NRHEG Group Completes 200-Mile Ragnar Relay
I understand that running is a good way to stay in shape. I want to know when running for fun crosses the line toward insanity.
My daughter, Cynthia, completed the Ragnar Relay Saturday at East Rivers Flats Park near the University of Minnesota. The run started more than 30 hours earlier and more than 200 miles away in Winona. They ran a relay race through the night, through pouring rain, and were diverted by flooded areas. How many people could possibly want to do that?
Arriving at the park I found that more than 100 teams put themselves through this. I bumped into NRHEG teacher and coach Wendy Schultz, who was part of a team that had just completed the run. And it wasn't her first time. These relay runs are held throughout the country.
It was my daughter's first time in this event in a summer filled with challenging runs. She has run a half-marathon, a 25K trail run and a Tough Mudder. Her friends have run a full marathon and a 50K trail run.
In the Ragnar Relay, teams of up to 12 runners take legs of less than 10 miles. They try to rest or sleep in vans or high school gyms. Some runners on Cynthia's team slept in the park at the finish line while waiting for the final runners to complete the race. Each team uses two vans to get runners into position to take the hand-off at each exchange spot. Schultz was part of the first van for her team so they had a chance to check into a hotel, shower and sleep before heading to the finish line to join the rest of their team.
There is also an elite division with teams of just six runners dividing up the 200-plus mile journey.
Watching these runners inspires me to run more. I look forward to Saturday's Owatonna Rotary's STRIVE Wellness Run at the Steele County Fair. The 5K distance is barely a warm up for some of the runners I saw this weekend.