Ragnar Relay Races: Best Sleepover Ever

Positive peer pressure for a healthier 2017.

Brooke Wilhelmsen Jan 1, 2017

January: The month your health goals are born. March: The month your health goals have officially died. Unless you’ve committed to an overnight Ragnar relay race during which you’ll run approximately 15 miles in three segments with your team of friends and family cheering you on. 

Ragnar is a Utah-born company started in 2004 by BYU roommates Tanner Bell and Dan Hill and Dan’s father, Steve Hill. The Ragnar series consists of 41 (and counting) overnight team relay races in scenic locations across the United States and Canada.

Reebok Ragnar Relays

  • Teams are formed with 12 runners or six ultrarunners.
  • The race course covers 200 miles on roads, for
  • an average of 17 miles per runner, or double that for an ultra.
  • Each runner completes three legs of the race, with nine or so hours between legs to recover. One leg is run in the dark.
  • Runners live out of two vans or SUVs that carry the teammates to each exchange point along the course, cheering each other on as they go.

Salomon Ragnar Trail Relays

  • Teams are formed with eight runners or four ultrarunners.
  • The race consists of three dirt-trail loops that total about 16 miles.
  • Each teammate completes all three loops, one of which is in the dark, with nine or so hours between legs to recover, cheer on friends, sleep, etc.
  • Eight-person team members run about 16 miles. (Double that for an ultrateam.)
  • Live out of your team campsite (or rent a room near the venue) and hang out at Ragnar Village, a festival-like activity hub, where the three trails begin and end.

Ragnar 101

Following are 10 perks (health and otherwise) to running a Ragnar in 2017:

1. Do serious running without taking yourself too seriously. Fifteen miles in 24 hours is nothing to sneeze at. This is no 5K fun run. (Which is also nothing to sneeze at.) You need to train for it. Or at least you should train for it.

2. Become a night owl. When was the last time you went out running at 2 a.m.? Or even at sunrise? There’s something rare and peaceful about running under the stars in utter silence. You might be converted.

3. Spend a weekend with friends. Any road trip or campout builds serious bonds, but throw a team half-marathon-plus on top of it and your friends will feel like family and your family will feel like friends.

4. See new places. Get out on scenic back roads and trails in your state (or anywhere in the country really) that you’d never otherwise explore.

5. Stay motivated. There’s nothing like a deadline (and a little bit of panic) to help you keep your fitness goals. Balance your panic with the comforting knowledge that running a Ragnar is not about speed. It’s about pushing your limits and enjoying the ride.

6. Do something ridiculous. Decorate a van, a campsite or yourself in paint and lights. Run in a Superman cape. Parade around an absurd team name. Or not.

7. Build work relationships and morale. Maybe your workplace could use some team building. Sponsor or build a group at work.

8. Free shoes. Reebok Ragnar road race captains get a sweet pair of kicks.

9. Satisfy your curiosity. See what all the fuss is about. Cross it off your bucket list. (Or watch as it becomes a tradition.) Earn a sticker. Call yourself a Ragnarian.

10. Make yourself proud. Between the training, the planning, the running and the lack of sleep, when all is said and done you will have accomplished something  big. You’ll be impressed and so will others.

Local Ragnar Races

Ragnar Trail Zion — Utah

Presented by Salomon
Zion Ponderosa Ranch
May 12-13, 2017

Reebok Ragnar Wasatch Back

Logan to Midway, Utah
June 2-3, 2017

Ragnar Trail Snowmass — Colorado

Presented by Salomon
Snowmass Resort
June 2-3, 2017

Reebok Ragnar Colorado

Copper Mountain to Snowmass
Aug. 25-26, 2017

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