Long overdue Ragnar Trail recap from last weekend, as I’m still trying to come up with the right words to describe how amazing it was… I’ve been in a daze of Ragnover (Ragnar Hangover) ever since we began packing up and heading back to MD Saturday evening.
Official Summary Statement? WORDS. CANNOT. DESCRIBE. Zero, no vocabulary exists for the amount of awesome experienced in less than two days.
Friday was an early morning, as Pocahontas State Park can be anywhere from a 3 hour drive to a 6 hour drive, depending on the God-grace of traffic you have to weasel through. Ours wasn’t terrible at all.
We arrived and got camp set up in a remarkable 20-30 minutes and thank goodness we were early, because it filled up quick! Ragnar village was complete with merch, food trucks, plenty of latrines, a Salomon tent (with trial Salomon trail shoes available!), an enormous fire pit, vendor tents and an Eno hammock village right at the chutes to watch your runners transition (see below).
If you’re not familiar with a Ragnar Trail, your team is made up of 4 or 8 people who each complete 3 different loops of trails for a total of 24 loops. In my opinion, Ragnar Trail setups are so much more conducive to the team aspect than their road races. The road races are a blast, but you feel a little more like two teams of six rather than a large team of 12.
I loved having a campsite to come back to, a flat place to rest (because really, who sleeps during Ragnar?), and it was fun to mingle and bond as a team. We honored each team member with a Ragnar Trail name (listed below) throughout the weekend!
Trail running at night was a lot of the team’s fear, mine included! Thankfully, the trails at Pocahontas State Park are sooooooo easy (and Ragnar did a phenom job marking them) that it was really enjoyable. It didn’t slow my pace too terribly, although you’re not as aware of the amount of uphill you endure when it’s too dark to see it so around mile 4 my body kind of went “ughhhhhh whaaaaat is up?”… All those little up and downs are great training, though! Oh, and the constant slight fear of wildlife kept the motivation to run faster heightened in most of us…
By sunrise we started coming up with a plan, as we realized we weren’t going to make the cutoff due to our later start time on Friday… We ended up doubling up our last 6 runners, so I got to run the green loop with Stephanie, Jamie and Melissa conquered the yellow loop together and Mary Anne and Mary Gary finished the red loop with Emily along for the experience, too! Our team’s official finish time was just over 28 hours!
Top Row: Emerson, Mommy Long Legs, Kap’t Kistler, Bug Bait, Ninja (aka Donette)
Bottom Row: Volunteer, Backseat, Mommy Short Legs, Gary and Paparazzi
In our immediate Ragnover state, four of the S’mOregon Trail runners have dedicated themselves to an Ultra Ragnar Trail in Wawayanda State Park, NJ so stay tuned for that… Post race Ragnover symptoms are subsiding, with the occasional withdrawal episode.