Finish line.

Keith Olson tells about the intense stages of running a Ragnar Relay

200 miles, 12 people, two vans, 34 hours, and a whole lot of thoughts

Run. Drive. Sleep? Repeat. This is the slogan of the Ragnar Relay series that occurs in 18 locations throughout the United States and one in Canada. I had the opportunity to join a group from Winona on August 17 and 18 at the Great River event. The Great River event travels from Winona, Minnesota, through rural Wisconsin to St Paul.  

 Ragnar is a running road race where you gather 12 running acquaintances, evaluate their running capability and then assign each a spot in the running order. Runners 1 thru 6 start on Friday morning of race weekend while Runners 7 thru 12 go to relay exchange 6 and participate in a safety video and check-in. Van 1 follows the first set of participants through legs 1 – 6. At each exchange, the next runner takes a wrist slapband from the current runner in an exchange chute where the officials write down the team number as the exchange occurs. The exhausted runner usually needs a few minutes to slow the flow of sweat and walk around before hopping in the van and going to find their current running partner out on the course. They offer encouragement and make sure the runner doesn’t need water or Gatorade before the van shoots ahead to the next exchange point where the subsequent runner makes final adjustments to clothes and shoes. 

 

See complete story in this week's issue of the Springfield Advance-Press.

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