Finding the Keys

Seven Mile Bridge

A few days ago, the team captain of my Ragnar Relay team gave me a ring. My teammates all live in the Twin Cities area and it’s been more than a month since we ran the Great River race, so I was a little curious when I answered her call.

Kelly dropped me a line to see if I’d be interested in running another Ragnar Relay, this time organized by her brother Nick, from Miami to the Florida Keys. It’s a 185-mile oceanside relay and virtually everyone going had been on our Great River team over the past 3 years.

It just so happens that I was looking for an early January race, and the one I had been looking at – the Valley of the Angels Trail Marathon near Las Vegas – was starting to turn into a logistical pain due to travel arrangements. If I could score a cheap airline ticket, how could I pass up going to the Florida Keys.

As it turns out, direct flights from Minneapolis to Miami were pretty cheap, and after letting a few team members know about the American Airlines price, we decided to jump on it. I’m sure the 6 a.m. departure time out of the airport had a lot to do with the price, but it will be worth the early wakeup call.

Once on board, Nick asked if anyone had preferences on running shorter or longer legs. Being a glutton for punishment, I told him I’d be happy to take the longest leg – or at least one of the longest legs. He replied that I’d be the first runner – which means I’d be able to get our team started in the race – and expect to run 22 miles overall. After I popped onto the Ragnar website, I found out the best part: my last leg would be a long one and include the famed Seven Mile Bridge, part of the Overseas Highway stretching from the mainland to the Keys. That’s going to be one very cool run. Add in a few post-relay days in the sun, and it will be a nice break from the Fargo winter.

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