Outdoor Fitness

Highway, Path and Sundown Ragnar Relays

With the tag line, “We by no means stated it might be straightforward, we solely stated it might be unforgettable,” the ever-growing Ragnar relay races and occasions happen throughout the globe on each metropolis roads and scenic trails. Ragnar groups collect their working gear, snacks, and optimism to trek miles by means of cities, forests, and oceanic boardwalks one quick step at a time.

Historical past of Ragnar

Began in 2004 in Utah, founder Steve Hill and his son, Dan, and Dan’s faculty roommate, Tanner Bell, created the primary Wasatch Again relay, traversing 188 miles from Logan to Park Metropolis, Utah. This comparatively small relay grew quickly and has since expanded to races throughout the globe with 1000’s of members.

Named Ragnar after a free-spirited, fearless king and hero of early ninth-century Scandinavia, the founders felt King Ragnar embodied the spirit of runners all competing towards a standard purpose: ending a wild and difficult relay race.

What’s Highway Ragnar?

Contributors can select to run street Ragnars, related in terrain to what you’d expertise at customary metropolis marathons—though a part of the whole mileage happens on bike paths and sidewalks for security functions.

As a result of Ragnar race officers don’t shut down metropolis roads, they stagger begin occasions so a whole bunch of runners aren’t taking to the streets/sidewalks on the identical minute, wreaking havoc on visitors (this additionally protects members). Runners typically run on sidewalks and should at all times obey visitors guidelines, reminiscent of minding crosswalk indicators and avoiding jaywalking.

In a typical street Ragnar, groups of 12 runners wind by means of 200 miles in a relay format. Every leg of this 200-mile relay can vary from two miles to 10+ miles, and runners ought to select their legs appropriately. (Extra superior runners may need to select longer legs, relying on their endurance and coaching.)

Runners who would like to finish higher mileage can kind an extremely workforce of six members who full double the mileage as an alternative.

The relay begins within the morning, runs by means of the evening and into the following day. Relying in your leg, you may run at midnight or 4 a.m., making sleep presumably non-existent all through your entire relay.

Relay groups typically lease two vans (six individuals in every van) for driving, as it’s essential meet every runner at each stopping level to cross your relay bracelet (or no matter Ragnar marker the energetic workforce member is carrying). This implies additionally driving 200 miles along with all of the working. Contributors ought to really feel ready for this and make plans appropriately, as drivers will want sleep to remain awake on the wheel.

In the event you can sleep, you may want to take action within the van, on grassy fields, and in parking tons at stopping factors all through the relay.

In a street Ragnar, every teammate runs three separate legs for a complete of 11 to 24 miles, with loads of downtime in between every leg. This offers you ample time to develop camaraderie with your personal workforce and with different relay groups.

On the finish of the relay, all 12 members run collectively by means of an orange arch as they cross the end line.

Highway Ragnars happen all around the nation, and in addition in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and South Africa. Within the U.S. you may discover a number of races within the midwest, northeast, south, and within the mountain areas. The Ragnar web site gives essentially the most present record of places and course info.

Groups compete in related classifications and divisions:


  • Males: 7-12 males
  • Ladies: All girls
  • Blended: 6 or extra girls


  • Open: All are beneath 40 years outdated
  • Masters: All are over 40 years outdated
  • Company: For workforce bonding along with your co-workers, you possibly can register as a company workforce if 50 % of the members are from the identical firm
  • Navy/Public Service: 50 % of your workforce have to be service individuals
  • Highschool: Younger individuals can take part in a Ragnar if ages 12-18 and are in a mixed-race classification
  • Wildcard: Your workforce needs to opt-out of competing for time and run for enjoyable solely

What’s a Path Ragnar?

You may take your working off congested metropolis streets and onto peaceable, winding trails all through quite a lot of picturesque backwoods in a path Ragnar. These races give you forest, mountain, and valley views with no sound however your toes hitting the dust on the bottom.

In contrast to the extra crowded street Ragnars, path Ragnars embody groups of eight (relatively than 12) who cross by means of 120 miles in three repeating loops. For many who need a severe problem, you possibly can kind an extremely workforce of 4 runners and double your mileage.

Runners sleep in short-term tent cities known as “Ragnar Village.” For anybody who despises conventional tenting, you possibly can reserve an unique “glampsite” the place you obtain pre-prepared tents (no have to cope with these tough tent sticks), coolers filled with ice for a refreshing chilly beverage after your run, and a concierge service. 

Within the path Ragnar, every teammate completes every race loop one time, with inexperienced, yellow, and purple colours in your bib to show what loop you’re working. The overall mileage is roughly 15 per runner. You also needs to prepare for elevation.

Path Ragnars happen within the following places:

  • Tahoe: Sugar Bowl Resort, Norden, California
  • So Cal: Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, California
  • New Jersey: Wawayanda State Park, New Jersey
  • Cape City: Elgin Grabow Nation Membership
  • Rainier: Crystal Mountain Ski Resort
  • Appalachians: Massive Bear Lake Camplands

In case your workforce is of the aggressive nature, you possibly can change your classification and division to compete towards runners of comparable age.


  • Males: 4-6 males
  • Ladies: All girls
  • Blended: 3 or extra girls


  • Open: A number of is beneath 40 years outdated
  • Masters: All are over 40 years outdated
  • Company: For workforce bonding along with your co-workers, you possibly can register as a company workforce if 50 % of the members are from the identical firm
  • Navy/Public Service: 50 % of your workforce have to be service individuals
  • Highschool: Younger individuals can take part in a Ragnar if ages 12-18 and are in a mixed-race classification
  • Wildcard: Your workforce needs to opt-out of competing for time and run for enjoyable solely

What’s Sundown Ragnar?

In the event you don’t really feel like working by means of the evening and tenting out, Ragnar additionally makes a smaller size relay race accessible known as Sundown Ranger. On this choice, groups of 4 run a relay in an effort to beat the solar setting. Working concerning the size of a conventional marathon in just one night (roughly 26 miles), one runner finishes a single loop earlier than the following workforce member begins. You all work towards crossing the end line earlier than the evening grows darkish.

For the well-trained endurance athlete, you possibly can be a part of one good friend and run double the mileage—concerning the size of a half marathon in a single evening. The race additionally comes with an added bonus: a “during-” and after-party. As dinnertime rolls round, meals vans maintain runners and spectators satiated, and reside music retains everybody entertained. After your workforce finishes, you possibly can all jam out collectively and rejoice your accomplishment.

Sundown races happen within the following places:

  • Santa Clarita: Central Park, Santa Clarita, California
  • Colorado: Winterpark, Colorado
  • Miami: Historic Virginia Key Seaside, Florida
  • Twin Cities Lake Rebecca Park Reserve, Rockford, Minnesota
  • Lake Las Vegas, Lake Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Cincinnati: Sawyer Level, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Salt Lake Metropolis: That is the Place Heritage Park, Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah
  • Nova: Lake Fairfax Park, Reston, Virginia
  • Seattle: Lake Sammamish State Park, Seattle, Washington


  • Males: 3-4 males
  • Ladies: 4 girls
  • Blended: 1 or 2 males


  • Open: A number of is beneath 40 years outdated
  • Masters: All are over 40 years outdated

Gear Wanted

Relying on which Ragnar you select, you will have particular gear to finish the total race.

Highway Ragnar

It is best to pack the next tools and attire for a Highway Ragnar. As at all times, take a look at out your attire/gear in coaching to ensure they give you the results you want. You shouldn’t strive experimenting with vitamin and attire on Ragnar race day.

  • Correct trainers
  • Snacks for the lengthy drives and power to run, reminiscent of nuts, power gels, sports activities drinks, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, path combine, and digestible fruits like pears, plums, oranges, and bananas
  • Three modifications of working garments for every leg. Relying on the place you run, the temperature can drop at evening. It is best to convey a water-proof working jacket and lengthy working pants.
  • Three modifications of socks
  • A headlamp
  • Reflective gear. Ragnar requires each participant to point out they’ve a reflective vest earlier than beginning the race.
  • A watch/Garmin to observe your time and distance.
  • Your smartphone that will help you get to the totally different stopping factors all through the relay. Ragnar additionally gives directions.
  • Music for the automobile experience
  • For street Ragnars, you’ve gotten the power to move to eating places and cease at fuel stations for snacks and water. It is best to convey additional money or an ATM card for extra bills.

Path Ragnar

It is best to observe the gear for street Ragnars, but in addition contemplate the particular wants of path working, reminiscent of the next:

  • As a result of trails can get fairly muddy, you may need to contemplate bringing gators to cowl up your socks and lengthy working pants from additional mud and puddles. You additionally may need to convey alongside an additional pair of sneakers. You don’t want path trainers. Your common trainers will do, however you should utilize path sneakers when you’re accustomed to them.
  • You additionally should convey sufficient meals to final for your entire race as you could be too removed from civilization to buy additional provides. Carry greater than you suppose you want.

Sundown Ragnar

As a result of this race stays comparatively quick and takes place solely at evening, you need to convey your trainers, vitamin (gels, sports activities drink), and a change of garments if you wish to social gathering after.

Why Take part in Ragnar Relays?

Most individuals full Ragnar relays to really feel a way of group with different runners, to perform a difficult purpose and for the chance to run someplace scenic and maybe new to you. As well as, scientific-backed analysis exhibits why you need to contemplate such an enticing and galvanizing expertise.

In a December 2016 research from Scientific Studies, researchers discovered that whenever you work out with others, you’ve gotten extra train adherence, vanity, and social capital.

Spending time with like-minded individuals, reminiscent of with a Ragnar relay, will enable you to obtain a working purpose, in response to the American Coronary heart Affiliation. If you wish to run a race however a marathon appears daunting, a Ragnar is usually a wholesome technique to begin for its social side, relatively than spending 26.2 miles working alone.

For a path Ragnar, you possibly can run in nature and have a higher sense of security since you’re in a race with different runners round. A January 2013 evaluate printed in Excessive Physiology & Drugs discovered that train occurring in a pure, inexperienced setting is perceived as really simpler than in different settings.

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