So, Thursday evening I’m hopping in a van to drive to Miami so that I can run from Miami to Key West. Yep.. 196.9 miles* by foot. Thankfully, I’m only running 14.6 of the total distance.
*Map says 196.9 but when you add up runner distances it’s 197.1… make up your mind, Ragnar. Two tenths of a mile matters! And elsewhere on the website it says 199 miles. So confused.
“Ragnar is the overnight running relay race that makes testing your limits a team sport. A team is made up of 6-12 individuals; each individual runs 3 legs. The legs of the race vary in difficulty and distance, from 3-8 miles, allowing elite and novice runners to run together. Over 2 days and 1 night, teams run across 200 miles of the country’s most scenic terrain. Pair that with crazy costumes, inside jokes, a great finish line party and unforgettable stories. Some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant. We call it Ragnar.”
Our team, Chuck Norris Never Ragnar’d, is composed of 12 runners: 3 men, 9 women. 9 of us are from Jacksonville, 1 from Tallahassee (Alaska.. technically!), 1 living in Orlando and 1 in the Ft. Lauderdale area. We’ve been planning since last January when we became incredibly jealous of the 2012 Ragnar Florida Keys live tweets. Although it’s been hectic maintaining 12 people (it’s difficult to commit to something a year away), organizing van rentals, reserving hotel rooms, ordering t-shirts, picking runner distances, and organizing food and supplies… I have a feeling it will all be worth it.
Each of the 12 runners will run three times. Runners 1-6 will run their relay legs first with Van 1 (Van 1 is “on” while Van 2 is “off”), then exchange the race with Runners 7-12 in Van 2 (Van 1 is “off” while Van 2 is “on”).. the cycle then repeats until everyone has run three times. During the “on” times, the vans can park on the side of the road and cheer for runners or drive ahead and wait at minor exchanges. During the “off” times, vans can cheer or drive ahead to the major exchanges and party at the many fesitivites occurring along the way… or, you know… sleep. Maybe. Confusing? It is at first, but the more you look at it, the more it makes sense.
I am runner number 5 on the team, so I will run legs 5, 17 and 29:
This will be my first “race” since dealing with my hip saga. I did not run at all from February to September and have run minimally the last three months. I know I can handle these short distances, though, and I’m focused on having a good time – not my pace!
The most interest part the last two days has been packing. The number one goal: Don’t over pack! We may have two fifteen-passenger vans with only six people per van, but we have a lot of STUFF. To make sure we don’t have 12 jars of peanut butter and no knives or spoons, we split up our supply list. For example, runners 1&7 will bring bagels, peanut butter, jelly and string cheese. Runners 2&8 will bring bananas, oranges and chewy bars… etc. etc. Other runners are responsible for dry goods such as baby wipes, paper towels, TP and trash bags. This way, each van will have equal supplies and everyone only has to bring 3-4 items. Everyone is also responsible for their own night-time reflective running vest and we need a total of four head lamps and tail lights. I’ll let you know how this all works out.
Packing personal items.. yikes! After reading what Ragnar recommends and reading several blogs, I came up with this list:
GU, energy beans, whatever you like
Two or three sets of running clothes (in ziploc bags, labeled)
Running Shoes (extra pair if the forecast calls for rain)
Hand held/running water bottle
Three or four pairs of socks
Blanket & Pillow (small one)
Sweatpants, sweatshirt (for night-time.. after a hot run I REALLY cool down)
Pair of comfy shorts/shirt to lounge in
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Travel shampoo, soap
Deodorant (honestly though.. why bother at this point..)
Eye mask/ear plugs (if you need to sleep during the day)
Car charger for phone, iPod, Garmin, etc.
Cash (showers, snacks, memorabilia)
Hair brush/Hair ties/hair pins/head bands
Something somewhat clean to wear after the race at a restaurant/bar/drive home
Coolers for everyone’s cold supplies
What am I forgetting?
You can follow the race on Twitter with #ragnarflk or follow our kickass team, Chuck Norris Never Ragnar’d, with #CNNRagnarD. And, for a much more eloquently written and more detailed blog on the race – visit’s Stacey’s post :)
1/9/13 EDIT: You can view the race re-cap here!