People would ask “You are doing what this weekend? A Ragnar Relay”? “What is a Ragnar Relay”? After they got the answer, most of the participants got a weird look!
The inaugural TN Ragnar race took place on Friday and Saturday. The relay started in Chattanooga, TN and ended in Nashville, TN. 160 teams participated in the 195 mile run over the two days. Each team had 12 members (unless you were in the Ultra runner class–they had 6 members) with a member running all the time. The goal was to run your “leg”, get to the next check point, and pass the baton to another member. The legs varied in distance and difficulty, but were typically around 5-6 miles. Each member running 3 times throughout the 28 hour duration.
We were in van 1 which started the race in Chattanooga. Steve led us off on the first leg, a 7.8 miler, with a killer hill around mile 4. We provided support along the way, except when we hit a spot along the river that smelled like every fish that had ever died washed on shore and rotted! Off to a great start, it was lots of fun from there!
Josh and Judith picked up the baton for the next two legs, I followed with a 6.2 miler along the river, which was beautiful, and Troy and Ryan carried us through to complete our first set of 6 run legs.
At the exchange to van 2 we had lots of laughs and a few sighs…..van 2 was not only stuck with the climb up Monteagle, but also the rain/sleet/hail/snow….They were quit the studs!
Van 2 is off running and we are enjoying pizza and beer, good conversation, and thoughts of a nap. We were all cold, tired, chilled from sweat mixing with cold, and applying anti-chaffing products to areas that need attention. It was in this moment we re-hashed a conversation we had on a run months ago….The 3 Types of Fun!
The 3 types of Fun can be described:
1. Fun while you are doing it–this would be something you enjoy while in the moment–could be cooking, playing a game, at a party, roller coaster, etc.
2. Type 2 Fun is fun, that really isn’t all that fun in the moment but after you stop doing it for a short period of time, you reflect back and think, “that was kind of fun”—running through the hills, sitting at a horse show waiting all day to watch your daughter do a 30 second run, or hosting that hard party and reflecting after all the guests went home.
3. Type 3 fun is not fun at all while doing, but after you think about it for (a longer) period of time, it really was fun. Could be running in the cold, rain, at 11:30 p.m. uphill, the party that was a flop but was nice to see everyone, running the rim to rim in the grand canyon (I did not personally do this one, but others in group did. Time still may have to pass for them to state that as fun, it has only been a month!).
While participating in the Ragnar Relay you experience all 3 types of fun! The memories of silly stories, slap happy moments, sleep deprivation and just stupid stuff that comes up, lots of fun!
Leg 2 in the middle of the night or the start of leg 3, around 5 a.m. with 2 hours of sleep, seemed to be the most difficult. It is not only the miles of running that take a toll, but the fatigue, poor eating, cold, confined quarters, and having to run when you really want to crawl back in the van and sleep. It is amazing how the mind can think it and the body adapts! The van support and motivational yelling and hooping it up makes a difference too!
Day time on Saturday was your friend. We had a beautiful sunrise and nice runs into Cool Springs and Franklin. At the big exchange, Healthways in Cool Springs, van 1 was done. Van 2 pulled us through the remaining 6 legs and did the team proud. We all met around the corner of the finish line and ran in together. I think we actually ran in too fast, my legs were killing me at this point!
The medal proves to be a reminder of a great event! The laughs, stories, memories, and 3 levels of fun! I would highly recommend finding 11 of your closest friends and signing up for a future relay event, you will enjoy!