Ragnar Relays have it right. And they are in the forefront of national phenomena. There has been an explosion of overnight relay races in the national running community. Consider that seven years ago there were only five overnight relay races. In 2006 there were only 11. Now there are at least 30, maybe more; and Ragnar Relays make up a third of that number! There is an interesting and fast growing movement in the running community toward the overnight relay race. There are many reasons for this explosion, but one of them is because the overnight relay presents a formidable challenge yet it is accessible to runners of all skill levels. And who doesn't like a party along with their running?
A Ragnar Relay gives runners a chance to enjoy the camaraderie of a race while running separately; a chance to cheer and support teammates while literally enjoying a rolling party and a unique adventure. The Ragnar Relay Events team understands this, and they have developed a wonderfully rich experience for all participants by expanding on what they know and the ability to apply it to ten—soon to be 11—regions of the country.
Not only are they taking the concept to different regions ( there are five in the west, four in the east, and one--soon two--in the middle of America), but they have spread their events across the calendar as well—four in the spring (highlighted below), three in the summer, and three in the fall.
Okay, you have conquered 5K's and 10K's; perhaps you have run the local half or full marathon, and maybe even finished a triathlon or two. Why not try something new; and maybe even something better? Certainly these adventures are very different.
Relays are a growing phenomenon in the U.S. and the Ragnar Relay Series is the largest overnight running relay series in the nation with 10 events and growing.
So what exactly is a Ragnar? Let's start with big mileage. Each race ranges between 170 to 200 "easier than you think" miles. Throw in two vans, 11 friends (including you makes 12) and 24 to 30 hours and you have yourself one heck of a relay race. This is big mileage, team camaraderie, beautiful countryside, and team logistics and creativity at its finest. There is no shortage of face paint, crazy costumes or decked out rides. Don't forget to add some chub rub, a spirit tunnel and non-stop high fives and you're stirring up a recipe for Awesome! This is Ragnar.
You're getting the idea now. So how do Ragnar Relays work? It is really quite simple. Your relay team will consist of 12 members (or 6 if an ultra team). During the relay, each team member runs three legs (or six for ultras), and each leg ranges from 3 to 8 miles and varies in difficulty. From the elite runner to the novice jogger, it's the perfect relay race for everyone.
Each team is responsible for providing two support vehicles, usually with six runners in each vehicle. The first vehicle will drop off the first runner, drive ahead a few miles, cheer the runner on, and provide them with water, snacks, and plenty of love and moral support. That vehicle will then drive ahead to the first exchange point to drop off the second runner, and pick up the first runner when that leg is complete. They will repeat this pattern for six legs until they hand off to their second vehicle. This leapfrogging pattern will continue day and night all the way to the finish line.
Here is an outline of the first four Ragnar Relays of 2010:
The Ragnar Relay Del Sol is a 203-mile 12-teammate, overnight relay race from Prescott to Mesa, Arizona running February 26 and 27, 2010. Your team will consist of 12 friends (or six members for ultra teams) who will run around the clock in this early spring relay through the Arizona Desert. Teams will rock out to live bands, enjoy the wacky participant costumes, and make life-long friends with teammates and competitors. While this 187-miler only runs from only lasts about 29 hours, the memories and inside jokes may last forever. During the relay, each team member runs three legs, each leg ranging between 3 and 8 miles and varying in difficulty. So from elite runners to novice joggers, it's perfect for anyone looking for an unforgettable relay adventure.
Ragnar Relay Del Sol, Feb 26 – 27, 2010
Prescott to Mesa, AZ
Contact: Janessa Black, firstname.lastname@example.org