Ragnar Trail Richmond

ragnar-trail-rva-logoMy very first Ragnar experience! I have always wanted to do one of these races, but always struggled with trying to find a team. I went to a local RWB luncheon and someone was looking for a teammate. It was an opportunity I could not pass up, so I joined. The trails have always been my favorite place to run and I have never done a trail race before, so I was very much looking forward to this event. For those who don’t know, Ragnar is an overnight team relay race. Two days and one night of camping out in the great outdoors and best of all, RUNNING!! Our team consisted of 8 people, including myself. Each of us had to run the red, yellow and green loop. Everyone runs all day and night until each team member completes each of the three different trail loops.

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Here is a map of the three different loops we had to run throughout the park. These distances were actually little short compared to what we ran.

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I took off work that Friday and drove down to Richmond Thursday night. I arrived at the campsite early Friday morning at Pocahontas State Park to set up my tent.

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I actually did not know anyone on my team prior to meeting them, but they welcomed me like family!

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I was a part of Team RWB Fredericksburg #1. Our first runner did not start until the afternoon so we had some time to kill that morning and made sure to get a team photo.

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I spent a lot of time kicked back and relaxed on the hammocks by the water. We lucked out with very nice weather for the race. It was cloudy, but did not rain at all!

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The many runners of Ragnar Village! I took this picture just before partaking in Yoga. I am not a very big fan of yoga. I am not super flexible, which makes it that more difficult for me. It was nice to do something different for a change and get some stretches in because I know I don’t stretch as much as I should (as most runners don’t, you know who you are!).

I didn’t start my first leg until sometime around 7 pm. We were behind schedule based on our projected times. My first leg was the yellow loop which was the longest out of the three. I was a little worried it would get dark out there on the trails so I brought my head lamp with me just in case. The yellow loop was a nice run on the trails and I didn’t have any problems at all.

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I started my 2nd leg at around 4 am. We had a nice system going to make sure we did not miss our turn to run. Lets say it was my turn, the runner that just returned would wake up the runner going after me so we did not miss our turn to run (that makes sense, right?).  My 2nd leg was the green loop. This was my first time ever running on the trails in the middle of the night. My headlamp did me good out there! It was a very different experience running in the middle of the woods at night alone. Everyone was pretty spaced out so I did not run into that many people during my loop. I ran with music to drown out the eerie forest. All I could see was about 3 feet out in front of me where my head lamp shown. I made sure to watch my footing and almost ran down the wrong trail. You really have to be careful out there to follow the signs. It is easy to get lost if you are not paying attention. One thing I remember vividly from that trail were the mountain bike mounds I had to run up and down. Those were kinda fun in the dark. Surprisingly my clumsy tail didn’t trip out there!

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My last loop consisted of the red one. Many teams were falling behind schedule so they decided to pair up the last few runners. I was the very last leg of the race along with one other teammate who had the red loop as well.

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The beginning of the trail was very scenic. I had missed some of this scenery when I ran by around 4am so it was nice to see it again during the day. Many people stated that the yellow loop was much harder compared to the red one, so I was not worried. I took this loop pretty easy since I was running with a teammate. I even stopped to take a few pictures along the way. I wore a shirt that said “Run as One” which couldn’t have been more fitting! I ran into one of my teammates towards the end of the trail and met up with the rest of my team.

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I had the honor of bringing our team into the finish! I am glad someone was able to capture the moment!

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A couple of our teammates had to skedaddle, but our team after picture came out pretty amazing if I do say so myself!!

20160430_172248 I loved how our medals contained a secret message that we had to combine as a team! I, of course, took the medal that had the word “adventure” on it 8)

IMG_20160430_212736This medal was very different unlike any other medal I’ve received. This medal was actually made to be adventure friendly! This medal includes a saw, a bottle opener, a knife, flex wrench, and nut and bolt wrench! I actually have not used it in any of these ways yet and have it hanging at my desk at work, but still pretty cool nonetheless!

20160627_124234But that’s not all, we even received an awesome belt buckle for placing first in our division!

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Ragnar was hosting an Instagram competition for the event. Like the Instagram junkie that I am I told myself I had to enter and lo and behold I can’t believe I ended up winning the thing!!

I ended up winning $150 gift card to the Ragnar store, a Nathan Zephyr Fire 300, and a free pair of Salomon trail running shoes! I had so much fun during this race with camping, smores, good times, good people and more! I  definitely recommend this race to anyone considering a Ragnar. I plan to run the DC Ragnar Road race in the fall which will be my first road relay race!

For those who would like to support my team race in September can donate here:

Click Here to Support TEAM RWB 8)
 

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