Are you looking for new roads to cover in the DC area? How about 200-ish miles worth of road? Don’t worry, you won’t have to cover all that mileage alone. With Ragnar Washington, D.C., you’ll join a team of 12 and together you'll tackle the course, Cumberland to DC.
Whether you’ve already raced a Ragnar, or DC will be your first go, there’s a lot that sets this course apart from other races and other Ragnars. Ragnar Relay Series Market Development Manager Rachel Fitzgerald filled us in on what makes this race so unique and exciting. Thanks to the varied terrain in the DC area, you’ll get a wide range of scenery along the course. Starting out in Cumberland, the first legs will get a taste of farmland and countryside, as well as very challenging hills right from the get-go. Water views, canal trails, and legs around the rail trail systems will ensure you’ll never get bored. As you approach the district, urban city running and city views will welcome you towards the finish line.
If you’re feeling extra strong and ready for a beast of a leg, take on leg #3, the hardest of the race, and considered by some to be one of the hardest in the full Ragnar series. The leg is 7.8 miles with an elevation gain of approximately 1,200 feet and a loss of 1,000 feet. Each Ragnar designates the hardest leg, and the runners that complete it receive an extra medal.
If you’re intimidated by the idea of a relay race and team members depending on you to keep pace, don’t back down from the opportunity to do a Ragnar. This race welcoming for all levels-- different legs are great for different runners. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or taking on your first race, there’s a team and a run combo for you. Even if you’re new to running and still building up your mileage, Ragnar will allow you to build up without having to run too much at once.
Aside from mileage and an interesting course, why take on a Ragnar when you could otherwise run a regular race? Ragnar runners always comment on the incredible team spirit, great community, and camaraderie on teams and between teams. There’s never a shortage of motivation and fun along the way in this sleepover on wheels.
Ragnar Ambassador and two-time Ragnar DC runner Liz Glomb has done so many Ragnars that she’s lost count. Even with 10+ Ragnars under her belt, she considers DC to be one of the best courses. She attributes her love of the DC course to being on a team that values the experience over trying to win; Liz has continued to build friendships that started during Ragnar races. Liz says that DC has one of the best race vibes, with friendly runners, great race support and teams that get really into the whole experience. Be on the lookout for decorated vans and teams running in costumes.
Like Liz says, the race is about so much more than winning or beating a certain time. Make sure to take it all in, like the exchange at South Mountain Creamery, which stays open through the night so any runner can scoop up some homemade ice cream.
While there are many challenges in Ragnar, like running in the middle of the night and trying to recover after a run in a crowded van, the pros outweigh the cons.
Sarah Seltzer ran Ragnar DC back in 2011, and as a new runner, she definitely felt the challenges along the way. Even though she hadn’t run more than 5 miles prior to the race, she took on Ragnar, with total mileage equaling 13 miles. While apprehensive at first, the Ragnar experience is what Sarah notes as inspiring her to continue running. After a great race experience, Sarah ran 5ks, 10 milers, and four half marathons.
Are you ready to sign up for your first Ragnar? With 2017 marking the 10th anniversary of Ragnar Washington, D.C., it’s one you don’t want to miss. There are still spots left. If you can’t wrangle a whole team at this point, check out the Ragnar Facebook pages, often teams are looking to fill spots. Registration will close on August 18th, but try to sign up before the price goes up on July 22nd.