Race Report – Ragnar 2016

August 25,2016

The Ragnar Relay team wanted to give everyone a shout out for your support during our race on August 12th -13th. It was quite an experience for all of us, especially trying it out as an Ultra Team of 4.

The trails were more technical than expected, specifically the Red loop that had a few boulders to climb over. Needless to say, the Ironwife (aka Mandy Gabarda), Monica, and myself had some issues with our footing that left us with blisters, bruising, and sprained ankles.

Our Ragnar Team Captain, IronMike, ran through the trails with ease even wrestling a bear at 2 AM. He finished his loops wearing the bear as a scarf (totally just kidding about the bear and the scarf, but there were a few bear sightings during the race). I had a quick run in with the bear on the Red Loop, and when it scurried back deeper in the woods, I definitely found myself running a little faster.

We completed most of the race until about 6 AM, when we decided to have a team meeting. We were extremely tired and beat up from the race with very little sleep. We took inventory of all our injuries and eventually as a team decided to throw in the towel. The possibilities of getting more injured became worrisome, and didn’t want it to interfere with our training for our other big races in September and October.

Our safety was also a concern, considering the fact there was a bear roaming through the woods. We ran through the day by the light of the sun, and the darkness of the night with a headlamp and a flashlight. Conquering some of the technical trails was a crazy experience – some of the wildlife was definitely making their presence known.

On the bright side, we were able to still make a positive impact as Team PH in this race. We were able to share our story with Ragnar, and they shared it to the rest of the Ragnar community (see link below!).

All in all, however, racing at Ragnar was a great learning experience for us an Ultra Team and has taught us quite a few things next time we decide to tackle the trails. Here are some of the key learning experiences we learned from the race:

  • Ragnar trail races are beautiful and well organized.
  • It’s extremely important to be mindful about what your body is telling you, and also to listen to it. We used this during our 6 AM inventory check.
  • Proper planning makes a difference, especially when all members of the team will be arriving at different times and from different locations. This made packing and unpacking gear from the vehicles easy. It also helped make sure that we had all the gear that we needed at the campsite.
  • Trail running is more challenging than road running.
  • Trail running in the dark with animals lurking around you is scary.
  • A good campsite location makes all the difference for Ragnar trail races. You want to be close to the transition area, but not too close to the bathrooms.
  • Next race, we are bringing a full team of 8 to spread the distance and to have more people join in on the challenge.
  • Also for our next race, bring bigger marketing materials so we can showcase who we are and what we do as an organization.

A big thank you, again, to everyone! Just in case you were wondering, we are healing well from our injuries from bear fighting will be back on track to continue racing for Team PH.

Also, just in case you missed the article, here is the link!

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