School me on Ragnar

ZellyB

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
So, I have a group of friends here that I'm trying to convince to do a Ragnar. I've read quite a bit of the info on the web page and have the general idea. I'm not sure I can find 12 total willing to do it (that I actually want to do it with, that is :D ) but you can just get 6 right and then they pair you with another 6, but your 6 are in the same van???

Anyway, for those who have done them or are considering, how was your experience with it? What did you like? What did you dislike? Would you do it again? Just tips in general...
 

ZellyB

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 18, 2010
Following! I want to do a Ragnar soon.
Did you see this one??? Right in your backyard, isn't it?

The “fastest” course in the Ragnar Road series is back, May 17-18, 2019, with a brand new name. Reebok Ragnar Chicago is now Reebok Ragnar Great Midwest!

Your team will kick off the journey in Waukegan, just outside of Chicago, and head north past epic views of Lake Michigan. You’ll run through the countryside by lakes and over rolling hills with a billion stars lighting your way.

In the cool, spring air you’ll watch the sun come up as you zoom past picturesque red barns, happy cows, and quintessential Midwest scenery. Your whole team finishes together, tired and triumphant at the Ragnar finisher's party in the city of Madison. Your team medals, bragging rights, and endless memories await!

Don't miss the challenge that will have you saying, "I can't believe we're doing this," and "When can we do this again?" in the same, tired breath!
 
  • rteetz

    Rumors and News Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2013
    Did you see this one??? Right in your backyard, isn't it?

    The “fastest” course in the Ragnar Road series is back, May 17-18, 2019, with a brand new name. Reebok Ragnar Chicago is now Reebok Ragnar Great Midwest!

    Your team will kick off the journey in Waukegan, just outside of Chicago, and head north past epic views of Lake Michigan. You’ll run through the countryside by lakes and over rolling hills with a billion stars lighting your way.

    In the cool, spring air you’ll watch the sun come up as you zoom past picturesque red barns, happy cows, and quintessential Midwest scenery. Your whole team finishes together, tired and triumphant at the Ragnar finisher's party in the city of Madison. Your team medals, bragging rights, and endless memories await!

    Don't miss the challenge that will have you saying, "I can't believe we're doing this," and "When can we do this again?" in the same, tired breath!
    Pretty close!
     
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    DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    In the cool, spring air you’ll watch the sun come up as you zoom past picturesque red barns, happy cows, and quintessential Midwest scenery. Your whole team finishes together, tired and triumphant at the Ragnar finisher's party in the city of Madison. Your team medals, bragging rights, and endless memories await!
    I think it runs less than a mile from where my house is.
     

    FFigawi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 28, 2009
    So, I have a group of friends here that I'm trying to convince to do a Ragnar. I've read quite a bit of the info on the web page and have the general idea. I'm not sure I can find 12 total willing to do it (that I actually want to do it with, that is :D ) but you can just get 6 right and then they pair you with another 6, but your 6 are in the same van???

    Anyway, for those who have done them or are considering, how was your experience with it? What did you like? What did you dislike? Would you do it again? Just tips in general...
    #1 tip is to make sure you're in a van with people you can tolerate for 24-36 hours. If you end up with people who can't get along, act selfishly, or otherwise aren't good teammates, you'll regret every minute of it. Just ask @Keels

    If you have a good van of people, you'll have a blast. The running is secondary to having fun with friends, or making new friends, and all the crazy, silly, and strange experiences you have when stuck together for a weekend. Again, the key is to make sure your van is full of good people.
     

    Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2008
    So - my first Ragnar was the inaugural (now defunct) Ragnar South Beach. It did not go as well as I expected, but that was mostly growing pains from a new course that was poorly planned and not really researched (they had to cancel most of Van 2's overnight legs because they went through active gang areas). I also only knew one person on my team well, and another casually. Our van got along just fine, but the other van was a real bunch of drama queens (we were a female-only team).

    I'm planning/hoping to do two next year, so I'm willing to give Ragnar another chance now that I have put some space between my first experience and now.
     
  • ZellyB

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 18, 2010
    #1 tip is to make sure you're in a van with people you can tolerate for 24-36 hours. If you end up with people who can't get along, act selfishly, or otherwise aren't good teammates, you'll regret every minute of it. Just ask @Keels

    If you have a good van of people, you'll have a blast. The running is secondary to having fun with friends, or making new friends, and all the crazy, silly, and strange experiences you have when stuck together for a weekend. Again, the key is to make sure your van is full of good people.
    So - my first Ragnar was the inaugural (now defunct) Ragnar South Beach. It did not go as well as I expected, but that was mostly growing pains from a new course that was poorly planned and not really researched (they had to cancel most of Van 2's overnight legs because they went through active gang areas). I also only knew one person on my team well, and another casually. Our van got along just fine, but the other van was a real bunch of drama queens (we were a female-only team).

    I'm planning/hoping to do two next year, so I'm willing to give Ragnar another chance now that I have put some space between my first experience and now.
    Good info! I feel pretty good about 6 people who would do this and with whom I could get along. We are all pretty close and have traveled together before, so 24-36 hours is workable. Am I right that if they pair you up with another 6 person team, you really don't interact too much with that team. That is, your 6 are in one van and those 6 are in another?

    Also, what makes a leg considered "hard"? I was looking at another Ragnar course and some of the legs and one that was listed as hard didn't seem all that hard. It was a little over 6 miles and while it was a fair bit of uphill at the beginning, it wasn't crazy and then the last few miles were downhill. So, on paper it didn't seem that hard...
     

    FFigawi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 28, 2009
    Good info! I feel pretty good about 6 people who would do this and with whom I could get along. We are all pretty close and have traveled together before, so 24-36 hours is workable. Am I right that if they pair you up with another 6 person team, you really don't interact too much with that team. That is, your 6 are in one van and those 6 are in another?
    Correct. You spend all your time with your van and your people. You only see the other van at the main handover points.

    Also, what makes a leg considered "hard"? I was looking at another Ragnar course and some of the legs and one that was listed as hard didn't seem all that hard. It was a little over 6 miles and while it was a fair bit of uphill at the beginning, it wasn't crazy and then the last few miles were downhill. So, on paper it didn't seem that hard...
    A leg can be considered "hard" for many reasons - elevation during the leg, distance of the leg, when in the race the leg is run, etc. Running 6 miles on fresh legs is much different than running 6 miles at 4am as your third leg of the race thus far.
     
  • Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2008
    Good info! I feel pretty good about 6 people who would do this and with whom I could get along. We are all pretty close and have traveled together before, so 24-36 hours is workable. Am I right that if they pair you up with another 6 person team, you really don't interact too much with that team. That is, your 6 are in one van and those 6 are in another?

    Also, what makes a leg considered "hard"? I was looking at another Ragnar course and some of the legs and one that was listed as hard didn't seem all that hard. It was a little over 6 miles and while it was a fair bit of uphill at the beginning, it wasn't crazy and then the last few miles were downhill. So, on paper it didn't seem that hard...
    They'll put your groups together with one team captain (the team captain also gets free stuff for races, just FYI) and then you decide amongst yourself what "Runners" you're going to be - I did enjoy being in Van 1 because even though it meant an early morning, I really only had one "nighttime" leg and then after my last morning leg, I was dunzo. We drove to the finish area, dropped our crap at the hotel and started boozing on the beach (actually, we started boozing in the van after our last runner came in but our last leg was very stressful because of the Band of B!tches in Van 2 ... but that's a story for later).

    There's one leg that's the Reebok Leg - it's usually the hardest of all ... so that could mean the longest distance, the largest elevation gain or a combination of both. There's an extra medal for the runner who does the Reebok leg.

    @CheapRunnerMike and I were both Runner 4 for RSB - it was the longest combined distance of all the runners (and that was before our third leg was extended due to construction along the course). I want to say my legs were 6.8 miles, 10.6 miles and 8.2 miles. All were considered "hard" because of the distance or because you wouldn't be able to have your van stop alongside you and offer "aid". This was my big gripe about RSB - for all these long legs, there was really only one aid station and they were all listed as "not van accessible" legs.

    And, of course, because it's South Florida it was abysmally hot. My lesson learned was to always carry a credit card on me so I could stop at a Walgreens or a gas station to buy something to drink if I ran out of my water bottles and there wasn't anywhere in sight to refill. Also, there's a legit chance that will be your only shot to use a restroom if you need to ...

    So, my second leg was 10 miles overnight, along the shoulder of A1A. It was miserable. I cried twice because it scared me - running along the side of a highway with only the lights of oncoming traffic to keep you company. Well, that and the sounds of animals lurking in the shrubs ready to drag your lifeless body away after a wayward car hits you. Here's a picture I took:
    IMG_2741 2.JPG

    You can kind see the reflective vest of the runner I was trying to keep up with up ahead by the headlights of that car. After about mile 4, I had people just texting me random college football updates to keep me distracted from how I thought I was going to die.

    That said, you risk the nighttime legs so you have a shot at running with this:

    IMG_2744.JPG

    That was the start of my third and final leg. So, because they canceled Van 2's overnight legs, the schedule kind of changed up a little bit. For RSB, I happened to be up sitting on the beach in Jupiter while the rest of my team was sleeping (we booked our vans too late so we were stuck in a mini-van instead of a passenger van or a nice Sprinter van), and was texting with @FFigawi who was a Van 2 runner for his team. I was able to wake my team up and move us to where our relay would start after a delay (we were one of the first teams to get to the start of our last relay legs, so we got to start rather quickly. I want to say we only had a two-hour delay, but other teams we talked to had to wait it out upwards of four-five hours).

    The other thing I would say is make sure you have someone crafty on your team (or have a friend that's crafty) and have them make magnets for your team. We loved sneaking around and tagging other vans with our Team Magnets and seeing who tagged our van. I still have quite a few of those magnets, especially from other teams we became friends with because we were basically matched sets on legs. I also did all the grocery shopping for both of our vans (I was in Orlando already and all the other girls were flying in from Texas or Oklahoma) - we went through so many Uncrustables, jars of pickles, pounds of lunchmeat, potato chips, bagels, and I'm pretty sure all six of us in my van finished off a small jar of peanut butter.

    Also, decorating your van is important - we checked off our legs completed and kept track of "kills".

    Anyway. A couple more fun pictures from RSB - so I don't come across as totally hating it:

    IMG_3942.JPG IMG_2759.JPG IMG_2754.JPG IMG_9351.JPG
     
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    GreatLakes

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2015
    I haven't done one but can tell you every person I know that has raved about the race. Doing one is definitely on my to-do list.

    Who will organize the Disboards Ragnar team?
     

    Keels

    The Official Keels of RunDisney
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2008
    I haven't done one but can tell you every person I know that has raved about the race. Doing one is definitely on my to-do list.

    Who will organize the Disboards Ragnar team?
    If anyone is interested in either Cape Cod or Northwestern Passage, I can probably make this happen ...
     
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