200 miles. 36 hours. Zero sleep. In a word, fun.
They say running is half mental. Some say it’s 90%.
We aren’t sure who “they” are but they’ve clearly run a Ragnar race before. The Ragnar is a 200 mile-ish relay race where a team of 12 runners each run several times over a 36-hour period with little to no sleep in between.
They also say running is addictive. We couldn’t agree more.
The More Vang Ragnar team just completed its 3rd annual race over the weekend, and we can attest to the mental challenges participants face. We can also tell you we’re already looking forward to next year!
One of the hallmarks of a Ragnar is the white rental van. Each 12-person team breaks into two groups of six, each of which run consecutively before handing off to the other van to do the same for a total of 36 relay legs.
Suffice to say, white rental vans are everywhere.
Another hallmark is that each team decorates its vans. That’s usually done using paint markers. Some get a bit more fancy and use string lights or other props. This year, the More Vang Ragnar team went all in on its van design. You might notice it in that last photo–it’s kind of hard to miss.
We brainstormed and decided on T.R.G.B. as our team name which stands for “Train. Race. Glory. Beer. (Mostly Beer).”
We felt that this would resonate nicely with our fellow Ragnarians. And we were right based on the responses we got during the race (a few asked us if we were professionals).
With the help of our amazingly talented Senior Art Director, Chris Morrison, and the expert craftsmanship of our Experiential Graphics team, headed by Brian Morgan, you can see why we got so much attention.
We also thought we could use the team theme to help promote our friends at Port City Brewing. They’re just down the street from us in Alexandria, and you can often find us there enjoying their amazing selection of craft beers.
Port City was kind enough to supply the team with a variety of delicious craft beers, which provided the team with some serious motivation during the race and were a great reward for the finish line.
Another Ragnar tradition is to “tag” other vans with magnets that represent your team.
Our magnets proved to be quite popular with several going out of their way to come by and request a few for themselves. We also used them as a way to help promote Port City by making all the vans “Powered by Port City.”
The race started at 5:45 a.m. on Friday. Team captain, Robb Hoffheins, the More Vang Director of Marketing Operations, kicked things off with a very muddy and very wet run around Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park in Flintstone, Maryland.
Unfortunately, during Robb’s run, as a result of the biblical overnight rains Thursday, the race was put on hold and re-routed due to a bridge washout on the course. That resulted in legs 2-9 getting cancelled and the race restarting at 1:45 p.m. on Friday.
It was a bummer, but the weather is part of the Ragnar experience and the team rolled with it. Everyone ran at least twice, with many doubling up and getting all three of their runs in.
The team ended up winning the Men’s Corporate division with a time of 23 hours, 11 minutes, and 44 seconds. Granted, we were the only team in that division but whatever, we won! We came in 79th out of 229 though, which is our best performance yet so we’re more than happy and already targeting top 50 for next year.
Saulo Sanchez, the More Vang Digital Press Operator and 3-year alum of the More Vang Ragnar team, was a huge factor in our division win and overall ranking. He ran an average of about 9:00 minute miles.
Frank Strube, the More Vang Vice President of Technology and a 2-year alum of the More Vang Ragnar team, was also a huge factor coming in at about a 9:06 minute average pace on his runs.
Maybe it was the adrenaline or maybe it was the thought of a cold Port City brew, but in the end everyone crossed the finish line with a smile, ready to do it all again. After some sleep, of course.