange and someone from the first van had to run it for her.
We quickly rushed to the next exchange point so that we could at least get back on track. I was runner seven, so I quickly slathered on some sunscreen, put on my running shoes, and got my music ready, while we drove to the next exchange point. From here, I basically jumped out of the car, grabbed the baton from my team mate and started a seven mile run in the midday heat. Needless to say, it wasn’t one of my best runs, but I made it through and better yet, van two was back on track.
After our rocky start, things started to go a bit smoother. We each successfully ran our first legs and got to see the sunset in the beautiful Napa Valley area. When we passed the baton back to van one, we had a bit of time to rest, shower, and eat, but before we knew it, it was 12am and we were due back on the course.
Due to some misreading of the map and lack of sleep, we dropped our runner Alex off at the wrong exchange point and had to make a correction from there, but she was awesome and powered through her late night/early morning 6 mile run.
While our journey was far from smooth sailing, the Ragnar adventure was something very unique. We all pushed our bodies to the limit. Running on little to no sleep, in the heat of the day (for Jack as far as 12 miles in 90 degrees), then in the cold of the early morning, not to mention three times in a row is pretty close to insanity.
That being said, we all came out of it different people, we were all a bit closer and had a feeling of accomplishment. I think we would all agree, if we did it again, we would do many things differently . . . but it doesn’t mean we wouldn’t do it again.