Monday, November 2, 2015

My Ragnar Team

There’s a lot that goes into the having a great Ragnar experience. To begin with there’s the running (see My Ragnar Run).  Lots and lots of running.  Then, there’s the general fatigue that comes with pushing yourself for hours with no sleep.  Finally, there’s your team.  I can honestly say my Ragnar teammates were frigging amazing and they made participating in Ragnar one of the greatest endurance challenges I’ve ever completed. 

Van 1 crew.
Their website states that Ragnar is the overnight running relay race that makes testing your limits a team sport.  However, simple group dynamics tells me that confining 6 people who are tired, hungry, sleepy and emotionally drained in a van for 30-hours (or longer) is what will really test your limits. 

So, how did our team come together?  It was actually quite simple.  To begin with, we all work together.  One day at work Lorielle and I somehow started talking about Ragnar and how cool it would be.  The more we talked the more excited we became and a few minutes later I’m sending out an email to a select group of colleagues inviting them to join this crazy adventure.

Van 2 crew.
How did we select who to invite?  That was pretty easy as well.  Our company had recently completed a wellness fitness challenge which identified those of us willing to push the limits of our endurance.  There is also an annual 10-mile run for credit unions, which a few members of our team ran.  Long story short, within 3-days Lorielle and I were co-captains of a kick-ass 12-member Ragnar Relay team.

Since all of this occurred in early April, and the race wasn’t until late October, we had plenty of time to plan.  To be honest, any slight concerns I had were gone after our first team meeting.  It was obvious that everyone would train and be prepared to run.  It was even more obvious that everyone would be willing to pitch in and do whatever was needed to have a great event.

Crossing the finish as a team.
Mostly, it was blatantly obvious that we all just wanted to have fun and that became our single goal.  Every decision we made as a team was based on having fun first, running second.  I think this went a long, long way into ensuring we had a great time.

Finally, after months of planning, we loaded the supplies and ourselves into our vans to get things started.  I was in van 1 with 4 other teammates (sadly, one of our team had to withdraw).  We met at 4:30 am, rolled at 4:45 and were laughing by 5:00.  This was a trend that would continue for the next 30 hours.  

Greatest Ragnar team ever!!!
After just over 30-hours of laughing, driving, relaxing, and lots of running (but no sleep) we crossed the finish line together, as a team.  I really can’t describe the experience.  I keep using the word awesome but that’s not quite right.

It’s been a week since Ragnar and we are still on an emotional high.  As we pass each other at work, we give a secret smile that can only be earned by working as a team.  We talk about what we saw, what we experienced and how supportive everyone was to each other.

When it’s all said and done there is one really easy way to determine if you were on a great team and that’s talking about next year.  We all want to do this again, with each other.  I am already checking the Ragnar web site for next year’s dates.  I also already know who will be on my team with me.


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