Last fall I ran from San Francisco to Napa Valley… to be fair, I didn’t run the entire distance by myself, I actually participated in a relay-style race called Ragnar Napa. Known as the “ultimate California weekend running adventure,” Ragnar Napa is a 12 (or 6) person relay race covering a 200+ mile course from San Francisco to Napa Valley. It’s just one of the many Ragnar Relay events across the country that have become an extremely popular 36-hour adventure race.
How does it work?
Ragnar divides the 200+ mile journey into 36 legs. A team of 12 signs up and splits up into 2 vans. Each of the 12 runners runs a total of 3 legs with Van 1 taking the first six runners – legs 1 through 6 – and Van 2 taking the other 6 runners – legs 7 though 12. The vans leapfrog each other throughout the race until everyone meets at the end to cross the finish line as one happy (and sore) team! To the right is the breakdown for Ragnar Napa 2015.
Why Run Ragnar?
After understanding how Ragnar actually works, the biggest question is why do it? Ragnar Napa is unlike any race I’ve ever run. Comparing it to the LA and Boston Marathons, it was nothing like them! Imagine the love child of a 36-hour road trip with a relay race on steroids and that’s Ragnar. My favorite part about it was hands down spending quality time with friends (old and new) creating crazy memories that never would have happened otherwise. Here are 23 of my favorite Ragnar Napa Memories:
1. Going crazy at the Starting Line cause this is crazy!
2. Convincing 12 friends to actually run 200+ miles
3. Breaking out in team #YESWECATAN chants
4. Running through iconic San Francisco landscapes
5. High Five exchanges at each runner exchange
6. Turning our names into Settlers of Catan puns
7. Watching teammates make a “kill” aka passing a runner
8. Keeping track of “kills” aka for us, Victory Points
9. Pitstops to enjoy driving through wine country
10. Soaking up a beautiful wine country sunset
11. Running through a real life Settlers of Catan board
12. Van 1 & Van 2 reuniting before night run madness
13. Waking up to (or running through) a Napa sunrise
14. Laughing off sore bodies on little “sleep”
15. Getting closer to the finish one vineyard at a time
16. Snapping a selfie before our last runner takes off
17. Team #YESWECATAN crossing the finish line
18. Actually running 200+ miles through California
19. Can we settle San Francisco to Napa Valley…
21. Sporting medals that double as bottle openers
22. A celebratory party for settling Ragnar Napa
23. No brainer: Wine Tasting the day after
If you’re running, here are some Ragnar gear essentials:
Make sure to get Custom Team T-Shirts (like ours): email firstname.lastname@example.org for help!
Once you’ve registered, book accommodations ASAP