I'd all but given up hope of running the Ragnar Relay in Las Vegas this year. There are 12 spots to be filled and we'd secured about half of them, but two of the runners who ran the Mud Run with us on June 13 were not among them. That sort of deflated us and knocked down our numbers.
But they're in, and there's a good chance that all of us (plus Mrs. Danny) are in for the Ragnar. All told, we have about eight or nine solid commitments and a handful of maybes. It'd be great to fill out 12 spots by the end of the month as it works out a bit cheaper with if we register by June 30.
So we're making a push to try and get our maybes or others who may not be on our radar to join us.
How are we doing this? By e-mail. Danny and I collaborated on an e-mail. Here's my part, and I tried to do my best to persuade potential Ragnar runners to commit.
It's 11:30 pm and you're worn out. A long drive and a late-morning run gave taken their toll on your legs, and your body feels as if it's ready to call it a day.
But you can't. Because if you do, you will let 11 other people down.
As part of your Ragnar Relay mission, you have to run almost five miles pretty soon, which would be your second run of the day, third overall of a 24-hour-plus span. The first one was a breeze, a simple five-miler you cranked out late in the morning. Now though, you're set for a challenge. Tired from having slept a few (uncomfortable) hours in the van, longing for a pillow and some peace and quiet, instead you are lacing up your running shoes, finding the playlist on your iPod you put together specifically for this moment and receiving encouragement from your teammates while chomping down a pre-run energy bar.
You step out of the van at the designated exchange point, look up to the stars and wonder what you are doing there. Soon, your teammate is within sight. Suddenly, a jolt of adrenaline shoots through your body. You are no longer tired. Your teammate approaches, and with each passing step you get anxious, nervous, excited and that adrenaline rush has not dissipated.
Unexpectedly, though, you feel a last-minute tug of doubt and wonder 'Am I up for this?'
Within moments, though, you answer to yourself 'Oh hell yes I am!'
With a van full of people clapping, cheering and hollering their encouragement for you, you take the handoff and start on your first-ever midnight run.
The Ragnar Relay is a superior running challenge. Not only must you run between 11-18 miles, you must do so in three separate runs during 24-hour-plus span. But you won't have to go it alone - it is a relay race after all. Each team consists of 12 members split among two vans. Van One starts the race and all the runners take turns running their respective legs. Runner One hands off to Runner Two and so on. Eventually, Runner Six hands off to Runner Seven, and Van Two is now on stage while the first group rests up. Runners 7-12 now go through their first legs and when Runner 12 is done, he/she passes off to Runner One and the order starts all over again.
Each runner has three runs to complete, and runs can and will happen during all hours. It might be that your first run is at 5 pm, your second run at 4 am, and your third and final run at 2:30 pm. Or you could run at 8 am, 11:30 pm and high noon.
Although there are several Ragnar Relays across the United States, our focus will be Las Vegas. The start line is in Valley of Fire State Park and the finish line is somewhere in Sin City. So aside from the glory you will share with 11 others, casinos and nightlife await your arrival at the end point.
But that's the least of the appeal. Running as a team, challenging yourself like you've not been challenged before, fighting for one another, motivating/cheering/rooting fellow runners... that's what the Ragnar Relay is all about.