UPDATED (2:43 p.m.) Last year, Jenny Aune and Marilyn Laliberte joined a team of 4 other runners for the Ragnar Great River Relay from Winona, Minn., to Minneapolis, winning the mixed division of the 190+ mile ultra relay.
This year, Fargo Running Co. put together an all-women team. The result? Another title.
Most teams running the relay use 12 runners, each taking 3 legs totaling 11-21 miles. The ultra teams, though, do the same distance with half as many runners. Instead of completing one leg and handing off to a teammate, the ultra teams run 2 legs at a time.
They endure twice the heat and humidity. They conquer twice the hills. And on paper it looks like it would be twice as difficult – but it’s much more difficult than that.
Consider these factors: the Fargo Running Co. team of “Ultra Fast Women” started at 11 a.m. Friday and temperatures soared into the upper 80s, they carpooled all the runners in one van and didn’t sleep during the duration of the race, which took them about 25 hours, 46 minutes.
Joining Jenny and Marilyn on the team were Leslie Brunette, Julie Bosch, Marnie Walth and Lori Klabunde. Combined, they rocked the course with a pace of 7 minutes, 56 seconds per mile along the Mississippi River bluffs. It was fun seeing them out on the course with amazing energy and attitudes. While many suffered through the heat and hills, they appeared to thrive. Congrats on a great race!
My own Ragnar experience again served as the highlight of my summer for the 4th consecutive summer. Joining friends from the Twin Cities, we again had a blast – laughing, running and cheering each other on. And each time I run it, I’m reminded how thankful I am to participate and enjoy the opportunity to be with friends.
Several other Fargo-Moorhead runners also ran this year’s Ragnar, including the Women High On Running group and a team from Beyond Running. And I’m sure there were others. Congrats to all of them for a job well done.
Overall, it was quite a weekend. Check out my column in The Forum for more information.