For the fifth straight summer, I’ll be joining teammates for the Ragnar Great River Relay from Winona to Minneapolis later this week. It sounds imposing – 12 people combine to run 198 miles relay style – with 3 legs, little to no sleep and cramped quarters.
But you find a lot out about yourself, and others, in an event like Ragnar. Some teams struggle, fighting the elements and each other, wishing they’d never signed up. But most teams find themselves coming together – a shared camaraderie and support for each other – and find plenty of laughs along the way.
My first Ragnar was a bit odd: I found a team lacking a runner while searching an online forum, and it turned out to be a great fit. Luckily, I sent emails to 3 different teams and picked the one that seemed to be the best fit for both the team and me. That initial match has led to good friendships, an annual invitation to rejoin the team and meeting up at other races. We even reunited for a Ragnar relay from Miami to Key West.
Each year seems to be filled with its own highlights and memories – a special moment each year for me that renews my commitment to running and rekindles friendships and bonds with my teammates.
I love this time of the year.